A renowned international law firm partnered with the University of Alabama School of Law to establish the Morris Dees Justice Award.
Dees, who founded the Southern Poverty Law Center with Joe Levin in 1971, graduated from the law school in 1960.
"We consider Morris Dees to be one of our most distinguished law graduates," said Dean Kenneth C. Randall. "His career has been a driving force in our state's and nation's pursuit of justice and equality for all people."
The law firm, Skadden Arps Meagher & Flom, is known for its premier corporate practice in New York and around the globe as well as its support of public interest law and service.
The Morris Dees Justice Award will recognize a lawyer dedicated to justice and public service, and whose work has brought positive change in the community, state or nation.
"Mr. Dees' career has inspired generations of lawyers to courageously seek justice," Randall said. "By creating an award in his name for lawyers emulating his commitment, Skadden and the Alabama Law School recognize and honor the role model he has been."
The deadline for nominations is September 15. The award will be presented every five years. A distinguished committee will select the winner. The first award will be presented in New York City on November 16.