Marjorie J. Peerce, a Ballard Spahr partner with a focus on white collar criminal defense, will be honored by the New York Law Journal with its Lawyers Who Lead by Example Public Service Award for her work on Clemency Project 2014.

Clemency Project 2014 is an initiative undertaken by five organizations to assist federal inmates seeking clemency through a U.S. Department of Justice program for nonviolent offenders sentenced to lengthy terms under now-defunct mandatory sentencing guidelines. Since its launch, more than 37,000 inmates have applied to receive clemency through the project.

"There has never been anything like this. So, I came to Mary Gay Scanlon, our Pro Bono Counsel, and said I thought this would be a great project for Ballard, and the firm jumped at it. Now there are more than 100 lawyers at the firm working on it," said Ms. Peerce, a practicing criminal defense lawyer with more than 30 years of experience.

The New York Law Journal will present awards in three categories: Lifetime Achievement, Public Service, and Pro Bono. The Public Service award is given to "attorneys who have demonstrated leadership through careers in public service or devotion to improving the legal system and the profession in New York." Ms. Peerce and 10 other recipients will be honored with the Public Service Award at the 2016 Lawyers Who Lead by Example event on September 20 in New York City.

"To me, it's a labor of love, our ability to get these guys and gals out of jail who are serving these unfair sentences," Ms. Peerce said. "I've always said that people like me should give—we've got the skills and the knowledge to help. There is no other better thing that I can be doing than this right now."

In addition to the New York Law Journal award, Ms. Peerce received Ballard Spahr's 2015 Alan J. Davis Award for pro bono work on the Clemency Project. She served as President and past Chair of the Sentencing Guideline Committee of the New York Council of Defense Lawyers, is currently the Chair of the Clemency Committee for the New York City Bar Mass Incarceration Task Force and Co- Chair of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers Sentencing Committee; and serves as a member of the Screening and Steering Committees of Clemency Project 2014. She also received the New York State Bar Association President's Pro Bono Service Award for the First Judicial District in Manhattan. Ms. Peerce plans to attend the 2016 Lawyers Who Lead by Example event with her husband, children, and lawyer colleagues who perform similar pro bono work.

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