Jonathan A. Peterson '12 and Julie M. Silverbrook '12 received the Thurgood Marshall Award for distinguished pro bono work during the Law School's graduation ceremony on May 13. The award is given to a member or members of the graduating class who exhibit the ideals of distinguished public service exemplified by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall (1908-1993).
Dean Davison M. Douglas lauded Peterson for his leadership of the Black Law Students Association, one of the Law School's student groups that is "most committed to public service." During Peterson's tenure as president, the dean noted, the group sponsored a project to provide information to people who seek to have their voting rights restored. "Time and time again," Douglas said, "BLSA has led the way in fundraising or other service projects." Peterson received his undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and will join the Raleigh, NC, office of Cranfill, Sumner & Hartzog.
Silverbrook, according to the dean, possesses a "profound commitment to civic education" and was the driving force behind "Constitutional Conversations," a workshop series led by law students that was designed to engage people of all ages in a dialogue about their duties and rights as citizens. The series is supported by the Institute of Bill of Rights Law, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, and the Williamsburg Regional Library. Silverbrook received her undergraduate degree from George Washington University and completed her third-year legal studies while taking on new duties as the Executive Director of the Constitutional Sources Project (ConSource) in Washington, D.C.