University of Pittsburgh
June 3, 2013

Pitt’s J. Evans Rose, Jr., Prize and Dick Thornburgh Prize Awarded

Prizes support careers in public service and public interest
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PITTSBURGH—The University of Pittsburgh Dick Thornburgh Forum for Law and Public Policy has presented the J. Evans Rose, Jr., Prize for Public Service and the Dick Thornburgh Prize for Legal Service to 2013 Pitt School of Law graduates Marco S. Attisano and Jennifer Saint-Preux, respectively.

The J. Evans Rose, Jr., Prize for Public Service—presented annually to a graduating Pitt law student who aspires to a career in public service—is a lasting tribute to the late Pitt alumnus and trustee J. Evans Rose, Jr. (LAW ’59), the former managing partner and chair of the Rose, Schmidt, Hasley, and Disalle law firm in Pittsburgh, where he worked for more than three decades. From 1990 to 2009, Rose served as a director and a member of the executive committee of Cohen and Grigsby, the Pittsburgh-based law firm that made the lead gift to support the J. Evans Rose, Jr., public service prize.

The Dick Thornburgh Prize for Legal Service is a tribute to Pitt alumnus and emeritus trustee Dick Thornburgh (LAW ’57), who served as governor of Pennsylvania from 1979 to 1986, attorney general of the United States from 1988 to 1991, and under-secretary-general in the United Nations from 1992 to 1993; he currently is counsel to the international law firm K&L Gates LLP in its Washington, D.C., office. The Thornburgh legal service prize is presented annually to a graduating Pitt law student who, while enrolled, works with a legal services organization to provide legal assistance to individuals with limited incomes and resources and who intends to continue in such service following graduation.

“Receiving the J. Evans Rose, Jr., Prize for Public Service is a great honor,” said Attisano, a Franklin, Pa.-native who served in the United States Navy for six years. After college and through the AmeriCorps VISTA program, he joined forces with The Pittsburgh Project to assist elderly fixed-income homeowners. 

During law school, Attisano advanced his interest in public service, first as a legal intern and later as a legal assistant, in the homicide unit of the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office, where, in addition to paid work, he provided more than 150 hours of voluntary service. Through Pitt School of Law’s unemployment compensation practicum, he represented claimants who were denied benefits; and, as a judicial intern in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, he provided legal assistance in a matter involving employment discrimination.

Following his graduation from Pitt’s School of Law on May 10, Attisano returned to the Allegheny County Office of the District Attorney to further his public service career. 

Saint-Preux, a native of Brooklyn, N.Y., taught math to underserved students after graduating from college and joining Teach for America. That experience fueled her passion to serve individuals from socioeconomically disadvantaged communities who, she said, are “particularly susceptible to the criminal justice system.”

While a law student, Saint-Preux worked with the National Employment Law Project to prepare federal immigration legislation and to protect workers’ wages. Through the Legal Aid Society’s Prisoners’ Rights Project, she investigated inmates’ claims of prison guard brutality at New York’s Rikers Island correctional facility; and, with the Federal Public Defenders, Western District of Pennsylvania, she assisted in the delivery of defense services to individuals who were financially unable to obtain adequate representation.

Following her graduation from Pitt’s School of Law in May, Saint-Preux accepted a position as criminal defense attorney with the Legal Aid Society New York City. 

About the Dick Thornburgh Forum for Law and Public Policy
Established in 2007, the Dick Thornburgh Forum for Law and Public Policy at the University of Pittsburgh fosters public education and civic action on important public policy issues, building on the legacy of Thornburgh. Among the forum’s goals are to promote able and principled governance at all levels, to advance the rule of law at home and abroad, and to assist the government’s response to the special needs of persons with disabilities, many of them wounded in service to their country.

About the University of Pittsburgh School of Law
Founded in 1895, the University of Pittsburgh School of Law is a center of legal scholarship and a diverse community of learning committed to preparing students to meet the challenges and embrace the opportunities of a 21st-century legal practice in Pittsburgh, throughout the nation, and around the world. Through teaching, scholarship, and public service, Pitt’s School of Law has for more than 115 years prepared students to become excellent lawyers and leaders in the legal and other professions; enlarged society’s understanding of law and its underlying institutions, processes, and policies; and provided expertise, support, and service to governmental units, local and national organizations, the legal profession, and the people and communities of Western Pennsylvania and beyond. 

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6/3/13/mab/cjhm

Jennifer Saint-Preux

Marco S. Attisano