The Honorable Nelson A. Diaz Recipient of Lifetime Achievement Award

May 8, 2013

The Urban Affairs Coalition (UAC) would like to congratulate the Honorable Nelson A. Diaz as the recipient of The Legal Intelligencer’s Lifetime Achievement Award. He will be honored along with other attorneys in celebration of The Legal Intelligencer’s 170th anniversary.

The Legal Intelligencer has identified some of the most important members in the legal profession and awarded them for their excellence. These selected individuals have helped shape the law in Pennsylvania and have helped those in need. 

Judge Diaz is no stranger to lending a helping hand; he has constantly extended his pro-bono legal services to us at UAC and has been a significant component to our success. He is a longtime advocate of equal opportunities for minorities especially within the Hispanic community here in Philadelphia.

Judge Diaz was recruited to become the first Puerto Rican student at the Beasley School of Law at Temple University. He later went on to be the first Puerto Rican to graduate from a law school in Pennsylvania and the first to pass the state bar exam! Judge Diaz served on the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas for twelve years─ becoming the first Latino judge in Pennsylvania history ─ before being appointed by former President Clinton to be the general counsel for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. There, he focused on reforming and improving public and mixed-use housing programs.  In 2001, Diaz was appointed by former Mayor John Street as Philadelphia’s city solicitor where he provided legal advice for all official matters and assisted in preparing the city’s ordinances.  

Judge Diaz is currently a partner at Dilworth Paxson LLP, a Philadelphia-based regional law firm. Diaz along with the other recipients will be published this month in a special anniversary magazine, The Legal, and will be honored at a celebratory dinner on June 27, 2013.