The Honorable Lowell A. Reed Distinguished Professionalism Award


Given in the name of one of the founders of the Temple American Inn of Court, this Award is bestowed on a past or present member of the Temple American Inn of Court (or, in the discretion of the Executive Committee, a past or present member of the Inns of Court in the Region) who has provided distinguished, exceptional, and significant contributions to the Inns of Court movement,  who reflects the values of civility and ethics which Judge Lowell A. Reed, Jr. epitomized, and who has a demonstrated record of pro bono service.

The Honorable Lowell A. Reed, Jr. (June 21, 1930 – April 11, 2020)

Judge Reed was the epitome of the four essential qualities of a good judge described by Socrates as “to hear courteously, to answer wisely; to consider soberly; and to decide impartially”.  He had decorum in the Courtroom not because he was a stern disciplinarian but because his demeanor commanded respect.  By any accounting, if we measure him as a Judge, he was exceptional.

Prior to taking the bench, Judge Reed was a partner at the firm of Rawle & Henderson, specializing in Workers’ Compensation.  He was nominated by President Ronald Reagan to a seat on the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania on December 18, 1987.

Judge Reed was a founding member of the Temple American Inn of Court and its first President.  He was a passionate supporter of the Inn movement and a shining example of the principles for which it stands—ethics, civility, professionalism, excellence, and mentorship.  As our first President, he laid the foundation for generations of Inn members.  His standards and expectations were high and, in his quiet inimitable way, through personal example and an unswerving commitment to the values for which the Inn movement stands he, more than any other person, was responsible for engendering the ethos of the Inn that has made it one of the most distinguished and recognized in the country, having received numerous program awards and consistent Model of Excellence and Platinum status.

Judge Reed taught us the importance of showing up, not occasionally, not frequently, but all the time.  He urged us not to rely on guest speakers and dull classroom style lectures, but to embrace creative and interactive programming.  He showed us the importance of taking others under our wings and mentoring them.  With his devotion to the cause and unbending enthusiasm, he inspired all of us.

In 2006, in a ceremony in the United States Supreme Court, with Justice Kennedy presiding, Judge Reed was presented with the A. Sherman Christensen Award, an honor bestowed upon an Inn member who, at the national or local level, has provided distinguished, exceptional, and significant leadership to the American Inns of Court movement.  Named after the founder of the first Inn of Court in America, this is the most prestigious honor a member can receive.  By any accounting, if we measure Judge Reed by his contributions to our Inn and the Inns of Court movement as a whole, he was extraordinary.

He took great pride in some of the ambitious programs we undertook, like the debate against Gray’s Inn from London on whether the Declaration of Independence was “an illegal document”.  He basked in the success of others, and always had a kind word to say.  By any accounting, if we measure Judge Reed by the value of his friendship, he was remarkable.



The Reed Family

Presentation of the 2023 award to Judge Cynthia M. Rufe