The PCBA has honored Bridget Penick with the Award of Merit in recognition of her commitment to the legal profession through her work with the Polk County Bar Association, the PCBA Volunteer Lawyers Project, the ISBA YLD and, the ISBA. She was surprised with the award at the June 27 PCBA Law Clerk Luncheon.
Bridget was admitted to the practice of law in Illinois in 1998 and in Iowa in 2002, following graduation from the University of Iowa College of Law in 1998, with high distinction. Bridget’s involvement with bar association activities began with the ISBA YLD which concluded as the ISBA YLD president in 2007-2008.
Following time spent as a member and officer of the ISBA YLD, a board member of the PCBA encouraged her to become involved in the PCBA. And become involved, she did!
Bridget joined the PCBA YLD and the PCBA Bench and Bar Committees in 2008 and was elected to her first term on the PCBA Board of Directors in 2008.
In 2015, Bridget was elected to the officer position as Vice-President of the PCBA Board of Directors, serving as President of the PCBA in 2016-2017. Her service continued in the dual role of representing the PCBA on the ISBA Board of Governors as well continuing as a member of the PCBA Board of Directors until 2023. Her time on the Board of Governors was limited by the ISBA By-laws – otherwise, there is no doubt she would have continued her service to the ISBA and PCBA as a board member. There are no term limits on committee membership, and she continues that service.
In addition to the time spent as a committee member and board member of the PCBA, Bridget has also been a faithful volunteer through the PCBA Volunteer Lawyers Project. She has personally accepted cases assisting over 50 individuals and donating more than 300 hours of her time. Additionally, she has encouraged attorneys at Fredrikson and Byron law firm to accept cases from the VLP which has resulted in serving an additional 25 individuals. These attorneys have contributed more than 650 hours of time. Cases that she has accepted have not always been subject matters that were part of her normal practice, but she accepted the challenge … “these are the cases the VLP needs attorneys to take…I can learn.” Through her support, additional grant funding for the PCBA VLP has been made available through the Fredrikson and Byron foundation. This year the PCBA VLP received a grant of $10,000.
These are the dates and specifics of her service. What Bridget truly demonstrates is that she leads by example. She shows up. Wherever she is needed. However she is needed. She is present and active in bar association activities - on the golf course, at Trivia Night Challenges, at committee meetings, at luncheons, and at board meetings - offering her time, her enthusiasm, her support, her expertise. She shows up.
Bridget defines what it means to be a colleague. A member of the legal profession. She is a role model for all of us. She has made the PCBA and the PCBA VLP more successful professional organizations. She has shown us how to be an inclusive and diverse organization. She has made the PCBA and the PCBA VLP better organizations. For all these reasons, the PCBA was proud to honor the service of Bridget Penick by presenting her with the 2023 Award of Merit.
The PCBA Nominating Committee is made up of the six immediate past PCBA presisdents. It has the option of presenting the Award of Merit to a deserving PCBA member each year.