April 04, 2012

Jenner & Block Partner Paul M. Smith has been selected as the recipient of the D.C. Bar’s 2012 Thurgood Marshall Award. 

The award, which is the D.C. Bar’s highest honor, was established in 1992 to recognize extraordinary efforts and legal advocacy in the areas of civil rights, individual liberties and the public interest.  It is presented biennially to a D.C. Bar member who has demonstrated exceptional commitment and achievement in the pursuit of equal justice and equal opportunity for all Americans.

Most often, the recipients have been public interest practitioners or public servants.  Mr. Smith is only the sixth private practitioner to receive the honor.  The award will be presented at the D.C. Bar’s 2012 Celebration of Leadership gala dinner on Tuesday, June 19, 2012.

Mr. Smith is Chair of Jenner & Block’s Appellate and Supreme Court Practice; Co-Chair of the Media and First Amendment, and Election Law and Redistricting Practices; and a member of the Firm's Content, Media and Entertainment Practice.  He has had an active Supreme Court practice for nearly three decades, including oral arguments in 14 Supreme Court cases involving matters ranging from free speech and civil rights to civil procedure.  Among his important victories has been Lawrence v. Texas, the landmark gay rights case, and the recent Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Association, establishing the First Amendment  rights of those who produce and sell video games.

Chambers USAhas repeatedly named Mr. Smith one of the country’s leading lawyers in the areas of Appellate Litigation, Media & Entertainment Law, and First Amendment Litigation.  In 2010, The National Law Journal named him one of the "Decade's Most Influential Lawyers” and the same year, he also received the Thurgood Marshall Award, awarded by the ABA Section of Individual Rights and Responsibilities for his work promoting civil rights and civil liberties. 

Please click here for additional information about the award.