The Legal Intelligencer has recognized alumna Kiandra Bair, ’13, as a 2017 Distinguished Leader in a new listing the publication has created to honor attorneys and judges who have achieved impressive results in the past year.
Bair is an associate at McNees Wallace & Nurick in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, where she practices in the Commercial Litigation and Orphans’ Court Litigation groups.
In 2016, Bair scored a massive victory on behalf of a client she represented on a pro bono basis, when President Obama commuted the sentence of a man who had received 20-years-to-life after being arrested while buying drugs from a dealer. Bair wrote a 76-page petition that argued persuasively that her client had been subject to a mandatory minimum sentence in addition to sentencing enhancement that is no longer legally applicable.
Bair’s was among some 12,000 to 15,000 petitions submitted to the U.S. Department of Justice when Obama was in office. She took the case as a volunteer with the Clemency Project 2014, which aids low-level offenders who are not affiliated with gangs and have served at least 10 years in jail.
While The Legal publishes an annual list of Lawyers on the Fast Track, which exclusively recognizes attorneys under the age of 40, the Distinguished Leader list features many experienced attorneys and jurists, including:
- Mark Alexander, dean of the Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law
- JoAnne Epps, provost of Temple University
- Michael J. Heller, president and CEO of Cozen O’Connor
- Alan J. Hoffman, chairman and managing partner of Blank Rome
- Zane Memeger, partner at Morgan Lewis and former U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
- Thomas Saylor, chief justice of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court
- Mark L. Silow, chair of Fox Rothschild
Bair and the other honorees will be celebrated at an awards dinner in June.