This award was established in 2002 to recognize one or more individuals or organizations for outstanding and sustained achievements in pro bono activities in tax law. In 2007 the award was renamed in honor of the late Janet Spragens, who received the award in 2006 in recognition of her dedication to the development of low income taxpayer clinics throughout the United States. During the 2023 Midyear Tax Meeting in San Diego, Section Chair Wells Hall presented the 2023 Janet Spragens Pro Bono Award to Craig Bell and Sheri Dillon.
Craig Bell has volunteered for the Community Tax Law Project (CTLP) in Richmond, VA almost since its inception, providing thousands of hours of services to hundreds of taxpayers. He also served on the CTLP board from 2001-2004 and assists with fundraising and financial contributions. In addition to CTLP, he started a tax clinic at the William and Mary Law School where he teaches students legal skills and the importance of pro bono work and handles client work. He has received numerous awards for his commitment to public service including the ABA LAMP Committee for his work with military personnel. The Tax Section is pleased to add to the list of groups applauding his decades of contributions.
Sheri Dillon recently served as the Vice Chair for Pro Bono and Outreach for the Tax Section. Her selection for this role was a testament to her commitment to advancing equal representation in the tax system. In 2015 she brought a clinic, the Washington DC Center for Public Interest Tax Law, to her firm. Through this clinic she has personally provided pro bono support and representation to hundreds of taxpayers across the country and created meaningful opportunities for other lawyers. She regularly provides national leadership and advocacy for the needs of unrepresented taxpayers. She also launched the first Giving Day last year raising double the initial fundraising goal for the Tax Section’s TAPS Endowment Fund. Sheri continues to play a key role nationally both in ensuring individual taxpayers receive representation regardless of their ability to pay for an attorney and in advancing the needs of unrepresented and low-income taxpayers throughout the tax system and the tax law community. We all benefit from her leadership.