West Virginia Supreme Court Justice Margaret L. Workman and former West Virginia University College of Law Dean Willard D. Lorensen are receiving the College of Laws highest honor this year during ceremonies at 1 p.m. Saturday, May 13.
Workman and Lorensen are receiving the Justitia Officium Award, which recognizes outstanding contributions and service to the legal profession.
Workman, elected to the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals in 1988, was the first woman ever elected to statewide office in West Virginia. She served as chief justice in 1993 and 1997.
Previously, Workman served seven years as circuit judge of Kanawha County. She is a 1974 WVU College of Law graduate.
An advocate for the rights of children throughout her career, Workman established the Court Appointed Special Advocates Program in West Virginia in 1993. She also established the Task Force on Gender Fairness in the Courts, worked to establish model domestic violence programs and created the Commission on the Future of the West Virginia Judicial System.
Workman has received many professional awards, including the Excellence in Criminal Justice Award from the West Virginia Prosecuting Attorneys Association.
Lorensen joined the WVU faculty in 1959 after receiving his law degree from the University of Nebraska and serving as a Bigelow Teaching Fellow at the University of Chicago Law School.
Retired since 1996, he has been an integral force in educating about two-thirds of WVUs living law graduates. Lorensen served as dean from 1972-78.
He has three sons and a daughter-in-law who are WVU College of Law graduates.
The Justitia Officium Award was established in 1978 to commemorate the College of Laws 100th anniversary. The award will be presented during hooding ceremonies for this years College of Law graduates, part of Commencement weekend activities at WVU .