Thelma Grady, Northwestern Legal Services (NWLS) board member and lay vice-president, received the 2005 Liberty Bell Award from the Erie County Bar Association. She was presented the honor as part of the Law Day luncheon on Friday, April 28 at the Erie Shrine Club.
The Liberty Bell Award is given annually by the Erie County Bar Association to a non-attorney who has "strengthened the American system of freedom under the law." Grady was honored for her many years of community service to the Erie region, and her leadership role in legal services on a local, state and national level.
NWLS executive director Robert A. Oakley, Esq., delivered the introductory remarks at the Law Day event that honored Grady's many contributions to the Erie community. She was instrumental in creating local programs such as Crime Watch, the Erie Tenant's Council, the Welfare Rights Organization, and the Clients' Council of Erie County. Grady was also involved in Project Vote, an initiative that enabled voter registration materials to be distributed at county assistance offices, and she has been active in the local chapter of the NAACP.
Grady was also honored for her many years of service to NWLS as a board member, along with her work on behalf of legal aid with the Clients' Council of Pennsylvania and the National Legal Aid and Defender Association.
Jack Ford, Court TV news anchor and former legal correspondent for ABC and NBC News, was the keynote speaker at the event.