The Honorable John England, Jr. received the 2018 Sam W. Pipes Distinguished Alumnus Award at the Farrah Law Alumni Society Banquet in Birmingham.
The award is given to an outstanding alumnus of the University of Alabama School of Law who has distinguished himself or herself through service to the bar, the University of Alabama, and the School of Law.
“I am honored to receive the Pipes Award,” Judge England said. “It humbles me that the Law School would consider me to receive an award that so many people that I have such great respect for have received in the past.”
Drafted into the military during the Vietnam War, Judge England served in the U.S. Army for two years as a military policeman. In 1974, he began his law practice in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, where he has made his home and has served his community, state, and University for more than 40 years. Elected to the Tuscaloosa City Council in 1985, he served two terms as the Chair of the Finance and Community Development Committee. Governor Jim Folsom appointed England to the Tuscaloosa County Circuit Court in 1993, where he became the first African-American Circuit Judge in Tuscaloosa. He was subsequently elected to a full term in 1994, where he served until he was appointed by Governor Don Siegelman to the Alabama Supreme Court in 1999. Judge England served on the Alabama Supreme Court until 2001. After serving on the Supreme Court, he returned to the Circuit Court of Tuscaloosa County, where he continues to serve.
“Judge England has been a trailblazer for his entire adult life,” said Dean Mark E. Brandon. “He was among the very first African American students to attend the University of Alabama School of Law. He flourished as a practicing lawyer and has distinguished himself as both a trial judge and a Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court. He is the embodiment of public service – to community, state, and nation, not to mention the University of Alabama and the Law School.”
The Law School also celebrated the endowment of the following funds: