Temple University Law Student Katherine Orr Awarded 2018 Patti Rose Scheimer Bednarik Memorial Scholarship
Katherine Orr, a law student at Temple University Beasley School of Law, was selected to receive the 2018 Patti Rose Scheimer Bednarik Memorial Scholarship; a $5,400 annual award presented to a law school student or young lawyer pursuing an interest in animal welfare as part of his/her daily activities, legal training or law practice.
Named after Patti Rose Scheimer Bednarik, a talented lawyer and passionate animal advocate, the scholarship was created by Bednarik’s husband Joseph with help from the Pennsylvania Bar Foundation. Bednarik was the founder and first chair of the Pennsylvania Bar Association Animal Law Committee, and the course planner for the Pennsylvania Bar Institute’s first Animal Law Conference in 2004. She taught the first Animal Law course offered by Penn State Dickinson Law and served as a member of the Dog Law Advisory Board that worked to pass stricter laws for Pennsylvania’s notorious puppy mills. On weekends, Bednarik and her husband regularly transported homeless dogs to no-kill shelters and foster and forever homes, and when Hurricane Katrina struck, they traveled to Louisiana to help rescue dogs abandoned by the storm in New Orleans.
Orr has been involved in animal welfare for the past decade and it was a driving force in her decision to pursue law school. She plans on continuing this passion in her legal career by protecting the welfare of animals through advocating for new laws and policies, as well as participating in pro bono work to enforce those laws.
At Beasley School of Law, Orr serves as the president of the Student Animal Legal Defense Fund, which was established last year. In this role, she intends to create and distribute education materials regarding pets and housing rights to law students participating in the Housing Mediation program, work with the Philadelphia Bar Association and local animal welfare groups to lobby against the last carriage horse company in Philadelphia and strive to get more plant-based dining options on campus. She is also a member of the PBA Animal Law Committee.
Outside of the legal community, Orr has driven more than 1,000 dogs from high-kill shelters in the south to foster-based rescues in Pa. and N.J. through her rescue transport work. She regularly participates in short-term fostering for a destination rescue in Pa. and is an active volunteer at Street Tails Animal Rescue in Philadelphia where she regularly walks and cares for the shelter’s dogs and is a member of its Events Committee. In addition, Orr has planned and coordinated successful fundraisers for Justice Rescue and Street Tails Animal Rescue.
The Patti Rose Scheimer Bednarik Memorial Scholarship is administered by the Pennsylvania Bar Foundation, the charitable affiliate of the Pennsylvania Bar Association, as part of its Advised Fund enabling donor advisement on charitable distributions. For more information, visit www.pabarfoundation.org.
Courtney Lewis, a third year student at Penn State Dickinson Law in Carlisle, is the recipient of the second Louise Hoffmeyer-Overmiller Scholarship, a $6,000 annual award created by Dickinson School of Law alumnus William F. Hoffmeyer, Hoffmeyer & Semmelman LLC in York and Shrewsbury. The scholarship was founded in honor and in memory of Mr. Hoffmeyer’s daughter “Louie,” whose vigor, good humor and inner drive were on display daily as the law firm’s office manager and vice-president and title officer for the York Abstracting Company.
The Louise Hoffmeyer-Overmiller Scholarship is presented to a 3L Dickinson Law student who possesses a grade point average of no less than 3.3, financial need and a “fire in the belly” for the law.
The first in her family to graduate from college and attend law school, Ms. Lewis is committed to public interest work and challenging injustices that permeate the criminal legal system. Last summer, she interned at the Pennsylvania Innocence Project, a non-profit corporation based in Philadelphia helping to exonerate those convicted of crimes they did not commit, and this summer she worked on appeals for people convicted of murder and sentenced to death at the Office of Capital and Forensic Writs in Austin, Texas.
At Dickinson Law, she is associate editor of Dickinson Law Review, the Dickinson School of Law liaison for the Carlisle Borough Council and the class of 2019 representative for the Diversity and Educational Equity Committee. In addition, Ms. Lewis served as the 2017-18 treasurer of the Black Law Student Association, 2017-18 vice president of fundraising for the Public Interest Law Fund, a tax preparer for the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program and a trained legal observer with the National Lawyers Guild of Central Pa. In 2017, she was awarded the Unsung Hero Award by the Black Law Student Association.
Ms. Lewis graduated with honors from Mills College in Oakland, Calif. in 2012, receiving a B.A. in International Relations.
The Louise Hoffmeyer-Overmiller Scholarship is administered by the Pennsylvania Bar Foundation, the charitable affiliate of the Pennsylvania Bar Association. The Foundation’s Named Scholarship Program works with individual attorneys and legal organizations to realize unique charitable interests that are consistent with the Foundation’s mission to improve the public’s understanding of the law and to strengthen the network of attorneys working to ensure that Pennsylvania’s most vulnerable citizens have access to the legal system, regardless of their ability to pay. For more information, visit www.pabarfoundation.org.