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Judge Lawrence S. Margolis Inducted Into Philadelphia's Central High Hall of Fame

Posted on December 3, 2009 in Uncategorized

Central High School, the nation’s only high school authorized to award Bachelor of Arts degrees upon graduation, has inducted alumnus Judge Lawrence S. Margolis of Washington, DC into its Hall of Fame. Established in 1836, Central High is America’s second-oldest public high school and its first city-wide magnet school, with rigorous academic admissions standards. It has graduated more classes than any other public high school in the country. Of Central’s tens of thousands of alumni, only 86 have been named to its Hall of Fame, including an astronaut, Nobel Laureate, Olympian, and internationally-known scientists, jurists, artists, and academicians.

On to Drexel and GWU Law

Following his graduation, with honors, from Central, Judge Margolis went on to The Drexel Institute of Technology (now, Drexel University) where he earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering; he then moved to Washington, DC, where he served as a patent examiner at the U.S. Patent Office during the day and attended the George Washington University (GWU) Law School at night. After receiving a J.D. degree from the law school, he served as patent counsel for the U.S. Naval Ordnance Laboratory and then embarked on a series of assignments as a prosecutor: first, Assistant Attorney General for the District of Columbia, then Special Assistant U.S. Attorney at the U.S. Department of Justice and Trial Attorney in the Criminal Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, and finally Assistant U.S. District Attorney for the District of Columbia.

In 1971, he was appointed a Magistrate-Judge for U.S. District Court in Washington, DC. Eleven years later, President Ronald Reagan appointed him to a judgeship on the United States Court of Federal Claims, a position in which he continues to serve.

Honors, Awards Follow

Both Drexel and GWU have presented Judge Margolis with their Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award; Drexel also named him as one of its 100 most outstanding graduates, and GWU honored him with a special Service Award. During his tenure as president of the National GWU Law Alumni, Judge Margolis was instrumental in saving the night law school. He is a former trustee of Drexel, and former member of the board of managers of Central.

Active in the Bar Association of the District of Columbia, he served as an officer and editor of its Young Lawyers Association, hosting educational TV shows and a weekly community service radio interview show; he also co-founded a much-needed Big Brothers project for juveniles in correctional institutions, personally mentoring a number of these teen-age boys. Judge Margolis was a director of the Bar Association of the District of Columbia and, for seven years, editor of its journal, and was honored by both the Association and its Young Lawyers Association for outstanding service. He has served as chair of two American Bar Association divisions: Special Court Judges, and Federal, State, and Local Judges. He is also a member of the Inn of Courts and the recipient of many awards and honors from his peers.

Rotary, Other Community Service

In 1974, Judge Margolis joined the Rotary Club of Washington, DC, and subsequently became president of the club and, shortly thereafter, was elected Rotary International District Governor for District 7620, responsible for overseeing all 65 Rotary clubs in that District, which includes Washington and Central Maryland. Several years ago, he recommended that the Washington Rotary Club institute a project by which its members purchase and present age-appropriate dictionaries to each third-grade DC public school student every year; the Club has now distributed these dictionary-research books to 25,000 third-graders in Washington, DC public schools.

He is also a past president of the Rotary Foundation of Washington, DC, and has served Rotary International (RI) in numerous executive capacities: e.g., RI Representative to the Organization of American States, RI Representative to the World Bank, RI President’s Representative, and RI District 7620 Delegate to the triennial Rotary International Council on Legislation. For his extraordinary service to Rotary, he has received many high awards, including “Rotarian of the Decade+.” He has been an active supporter of many other local entities, including Center for Inspired Teaching, Theodore Roosevelt High School, Washington Civic Opera, and Rotaract, and often sits as a Moot Court Judge for law students at a number of universities. He is a frequent speaker on the law, both in the U.S. and abroad.