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Shawn Raymond Receives 2024 Karen H. Susman Jurisprudence Award

  • October 4, 2023

More than 860 people saw Shawn Raymond of leading trial law firm Susman Godfrey LLP receive the ADL’s (Anti-Defamation League’s) Karen H. Susman Jurisprudence Award at the Karen H. Susman Jurisprudence Award Luncheon April 18. As of the 18th, the luncheon had raised $878,000 for ADL’s Southwest Region.

ADL Southwest presents this award annually to an outstanding member of the legal community who exhibits a commitment to equality, justice, fairness and community service, and Shawn has been dedicated to all those things since even before he became a lawyer. After college, Shawn taught high school in Sunflower County, Mississippi, as a Teach for America corps member. Later, while at UT Law School, Shawn co-founded the Sunflower County Freedom Project, a non-profit which uses the history and spirit of the civil rights movement to provide educational and leadership opportunities to teenagers living in the Mississippi Delta.  At the luncheon, he spoke about the inception of the Sunflower County Freedom Project, what it does and how its beginnings proved what Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. believed: “The arc of the moral universe is long but it bends towards justice.”   He said the Project, like ADL, holds “to a vision of a more just and compassionate world,” and thanked ADL “for all the vital work it does to combat hate.”

Shawn was the first man elected as Board Chair of the Houston Area Women’s Center, which provides life-saving resources to survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. He serves on the school board for KIPP Texas Public Schools, which serves more than 30,000 students in Houston, Dallas, Austin, and San Antonio and he spearheaded the creation of the Susman Godfrey Prize, which is awarded annually to up to 12 law students of color who have excelled academically and have impressive overall achievement. It’s no wonder that Lawdragon has called Shawn, “that rare attorney who is as noted for his goodness as for his courtroom prowess.”

Shawn also has handled noteworthy pro bono matters. Thomson Reuters Westlaw named him and his co-counsel Pro Bono Heroes for winning a unanimous order from the Texas Supreme Court requiring the State of Texas to pay nearly $2 million dollars to a former death row inmate for wrongful imprisonment.  Shawn also is responsible for launching Susman Godfrey’s MOBUS (minority-owned business) pro bono initiative that invites small, minority-owned businesses to apply to Susman Godfrey for pro bono representation.

“We are proud to give the 2024 Karen H. Susman Jurisprudence Award to Shawn Raymond”, said Mark B. Toubin, ADL Southwest Regional Director. “Karen, of blessed memory, was a beloved ADL board chair and attorney who devoted much of her time to improving our community and the world. She would be extraordinarily gratified that the 2024 award will be presented to an individual so dedicated to improving the lives of others.”

Neal Manne and Gregg Costa are co-chaired the luncheon. Money raised at the luncheon will support programs and projects of ADL’s Southwest Region.