Honorary Degrees
1918 - Present

Bryan A. Stevenson 
Doctor of Humane Letters  2013
Status: conferred

Bryan A. Stevenson has received national acclaim for his work challenging bias against the poor and people of color in the criminal justice system. He earned two degrees from Harvard University - a master's in public policy from the Kennedy School of Government and a J.D. from Harvard School of Law. Stevenson has been representing capital defendants and death row prisoners in the South since the mid-1980s. He is the founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI), a nonprofit organization based in Montgomery, Alabama, which provides legal representation to indigent defendants and prisoners who have been denied fair treatment in the legal system. Through EJI, he has developed community-based reform litigation aimed at improving criminal justice administration. Stevenson also is a professor of clinical law at New York University School of Law. He has received numerous honors, including the American Bar Association's Wisdom Award for public service, the ACLU's National Medal of Liberty, the Thurgood Marshall Medal of Justice and the NAACP's William Robert Ming Advocacy Award. For his efforts to achieve social equity through criminal justice reform, Southern Methodist University in honored to confer upon Bryan A. Stevenson the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa.