Press Release

Ballard Spahr's Mary Gay Scanlon Wins Democratic Primary in PA's Fifth Congressional District

May 22, 2018

Ballard Spahr Pro Bono Counsel Mary Gay Scanlon won the Democratic Primary in Pennsylvania's Fifth Congressional District Tuesday and will be the party's candidate in November's midterm election.

Ms. Scanlon was one of 10 candidates competing in the primary, including six women. She was endorsed by former Governor Edward G. Rendell, other local elected officials, and The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Ms. Scanlon leads Ballard Spahr's nationally recognized pro bono program, which donates approximately 50,000 hours of representation annually to clients in need. Since joining the firm in 2003, she has built a program that supports pro bono practice groups in several areas, including asylum, voting and other civil rights, and advocacy for children and low-income individuals and families. Ballard Spahr consistently ranks among the top 100 law firms in the Am Law Pro Bono Report and has received numerous awards and honors in recognition.

"We're tremendously proud of Mary Gay and all she's achieved," said Kenneth M. Jarin, who co-leads Ballard Spahr's Government Relations, Regulatory Affairs and Contracting Group. "Her lifelong dedication to public service has made her an incredibly effective leader of our pro bono program and will make her an equally effective member of Congress."

In addition to serving as the firm's Pro Bono Counsel and chairing its pro bono committee, Ms. Scanlon maintains a substantive practice in many areas of public interest law, including human rights, immigration, election protection, children’s advocacy, and poverty law matters.

Ms. Scanlon has also been instrumental in developing the firm's diversity pipeline project at Constitution High School in Philadelphia. She is a member of the school's advisory committee, and helped develop job shadowing, mentoring, mock trial, and internship programs in which all students may participate.

Ms. Scanlon was an elected member of the Wallingford Swarthmore School Board from 2007 until 2015, where she was elected as Vice President and President of the Board.

Ms. Scanlon has received the Philadelphia Bar Association's Fidelity Award for her work as co-chair of the Association's Commission for Children at Risk. She has also been recognized with the Education Law Center's Education Champion Award, the University of Pennsylvania's Law Alumni Society's Howard Lesnick Pro Bono Award, and the Support Center for Child Advocates' Distinguished Child Advocate Award.

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