The School of Law recognizes public service contributions with several awards and recognition ceremonies.
The David Grant Clinic Student Award honors a third-year law student who has shown an interest in civil rights and work with indigent clients. David Grant, African American lawyer and civil rights leader, was born in St. Louis and graduated from Howard University Law School in 1930. He returned to St. Louis after law school and became active in politics. In 1931, Grant organized the first black picket for economic justice in front of a store that refused to hire a black clerk. He also helped elect Mayor Bernard Dickmann, who began construction of St. Louis' first black hospital.
During the early 1940s, Grant served on the Legal Redress Committee of the NAACP with Thurgood Marshall, and was president of the St. Louis chapter. He brought a suit against Washington University in 1945 to open the school to African Americans, taking the case to the U.S. Supreme Court. In 1960, he served on the National Democrat Platform Committee with Eleanor Roosevelt.
The Darrow Award
More than a decade ago, the Public Interest Law Group, along with Professor Herb Eastman, decided to create an award recognizing individuals who helped better society through their work in the field of public interest law. PILG decided to name the award after one of Professor Eastman's role models, turn of the century civil rights lawyer Clarence Darrow.
In his last major trial he won the freedom of an African-American family that had defended itself from an angry white mob trying to prevent blacks from moving into the "white" sections of Detroit in the 1920s. Darrow once
argued that there was only one principle that could ultimately solve the problems of our society: "that all people are equal, that all human beings on the earth, white and black and yellow, men and women, are entitled to the same rights, to perfect social equality, and perfect opportunity, the one with the other." The Darrow Award is meant to recognize attorneys who have devoted their time, energy and professional reputation to advancing this principle.
The Volunteer of the Year Awards include:
Legal Service Award is given to a student who has exemplified a commitment to service in a legal setting independent of the Clinic.
Community Service Award is given to a student who has provided outstanding service in a non-legal setting (church, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, etc...).
For more information about how you can be involved in public service,
contact John Ammann.