Wills for Heroes’ Daniel JT McKenna Honored with the Sandra Day O’Connor Award for Professional Service
Daniel JT McKenna, Esquire, 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 lawyer, 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 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.
A graduate of the Catholic University of America, McKenna earned hisjuris doctordegree from the James E. Beasley School of Law at Temple University. Upon graduating, he clerked for the Honorable Joseph E. Irenas at the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey. He 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.