Bernie Siegel Memorial Scholarship

Pennsylvania Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

Section:         Continuing Legal Education (CLE) Program
Title:               Bernie Siegel Memorial Scholarship
Adopted:        October 28, 2016
Purpose of the Statement of Policy.  The Association strives to encourage cooperation among lawyers engaged in the furtherance of capital case litigation through education programs and to disseminate by lecture, seminars and written materials the advancement of knowledge of capital case law.  Specifically, it seeks to provide forums for material exchange of information regarding the administration of criminal justice and desires to assist deserving members experience and participation in these capital case seminars by offsetting the costs with a partial or full scholarship. The Association established the Bernie Siegel Memorial Scholarship to provide financial scholarships to deserving Pennsylvania criminal defense lawyers across the Commonwealth who require financial assistance to participate in the Association’s capital case seminars.
In Memoria of Bernie L. Siegel.  Mr. Siegel was a criminal lawyer and educator who passed away on January 17, 2012.  He was a solo practitioner in Philadelphia engaged in criminal defense since 1986 and was involved in several high profile cases.  Before entering private practice, Mr. Siegel was a prosecutor for 14 years serving as first assistant district attorney in Erie County, Pennsylvania, deputy attorney general/special prosecutor for Philadelphia, and deputy district attorney, Investigations Division, Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office under Ed Rendell. 
He also supported the criminal defense bar as a co-founder of the Pennsylvania Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (PACDL) in 1988, becoming president of the Pennsylvania Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers from 2007-2008, and conducting seminars for the Pennsylvania Bar Institute.  He also was a recipient of the Thurgood Marshall Award from the Philadelphia Bar Association, Criminal Justice Section and the Alan Jay Josel Advocacy Award from PACDL in 2005.   
Additionally, he was an adjunct professor of law at La Salle University for 10 years and starting in 1995, he taught advanced criminal-trial advocacy as an adjunct professor at Temple University’s Beasley School of Law.  He was a contributing author to the books, “Pennsylvania Grand Jury Practice” and “By No Extraordinary Means.”  Mr. Siegel grew up in Pittsburgh, attended Brandeis University and graduated from Harvard Law School. 
Bernie Siegel Memorial Scholarship. The Association shall provide partial or full scholarships for the Association’s capital case CLE seminars subject to availability of funds to PACDL members whose dues are current.  These scholarships are available to any PACDL member with limited financial wherewithal as further described below to meet up to 12 credits of their current Pennsylvania CLE requirement.
Administration.  The Association shall maintain a separate financial account with a banking institution for all donations received for the Bernie Siegel Memorial Scholarship.  No donations to the scholarship fund shall be used by the board of directors to support the Association’s business operations. 
Donations.  The Board of Directors shall direct the annual fund goal-setting, encourage donations to the scholarship fund, contribute individually to the scholarship fund, and determine its continuance.   Donations may remain anonymous.   
Scholarship Application Process.  A completed seminar or conference registration form along with a letter or email requesting a scholarship must be sent to the Association no later than 30 days before the date of a capital CLE program that the Siegel scholarship applicant seeks to attend.  The applicant’s written request shall detail the reasons for the scholarship request based on financial hardship and their eligibility.  Scholarship requests must be directed to:  PACDL, 115 State Street, Harrisburg, PA  17101 or
Scholarship EligibilityAn applicant’s scholarship application must satisfy the criteria below.
  1. Demonstrate a desire to make a meaningful contribution to the capital criminal defense community both present and future.
  2. Active involvement in a balance of community, criminal defense capital cases, and nonprofit activities.
  3. Pursuit of goals and aspirations with integrity, resolution, self-discipline, and judgment.
  4. Maintenance of an active-status, Pennsylvania attorney’s license in good standing.
  5. Evidence of a documented financial hardship.
  6. Pennsylvania residency.
  7. Membership in Pennsylvania Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.
  8. Certifies that the information provided in the application is true and correct to the best of the attorney’s knowledge, information, and belief.
Additionally, even if an applicant is deemed to be eligible, a scholarship application shall not be approved if:
  1. The attorney has already earned CLE credit sufficient to complete the attorney’s CLE requirement for the attorney’s current reporting period and has already earned the necessary capital credits for the current compliance period;
  2. The attorney was approved for another PACDL scholarship within the attorney’s current CLE reporting period;
  3. The Association is under a contractual obligation with a third party that prohibits discounted registrations for the requested program;
  4. The scholarship funds have been depleted or significantly reduced;
  5. The application is not timely received;
  6. The Association determines, at its sole discretion, that the attorney’s financial hardship is not sufficient to qualify for the Bernie Siegel Memorial Scholarship; or
  7. The applicant has sufficient access to CLE resources to meet CLE requirements without scholarship assistance.
Scholarship Awards.  Preference will be given to those criminal defense attorneys who have less than five years of experience and demonstrate a significant financial hardship which is defined as annual income at or below 300% of the federal poverty level guidelines.  There shall be no preference based on geographic area or employer. 
If a program has an early bird or other special pricing option, any scholarship reduction shall be based on the full tuition price.  The determination of the scholarship is at the discretion of the executive director who may seek guidance from the CLE co-chairs as needed.
Nondiscrimination.  The Association, in making scholarships, does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, gender, sexual orientation, handicap or national or ethnic origin.  Directors and employees of the Association or any member of the family or the law firm of such directors or employees are ineligible to receive a scholarship from the Bernie Siegel Memorial Scholarship.