Gregory L. Peterson of Lakewood has been honored with the 2011 Distinguished Service Award, given by the Law, Youth & Citizenship Committee of the New York State Bar Association.

Peterson, a partner of Philips Lytle and office leader of the Chautauqua office, is the founder and president of the Robert H. Jackson Center. Peterson founded the Center in 2001 to introduce former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson to children and young adults.

"Greg Peterson works tirelessly to bring Justice Jackson's story to life. Under his leadership, the Jackson Center produces a diverse, high-quality series of educational programs that appeal to audiences of all ages," said Richard Bader of Albany (New Visions Law & Government Program), chair of the Law, Youth & Citizenship Committee. "He is a most deserving recipient of this award."

Each year, Peterson visits local schools to speak about Justice Jackson and his relevance today. He recently started the Teacher Initiative Program to educate teachers about Justice Jackson across the country. As part of the program, Peterson created the Robert H. Jackson Award for Teaching Justice to recognize outstanding educators who teach about the concept of justice in classrooms.

The Jackson Center's annual programs include Law Day; "Follow the North Star," which teaches third- and fourth-grade students about the Underground Railroad; and the Young Reader Program, which features live lectures from authors on Holocaust or civil rights issues that are videostreamed to classrooms across New York. The Center also sponsors a statewide essay contest based on reading books that highlight humanitarianism, civil rights, racism and personal bravery.

Since 1990, the Law, Youth and Citizenship Committee has presented its distinguished service awards to recognize teachers, attorneys and judges who have made an outstanding contribution to law-related education and fostered understanding of the values of our legal and judicial systems.

The 77,000-member New York State Bar Association is the largest voluntary state bar association in the nation. It was founded in 1876.


Contact: Brandon Vogel
Media Writer