HARRISBURG (April 22, 2019) — The Pennsylvania Bar Association (PBA) Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender (GLBT) Rights Committee will present its 2019 David M. Rosenblum GLBT Public Policy Award to PBA Immediate Past President Sharon R. López, a partner in Lancaster’s Triquetra Law.
López will receive the award during a May 16 joint reception of the PBA Civil and Equal Rights Committee, PBA GLBT Rights Committee, PBA Minority Bar Committee, PBA Senior Lawyers Committee, PBA Solo and Small Firm Practice Section and the Pennsylvania Bar Foundation, which will take place during the association’s Annual Meeting in Lancaster.
Rosenblum, an active member of the PBA GLBT Rights Committee and a staunch proponent of civil rights, passed away suddenly in 2014. He was a driving force behind the report, “How Marriage Counts: 572 Ways Marriage Counts in Pennsylvania,” a joint publication of the PBA GLBT Rights Committee, the Mazzoni Center and Dechert LLP. Rosenblum was the legal director at the Mazzoni Center. The award honors individuals who have effected change resulting in a positive impact for the LGBT community and who have used his or her position of leadership to inspire others to act and promote civil rights and equality.
An ally of the LGBT community, López is being honored for being unapologetically vocal about her support of the LGBT community and being a tireless advocate for equality. One of López’s main goals while serving as PBA president from 2017-18 was making sure that every member had a seat at the PBA table. To help do so, she created the Membership Enhancement Blue Ribbon Panel on Millennials, Mothers and Minorities in the Profession, an appointed group of PBA members who continue to identify new approaches to increase association membership through outreach, marketing and mentorship. The panel issued eight recommendations that will assist the PBA in becoming a more inclusive and younger-skewing legal community. The recommendations included practical tips such as holding video conference call meetings and completing assessments or focus groups following events to get immediate feedback. The recommendations also included programmatic suggestions such as steps to remove the barriers and limitations of implicit bias. In addition, there are clearinghouse ideas for connecting with minority affinity bars and collecting the various mentoring programs offered throughout the PBA.
An active member of the PBA GLBT Committee for many years, López was instrumental in initiating a strategic planning retreat for the committee. She also advocated for the committee to continue moving forward with its marriage equality resolution. In addition, López’s efforts influenced the creation of the committee’s Transgender Name Change Task Force addressing name change rules for transgender persons and how to better protect one’s privacy when going through the process.
In addition to being a member of the PBA GLBT Rights Committee, López is a co-chair of the PBA Minority Bar Committee, former co-chair of the PBA Membership Development and Civil & Equal Rights committees and a member of the Commission on Women in the Profession. López served as the first editor of Open Court, the GLBT Committee’s newsletter. She is the first editor of Houston’s Legacy, the Minority Bar Committee’s newsletter. López also serves on the PBA Diversity Team and has served on the Judicial Evaluation Commission. She is a member of the PBA Civil Litigation, Labor & Employment Law, and Solo and Small Firm Practice sections.
López served as president of the PBA Conference of County Bar Leaders (CCBL) in 2013-14. In 2007, she was elected as the first minority representative to the CCBL Executive Committee. She is a Life Fellow of the Pennsylvania Bar Foundation.
López is a member of the Lancaster Bar Association (LBA) and served as the chair of the LBA Diversity Committee. She is a member of the LBA Employment Law Section and served as an elected member of the LBA Judiciary Committee.
She served on the boards of directors of Family Service, Community Hospital of Lancaster and the YWCA of Lancaster, serving as chair of its Racial Justice Committee. She is a founding board member of the Lancaster AIDS Project, which later merged with SCAAN (South Central AIDS Assistance Network) to form AIDS Community Alliance.
López holds an undergraduate degree from Eastern Mennonite College and a juris doctorate degree from the Widener University Commonwealth Law School. The law school honored her in 2014 for her efforts to promote diversity in the legal profession. She also received the Widener University Commonwealth Law School Alumni Outstanding Service Award in 2008.
Founded in 1895, the Pennsylvania Bar Association strives to promote justice, professional excellence and respect for the law; improve public understanding of the legal system; facilitate access of legal services; and serve the lawyer members of the state’s largest organized bar association.