Daniel JT McKenna ’04 has been selected to receive the
prestigious Sandra Day O’Connor Award for Professional Service by
the American Inns of Court. The award will be presented at the
annual American Inns of Court Celebration of Excellence at the
Supreme Court of the United States on October 19, 2013; the event
will be hosted by Associate Justice Elena Kagan.
McKenna is an associate in the litigation department at Ballard
Spahr LLP in Philadelphia, and a member of the firm’s consumer
financial services, privacy and data security, and mortgage banking
groups. He counsels financial services institutions on regulatory
compliance, fair lending compliance and litigation compliance
issues, and defends them in individual and class actions brought by
consumers and government agencies.
In addition to his responsibilities at the firm, McKenna
regularly performs nearly 250 hours of pro bono service annually.
As Public Service Coordinator for the Young Lawyers Division of the
American Bar Association, McKenna is tasked with implementing the
nationwide Wills for Heroes program, through which volunteer
lawyers and legal professionals provide estate-planning documents
for first responders and emergency personnel. When McKenna first
became involved, the program was active in only six states; today,
Wills for Heroes offers its services in 28 states and has been used
by more than 50,000 first responders and their families.
Along with his wife Kristen, who is also a Temple Law graduate,
McKenna founded Law-Suits, a nonprofit organization that provides
mock trial team members with appropriate courtroom attire. McKenna
volunteers his time as coach of the mock trial team at
Philadelphia’s Constitution High School. He also serves on the
board of directors of Clarifi, a nonprofit that assists consumers
struggling with debt and provides financial literacy programs to
help them gain control of their finances.
McKenna has been honored with numerous awards including two
American Bar Association Star of the Year Awards, the Pennsylvania
Bar Association Michael K. Smith Pro Bono Award, and the American
Lawyers Media Unsung Heroes Award. He was named a Pennsylvania
Super Lawyer in 2013.
The Sandra Day O’Connor Award for Professional Service is
awarded each year to honor an American Inn of Court member in
practice for ten or fewer years for excellence in public interest
or pro bono activities.
The American Inns of Court, headquartered in Alexandria,
Virginia, fosters excellence in professionalism, ethics, civility,
and legal skills. The organization’s membership includes more than
30,000 federal, state, and local judges; lawyers; law professors;
and law students in more than 360 chapters nationwide and more than
97,000 alumni members.