Patricia Shipman Recognized for Pro Bono Work

Posted on January 11th, 2011 at 12:00 AM
Patricia Shipman Recognized for Pro Bono Work

The 2010 Honorable Thomas Wood. Jr., Equal Access to Justice Award was presented to Patricia Shipman of the Fetter McDermott law firm.  Danna Rich-Collins, of the Williamsport Legal Services office, explained the reasons for the award:

Some may say that this year’s recipient of the Honorable Thomas Wood Jr. Equal Access to Justice award is benefitting from nepotism. That is because she started her career as a legal services attorney. But it is for her sense of professional and personal responsibility that we honor her tonight, not for her former employment.

Helping those whose access to the courts is compromised by their economic status is what led her to a career in Legal Services and it is also what she continues to believe and demonstrate in her career as a private attorney.

Since entering private practice in she has consistently exceeded the “three referral a year mandate” of the Law association. She is know at NPLS as one of the attorneys of last resort, i.e. if we tried everyone to no avail then give her a call. She will generally say yes if at all possible. She also takes cases that NPLS generally doesn’t handle but that are corollary to an issue we are handling and of course the client has no money to hire someone to represent them in that matter. Recently she was willing to take a very complicated and protracted divorce knowing full well she would be litigating several issues, pro bono. Her willingness to handle SSI and SSD cases and children’s cases has enable NPLS to reduce their caseload in those areas and expand in other areas where there was a great need developing. And when NPLS is short staff or for some other reason unable to take on new cases she has contracted with NPLS for Judicare representation. She champions the cause of legal services not only within the bar but in the community and among other agencies. She has served on the Legal Services to the Indigent Committee and is one of the main supporters of donating money to causes that help the clients of NPLS, like this years donation to the Saving Grace shelter , over providing individual awards to attorneys (so you can blame her for not getting a mug this year!)

For all that she does to ensure that access to the courts is available to all citizens regardless of income we honor Patricia Shipman with this years Honorable Thomas Wood Jr. Equal Access to Justice award.