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February 28, 2014

Temple Law Dean JoAnne Epps to Receive Sotomayor Diversity Award March 11

speaker photo JoAnne A. Epps, dean of the Temple University Beasley School of Law, will receive the Philadelphia Bar Association’s Justice Sonia Sotomayor Diversity Award at the Association’s Quarterly Meeting and Luncheon, which will be held on Tuesday, March 11.

The award publicly acknowledges, recognizes and honors an individual or entity that has demonstrated a strong commitment, and has made substantial contributions to diversity and promoting full and equal participation and inclusion in the legal profession. Epps has been dean since 2008.

Dean Epps has been a frequent speaker on evidence and advocacy both domestically and internationally, and is frequently consulted on issues involving legal education.

Before her appointment as Dean, Dean Epps was a member of the Temple Law Faculty for 23 years and served as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs for nineteen of those years. Before joining the Temple faculty in 1985, she was a Deputy City Attorney for the City of Los Angeles and an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Dean Epps' primary teaching areas include Criminal Procedure, Evidence and Trial Advocacy. She has also taught Criminal Law and Interviewing, Counseling & Negotiation.

Dean Epps has been honored by numerous institutions including the Philadelphia Bar Association. In 2009, she received the Association's Sandra Day O'Connor Award.

Dean Epps is active in women's and minority organizations. She is a former Vice Chair of the Pennsylvania Gender Task Force and has served as a member of the Third Circuit Task Force on Equal Treatment in the Courts, a member of the Task Force's Commission on Race and Ethnicity, and as Co-Chair of the Commission's Committee on Special Issues in Criminal Justice. From 2002 to 2005 Dean Epps was a member of the Board of Directors of Women's Way. From 2010 to 2012 she served as the Treasurer of the Pennsylvania Women’s Forum, and will become the Vice President in 2012. At Temple, Dean Epps served as a member of the Women's Studies Program Steering Committee and remains an affiliated member of the Women's Studies Department. She also served as a member of the University’s 125th Anniversary Steering Committee. Prior to her appointment as dean, she was an advisor to both the Women's Law Caucus and the Black Law Students' Association.

Dr. William R. Hite Jr., superintendent of The School District of Philadelphia, will be the keynote speaker at the event. Dr. Hite's remarks go along with Chancellor William P. Fedullo's focus on public education this year. Fedullo has created an Education Task Force to begin finding more ways that the legal community can help public education in Philadelphia and throughout Pennsylvania. The Chancellor also has plans for a number of programs so Association members can learn about what is needed for a quality public education for students.

Immediate-Past Chancellor Kathleen D. Wilkinson will be honored at the event. She will be presented with a gold box, a replica of the one presented to Andrew Hamilton for his defense of John Peter Zenger in 1735. The gold box is presented annually to the immediate-past Chancellor and is inscribed with the message "acquired not by money, but by character."

The March 11 Quarterly Meeting and Luncheon begins at 12 p.m. in the Grand Ballroom at the Hyatt at The Bellevue, Broad and Walnut streets. Tickets are $65 for Philadelphia Bar Association members and $75 for non-members. Purchase tickets at by Thursday, March 6. Cancellations must be received by March 6 to receive a full refund.

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