Alan J. Davis Award

In 2007, Ballard Spahr established an award to honor the legacy of Alan J. Davis, the former Philadelphia City Solicitor and our distinguished partner. Mr. Davis was known for his exceptional skills as a litigator as well as his deep and longstanding commitment to public service.

Each year, in his memory, the firm recognizes an individual or group that has provided exemplary legal representation in a matter involving the public good. The award carries a prize of $25,000, which the firm donates to an organization of the winner's choice.

Ballard Spahr Honors Lawyers for Pro Bono Work on Advocacy on Behalf of Detained Immigrants

We are pleased to recognize the outstanding work of Ballard Spahr lawyers who mobilized to address the critical needs of individuals who came to this country seeking asylum and who are being detained in remote locations in Georgia.

Working together with the Southern Poverty Law Center—which created the Southeast Immigrant Freedom Initiative to protect the due process rights of immigrants detained in the Deep South—each of the Ballard Spahr lawyers spent a week at remote detention facilities in Georgia, representing individuals detained there in credible fear interviews, bond hearings, and asylum applications. This work was life-changing not only for the individuals they served, but also the volunteer lawyers who donated their time to these efforts. SIFI notes that: "one in six immigrants detained in the Southeast have no access to legal counsel—and without it, their rights are frequently trampled. When immigrants do have an attorney, they're 10 times more likely to win their case." Ballard's lawyers are committed to protecting the rights and access to justice for all people.

The $25,000 cash prize was donated to the Southern Poverty Law Center, earmarked to assist detainees in securing bond funds.

Past Alan J. Davis Award recipients include:

2018 – Juvenile Sentencing Reform Team
2017 – David J. Bodney
2016 – Homeless Advocacy Project Team
2015 – Clemency Project Team
2014 – Advocates for Families in Crisis
2013 – Prisoner Civil Rights Team
2012 – Daniel Dougherty Capital Defense Team
2011 – The Ballard Spahr Asylum Initiative
2010 – Jacquelyn M. Gray and Jonathan T. Schmidt
2009 – The Wills for Heroes Team
2008 – Jason A. Leckerman