Hon. Thomas I. Vanaskie (Ret.) Honored with The Legal Intelligencer’s Lifetime Achievement Award

PHILADELPHIA, PA, March 14, 2024 – Hon. Thomas I. Vanaskie (Ret.), Co-Chair of Stevens & Lee’s Appellate Practice Group and Chair of the Mediation, Neutral Services and Alternative Dispute Resolution Practice Group, has been honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award by The Legal Intelligencer.

Among its annual Pennsylvania Legal Awards, The Legal Intelligencer’s Lifetime Achievement Award spotlights careers that have left an imprint on the legal history of the state. Judge Vanaskie, as former Judge with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, is distinguished for leading transformative changes in case law and in the delivery of legal services across legal landscapes in Pennsylvania and beyond. His judicial opinions have been adopted by the U.S. Supreme Court, his advocacy of technology enhancements in regional courts bolstered court processes nationally and during COVID-19, and his leadership helped create and define Pennsylvania’s reentry programs for formerly incarcerated people.

Judge Vanaskie was appointed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in 2010 where he served with distinction for eight years, participating in and deciding many complex, high profile cases. Before 2010, he served as a district judge for the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania for 16 years, including seven years as Chief Judge.

In May of 2021, Judge Vanaskie was appointed by the President of the Pennsylvania Bar Association to serve as chair of a statewide task force to study the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the delivery of legal services and to make recommendations to mitigate the disruption of services resulting from future catastrophes.

Judge Vanaskie has also focused on ensuring that Pennsylvania’s judicial system works to offer redemption to formerly incarcerated people. His leadership has driven the success of two reentry programs: the federal Court Assisted Re-Entry program (CARE) and Pennsylvania’s State Transition Reentry Incentive Validating Endeavors program (STRIVE), which was launched in 2022 and helps participants with financial, educational, mentorship and career-growth resources.