The University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School’s Penn Law Alumni Society has announced the recipients of its annual Penn Law Society Alumni Awards.
Honorees include an accomplished legal practitioner with a history of significant community involvement; a dedicated professor and expert in corporate law and corporate governance; a federal judge; two alumni dedicated to civil rights law; and two young alumni already making significant contributions to the legal world.
This year’s honorees are:
- Andrew Schwartzman C’68, L’71, Senior Counselor, Benton Institute for Broadband & Society: James Wilson Award, honoring a lifetime of service to the profession.
- Professor Edward B. Rock L’83, Martin Lipton Professor of Law, NYU School of Law; Co-Director, Institute for Corporate Governance & Finance, NYU: Distinguished Service Award, awarded for service to the Law School.
- The Honorable Gene E.K. Pratter L’75, District Judge for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania: Alumni Award of Merit, awarded for professional achievement and service to the Law School.
- Tsiwen Law L’84, Law & Associates, LLC: Howard Lesnick Pro Bono Award, awarded to an alumnus/a who has embodied the spirit of the Public Service Program through a sustained commitment to pro bono and/or public service throughout a private sector career.
- Damon Todd Hewitt L’00, President and Executive Director, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law: Louis H. Pollak Award, honoring an alumnus/a with a career of advancing justice through service to the public interest.
- Jena Griswold L’11, Secretary of State of Colorado, and Tiffany F. Southerland SPP’08, L’11, Director of Diversity & Inclusion, Troutman Pepper Hamilton Sanders LLP: Young Alumni Award, awarded for professional achievement to an alumnus/a who graduated within the past 10 years.
James Wilson Award
Andrew Jay Schwartzman C’68, L’71, Senior Counselor to the Benton Institute for Broadband & Society, is recognized by many as the “dean” of public interest communications attorneys. From 2014 through 2019, he was on the faculty of the Communications and Technology Clinic at the Georgetown University Law Center. From 1978 through 2012, he was President and CEO of the Media Access Project (MAP), a pioneering, nonprofit, public interest telecommunications law firm that represented the public and promoted First Amendment rights. From 1971-1974, he was Staff Counsel to the Office of Communication of the United Church of Christ, becoming one of the first public interest lawyers specializing in media and communications while helping to obtain and then enforce rules prohibiting broadcasters from discrimination by race and gender discrimination in employment and programming.
Distinguished Service Award (Goat Award)
Edward B. Rock L’83 began his legal career at Fine, Kaplan and Black in Philadelphia until joining the Law School faculty in January 1989. From 2001 to 2016, he served as the Saul A. Fox Distinguished Professor of Business Law and also taught as Professor of Business and Public Policy at the Wharton School. An expert in corporate law and corporate governance, Rock previously served as Associate Dean (2006-08) and as Co-Director of the Institute for Law and Economics from 1998-2010. In September 2012, he was appointed Senior Advisor to the President and Provost and Director of Open Course Initiatives, serving as the point person for the University’s partnership with Coursera. Rock is currently the Martin Lipton Professor of Law at NYU Law, where he also serves as Co-Director of the Institute for Corporate Governance & Finance.
Alumni Award of Merit
The Honorable Gene E.K. Pratter L’75 became a federal district court judge for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania on June 18, 2004. Before serving on the court, Judge Pratter was a partner in and General Counsel of Duane Morris LLP, having started her career there in 1975. In practice, she frequently represented clients in commercial litigation, ethics matters, and professional liability and licensing disputes. Judge Pratter continues lifelong service in numerous professional, community, and education organizations, including the University of Pennsylvania Inn of Court, the American Law Institute, and the American Bar Foundation, as well as Christ Church Preservation Trust, The Baldwin School, and others. She is an Adjunct Faculty member at the Law School, where she has taught Trial Advocacy for several years and where she previously served on the Board of Overseers.
Howard Lesnick Pro Bono Award
Tsiwen Law L’84, a civil trial lawyer at the law firm, Law & Associates, LLC, has been zealously fighting on behalf of marginalized communities for racial and economic equity for his whole career – before, during, and after law school. He participated in the founding of the Asian American Bar Association of the Delaware Valley (AABA-DV), the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA), and the OCA-Asian American Advocates-Greater Philadelphia Chapter, and he served as the first chairman of the Philadelphia Commission on Asian American Affairs, reporting directly to Mayor Wilson Goode. He has received numerous awards for his commitment to service including the NAPABA Trailblazer Award (2001); the Pennsylvania Bar Minority Bar Committee Award (2009); the NAPABA Presidential Award (2009); the Pennsylvania Bar Association A. Leon Higginbotham Lifetime Achievement Award (2013); the APABA-PA Lawyer of the Year Award (2014); and the NAPABA President’s Award for Service to Civil Rights (2015). He has been an adjunct instructor of Asian American Studies at Penn, the University of California, Michigan, Temple, and Villanova.
Louis H. Pollak Award
Damon Todd Hewitt L’00 is a long-time civil rights lawyer, social justice strategist, philanthropist, manager, and coalition-builder who currently serves as the President and Executive Director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. He has also served as inaugural Executive Director of the Executives’ Alliance for Boys and Men of Color; Senior Advisor at the Open Society Foundations (where he coordinated funding efforts responding to the uprising in Ferguson, Missouri), and Executive Director of the New York State Task Force on Police-on-Police Shootings, an entity analyzing police practices following the deaths of off-duty African American and Latino police officers who were shot by fellow officers after being mistaken for “criminal” suspects. Before entering philanthropy, Hewitt was an attorney at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. He is co‐author The School‐to‐Prison Pipeline: Structuring Legal Reform and has published numerous articles on racial justice, school discipline policy, and progressive education reform.
Young Alumni Award
Jena Griswold L’11 is Colorado’s 39th Secretary of State – the youngest elected Secretary of State in the U.S., the first Democratic Secretary of State in Colorado since 1958, and only the 10th woman in Colorado’s history to hold statewide constitutional office. She grew up in a working-class family in rural Colorado and was the first person in her family to attend a four-year college and then law school. As someone who understands how important it is for everyday Americans to have their voices heard in our democracy, she is a fierce protector of the right to vote. As Secretary, Griswold spearheaded and passed into law one of the largest democracy reform packages in the nation and has been a leading voice in expanding mail ballots to every eligible American. Before assuming office, Griswold practiced international anti-corruption law, business law, and election law and ran a small business. She also served as the Director of the Colorado Governor’s Washington, D.C., office.
Tiffany F. Southerland SPP’08, L’11, Director of Diversity & Inclusion at Troutman Pepper Hamilton Sanders LLP, is a Lecturer in Law at the Law School and serves on the Advisory Board for the Law School’s Future of the Profession Initiative (FPI). At the Law School, she has volunteered her time with Admissions, the Office of Career Strategy, the Center on Professionalism, FPI, and the Toll Public Interest Center, and most recently served as an alumni lead interviewer for the inaugural Dr. Sadie T.M. Alexander Scholarships. A former litigation associate, Southerland has also served as Associate Director of Admissions, Diversity & Inclusion at Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law and as Co-Chair of the Philadelphia Area Diversity Job Fair and Chair of the Legal Recruitment Administrators of Philadelphia. She hosts a podcast, speaks, and coaches on topics related to diversity and inclusion, professional development, career transitions, and integrating personal values and career goals.
These alumni’s accomplishments will be celebrated in-person when it is safe to do so.