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.

Alan J. Davis Award Given to David J. Bodney for First Amendment, Press Rights Advocacy

David J. Bodney, leader of Ballard Spahr's Media and Entertainment Law Group, received the firm's 2017 Alan J. Davis Award for exemplary public service for his pro bono efforts supporting a free and vigorous press and First Amendment rights.

At request of National Public Radio (NPR), Mr. Bodney last year teamed with veteran journalist Andrew Alexander, a former Washington Post ombudsman, to perform an independent operational review of the reporting assignment on which Messrs. Gilkey and Tamanna were killed in Afghanistan. This independent review for NPR is part of Mr. Bodney's more than 35-year track record as pro bono counsel in a wide range of public interest issues.

The award includes $25,000, which Mr. Bodney has announced he will donate to NPR, earmarked for the David Gilkey and Zabi Tamanna Memorial Fund. The fund, established in memory of two NPR journalists killed last June, supports the work of international journalists and photojournalists, security and safety measures, and training for the next generation of war correspondents.

The Alan J. Davis Award is named for the late Philadelphia City Solicitor and distinguished Ballard Spahr litigator who was deeply devoted to public service.

Past Alan J. Davis Award recipients include:

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