Justice Alito will Address BYU Law Society

On June 7, 2010, the J. Reuben Clark Law Society will present the 10th annual Rex Lee Advocacy award to William T. Coleman, Jr., a pioneer in civil rights advocacy who was a key player on the Brown v. Board of Education legal team. Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr., of the United States Supreme Court will join Dean James R. Rasband of the BYU Law School in presenting the award to Mr. Coleman.

Mr. Coleman clerked for Justice Felix Frankfurter and was the first African American to clerk on the Supreme Court. He went on to argue nineteen cases before the Supreme Court and later served in President Ford’s cabinet as the Secretary of Transportation. He is considered a heroic civil rights advocate and a distinguished lawyer in the private and public sector.

Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) will also participate in the lunch and award the Shawn Bentley Public Service Scholarships to Emily Hardman, a law student at BYU, and Anne Sidwell, a law student at George Washington University. The scholarships will allow each of them to explore public service legal careers this summer in Washington, DC.

“We started the Rex Lee Advocacy Award not only to honor President Lee’s memory, but to promote ethical and excellent advocacy, which he so clearly exemplified throughout his career,” said Ginny Isaacson, Chair of the DC Chapter of the Law Society, which hosts the award lunch each year in Washington DC. “President Lee was also such a wonderful example of public service that it was a natural to add a scholarship component to the lunch that encouraged promising law students to explore a career in public service. We named that award after Shawn Bentley who worked on the Senate Judiciary committee for many years and was a real role model of how talented young lawyers can make a difference by working in the public sector,” Isaacson said.