What does an associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court have to do with Philadelphia VIP?
VIP’s yearly Justice William J. Brennan, Jr. Awards have been a staple of our awards ceremonies since 1988, when Justice Brennan himself took a break from the bench to present them.
VIP’s founding in 1981 responded to a pressing need — namely, decreased federal funding for free legal services nationwide. By the decade’s end, VIP was a model volunteer lawyer program, worthy of a visit from one of the Supreme Court’s most vocal advocates of pro bono service and legal services for the poor.
Justice Brennan had this to say of VIP’s volunteers:
Lawyers occupy a strategic role in the ordering of our society. This position affords members of the legal profession a vital role in taking affirmative, responsible, and progressive actions to meet current problems and avert future crises. You have met this challenge through your pro bono efforts in Philadelphia. I salute you.
Nowadays, VIP’s Brennan Awards honor growth: we award them to the volunteers or practice settings that have most increased their volunteerism in a given period of time. Numbers don’t lie, so no matter who wins the award, being named a finalist is a sure reflection of the nominee’s commitment to VIP and our clients.
Take a look at this year’s slate of finalists, and RSVP for Awards Night on October 12 at 6:30 pm, here.