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 Juvenile Sentencing Reform

The U.S. Supreme Court has held that the Constitution prohibits states from imposing a sentence of life without parole for offenses a defendant committed when a juvenile, and has applied this ruling retroactively. Timothy F. McCormack, William A. McDaniel, Jr., and Michelle M. McGeogh, based in the firm's Baltimore office, and John C. Grugan, Jason A. Leckerman, and Terence M. Grugan, based in the Philadelphia office, are representing individuals sentenced to life without parole as juveniles in their new hearings.

In Maryland, nearly 300 prisoners are serving de facto life sentences without parole for crimes they committed as children, and Pennsylvania has the most of any state, with over 450 inmates serving life without parole for crimes committed as a juvenile.

The $25,000 cash prize, presented by firm Chair Mark Stewart, was donated equally to the Juvenile Law Center and the Maryland Juvenile Lifer Parole Representation Project, which is sponsored by Families Against Mandatory Minimums and the University of Baltimore Juvenile Justice Project.

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