Nominations are now being accepted for the 2008 Morris Dees Justice Award, an honor jointly sponsored by a renowned international law firm and the University of Alabama School of Law.
The award will be presented to a lawyer who has devoted himself or herself to justice and the public service of others and whose work has brought about positive change in the community, state or nation. Nominations must be submitted by July 30.
Dees, who founded the Southern Poverty Law Center with Joe Levin in 1971, graduated from the University of Alabama 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 one of the leading law firms in the world, with 22 offices and about 2,000 lawyers. Skadden is known for its support of public interest law and service, primarily through the Skadden Fellowship Program.
The award ceremony will take place on November 20 at an event at Skadden's New York office. Morris Dees will deliver the award, and legendary Alabama blues musician Willie King will entertain.
The nomination form is available online at www.MorrisDeesAward.com. A distinguished committee of 12 will select the winner.
Last year's award went to Arthur N. Read, an activist lawyer who for 30 years has provided courageous and effective representation to farmworkers and immigrants. In 2006, Judge William Wayne Justice of Texas won the first award for his lifelong efforts to protect civil rights and safeguard constitutional rights.