W. Edward Sell

Judge Amy Reynolds Hay


In July of 1992, Karen Shichman Crawford, Esquire, embarked on a mission to establish an Inn in Pittsburgh, having experienced the value of the Inn concept during her practice in San Diego, California.  Karen enlisted the support of the bench and bar.  With the tireless efforts and support of Amy Reynolds Hay, in January 1993, the Pittsburgh Chapter was born.  The first year brought the Inn concept to sixty Pittsburgh Chapter members.  The enormous success of the Pittsburgh Chapter spawned three other Inn chapters in Pittsburgh, which are the Matrimonial American Inn of Court, the W. Edward Sell American Inn of Court (previously known as the University of Pittsburgh Inn of Court), and the Westmoreland American Inn of Court.

Upon Karen Shichman Crawford returning to California to continue her legal career and is now a Magistrate Judge in San Diego, Amy Reynolds Hay took over as the driving force to continue the Inns movement.  Without Amy, there would not have been a Pittsburgh Chapter.  Amy was an adjunct professor at the Pitt Law School teaching trial tactics.  In 2003 Amy was sworn in as a U.S. Magistrate Judge but still continued her support of the Inns.  On October 14, 2010 Judge Amy Reynolds Hay passed away.  Immediately there was a groundswell among Inn members to rename the Pittsburgh Inn.  Hence the Hon. Amy Reynolds Hay Inn of Court was born. 

The University of Pittsburgh Chapter applied for its Charter on October 30, 1995 and was granted the Charter on November 7, 1995.  The original signatories were Peter M. Shane, Dean, Sandra D. Jordan, Associate Dean, Dawne S. Hickton, Assistant Professor of Law and Professor W. Edward Sell.  In March, 2005, the chapter was renamed and dedicated to the memory of the late Pitt Law School Dean Emeritus, W. Edward Sell.  He enlightened all with his consistent fostering of the ideals of the American Inns of Court.  A dedication ceremony for the newly renamed Inn occurred on March 10, 2005.

The Pittsburgh Chapter is extremely proud that two of its members have been selected by the American Inns of Court Foundation to receive the A. Sherman Christensen Award.  The prestigious award is bestowed upon a member of the American Inns of Court who has provided distinguished, exceptional and significant leadership to the Inns movement.  Our past Counsel, the Honorable William L. Standish, received the Christensen Award on October 14, 2000 and the Christensen Award was presented to Karen Shichman Crawford on October 24, 1998. 

The Pennsylvania Bar Association Business Law Section created the W. Edward Sell Award to recognize an individual for his/her extraordinary contribution to the practice of business law in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.  The W. Edward Sell Chapter was also recognized for the Achieving Excellence Program since the 2010-2011 program season and continued to hold that recognitions through the 2017-2018 program season.