Penina's practice concentrates on nonprofit and tax-exempt law. She represents a variety of nonprofit and tax-exempt organizations, associations and foundations in matters arising throughout their life cycle. She has extensive experience in corporate restructuring, governance and compliance, charitable trust litigation, licensing and accreditation, public private partnerships and transactional joint ventures. She represents her clients before federal, state and local regulatory bodies, including the Internal Revenue Service and the Office of Attorney General, county solicitors and tax appeal boards. Penina is listed in Best Lawyers, Pennsylvania Super Lawyers and Best Nonprofit Lawyer in Pittsburgh. She enjoys an AV rating in Martindale-Hubbell.
She is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, was a summa cum laude graduate of the University of Pittsburgh and a Woodrow Wilson fellow at Harvard University. She received her J.D. from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, where she was a member of the Law Review. Penina was a judicial law clerk on the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and has served as special counsel to the Office of Attorney General of Pennsylvania in the Hershey Trust litigation. She was a member of the Board of Governors of the American Bar Association, where she represented Pennsylvania and New Jersey, and was a member of the ABA Governance Committee. She has served as board liaison to the following ABA entities: Forum on Affordable Housing and Community Development Law; Standing Committee on Law and National Security; and Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility. She has chaired the ABA Commission on Interest on Lawyers Trust Accounts (IOLTA).
Penina's offices include: chair of the Pennsylvania IOLTA Board; member of the Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania; president of the Pennsylvania Bar Institute (court-approved CLE provider); secretary of the Pennsylvania Bar Association; and Pennsylvania Woman Governor at Large. She is an elected member of the American Law Institute (ALI) and a qualified mediator and early neutral evaluator in the Federal Court Alternative Dispute Resolution Program.
She is an adjunct professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law and at Duquesne University School of Law, where she teaches the courses in nonprofit and tax-exempt law. She has published three books on nonprofit legal issues: The Tax Treatment of NGO's - Legal, Ethical and Fiscal Frameworks for Promoting NGO's and their Activities, (Kluwer Law International, 2004); The Complete Guide to Nonprofit Organizations, (Civic Research Institute, 2005); and The Complete Guide to Nonprofit Organizations, (2007 Annual Supplement). Penina has been a featured speaker at international conferences on the charitable sector in Johannesburg, South Africa and Barbados, West Indies, as well as at many state and national conferences.
She is the 2015 recipient of the Anne X. Alpern Award, presented by the PBA Commission on Women in the Profession to a female attorney who has had a significant professional impact in Pennsylvania.
- University of Pittsburgh (M.A.)
- University of Pittsburgh School of Law (J.D.)
- Harvard University
- Woodrow Wilson fellow
- University of Pittsburgh (B.A.)
- University of Grenoble
- Grenoble, France
- University of Amsterdam
- The Netherlands
- District of Columbia
- U.S. Supreme Court
- Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
- U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania
- American Bar Association’s
- Task Force on Gatekeeper Regulation and the Profession
- Commission on IOLTA, chair
- Board Program and Evaluation Committee
- Forum on Affordable Housing and Community Development, liaison
- Standing Committee on Professionalism, liaison
- Standing Committee on Law and National Security, liaison
- Standing Committee on Lawyer Regulation
- Board of Governors, representing Pennsylvania and New Jersey
- Board of Elections
- Pennsylvania Bar Institute, president
- American Law Institute (ALI), member
- Restatement on Corporate Governance
- Restatement on Charitable Organizations
- Anne X. Alpern Award (2015)
- President’s Award for outstanding commitment to the Pennsylvania Bar (2014)
- Peer Review Rated AV in Martindale-Hubbell
- Best Lawyers©
- Non-Profit/Charities Law
- "Lawyer of the Year" in Pittsburgh for Non-Profit/Charities Law (2016)
- Pennsylvania Super Lawyers®