Margaret Fisher receives 2011 Angelo Petruss Award for Lawyers in Public Service

(September 1, 2011)  Margaret E. Fisher, a distinguished practitioner in residence at the law school who has run its Street Law Program for three decades, will be presented with the 2011 Angelo Petruss Award for Lawyers in Public Service by the Washington State Bar Association.

Margaret FisherFisher was recognized for her work in educating law school and high school students through the Street Law and Youth Court programs. She will accept the award at the WSBA Annual Awards Dinner Sept. 22. Named for the late Angelo R. Petruss, a senior assistant attorney general who passed away during his term of service on the WSBA Board of Governors, this award is given to a lawyer in government service who has made a significant contribution to the legal profession, the justice system and the public.

Fisher joined the law school in 1982. She served as a Senior Fulbright Scholar to establish Street Law in South Africa and Lesotho at a time when Apartheid was in place. Her work focused on human rights, practical law, and the role of law in a post-Apartheid Africa.

In 1996, Fisher expanded the scope of her Street Law curriculum through funding from the Washington State Administrative Office of the Courts. Through this partnership, two new programs were created. Judges in the Classroom brings judges into local elementary, middle, and high school classrooms to help teach topics that have a natural fit with the classroom syllabus. The Street Law Classroom Project partners judges and teachers to co-teach a Street Law class, and supplies participating classrooms with Street Law textbooks.

As author of the American Bar Association's Youth Court Training Package and founding officer in the Washington State Association of Youth Courts, Fisher hosts trainings and start-up conferences for youth courts in Washington state.

Now the state coordinator for iCivics, a web-based civic education program launched by Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, Fisher is working to ensure that middle school students throughout the state have a chance to learn civics through engaging video games and on-line lessons.

In February, Street Law, Inc. presented Fisher with its 2011 Advocate of the Year Award, in recognition of her more than 30 years of law, democracy, and human rights education to a variety of audiences, both domestically and internationally.

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