Marsha Levick

Kenneth Gamble
Charles L. Blockson

Marsha Levick co-founded the Juvenile Law Center in Philadelphia in 1975. Mrs. Levick's career-long commitment to advancing and safeguarding the rights of Philadelphia's youth has changed the face of juvenile justice not just in Philadelphia, but across the nation. Throughout her legal career, Ms. Levick has been an advocate for children's and women's rights, and is recognized as one of the leading national experts in juvenile law.

I n addition to overseeing Juvenile Law Center's litigation and appellate work, she spearheaded the litigation arising out of the Luzerne County "kids fo cash" scandal winning the expungement and vacatur of thousands of these children's cases before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

She has authored numerous briefs in state and federal appeals courts throughout the county, including many before the United States Supreme Court, including Roper v. Simmons, eliminating the death penalty for youth; Graham v. Florida, eliminating life without parole sentences for juveniles convicted of non-homicide offenses; J.D.B. v. North Carolina, ensuring appropriate Miranda protections for youth in custody; and Miller v. Alabama, eliminating mandatory sentences of life without parole for youth convicted of homicide.

W hile the impact of Marsha Levick's recent work before the Supreme Court will ripple across the nation, the impact will be felt most profoundly in Pennsylvania and Philadelphia as the region incarcerates the highest number of youth sentenced to life without parole in the nation.

Marsha Levick's commitment, leadership and passion for protecting the rights and welfare of the children of Philadelphia - and the nation - exemplifies the vision and purpose of the Philadelphia Award.

Most recently, Ms. Levick also served as co-counsel in Montgomery v. Louisiana, where the Supreme Court ruled Miller to be retroactive.