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By Ralph Derickson

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Robert G. Schwemm was honored for three decades of work in fair housing law and for his support of scores of local fair housing organizations.

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June 29, 2000 – (Lexington, Ky.) – University of Kentucky law professor Robert G. Schwemm has received the top annual award given by the National Fair Housing Alliance.  Schwemm, the Ashland Professor of Law at UK and former acting dean of the College of Law, received the award at the NFHA annual conference in Washington, D.C.

In addition to his three-decades of work in fair housing law, Schwemm was particularly praised for his support for the scores of local fair housing organizations throughout the country that make up NFHA.

Schwemm also wrote one of the definitive books in the field of fair housing, "Housing Discrimination: Law and Litigation."  He donates part of the royalties from the sale of the book to NFHA to be used for scholarships.

A native of Barrington, Ill., Schwemm's first job after graduation from Harvard Law School was in a Washington, D.C., law firm where he did volunteer work for a local fair housing group.

After two years in Washington, Schwemm returned to the Chicago area where he worked in the legal action program of the Leadership Council for Metropolitan Open Communities.  He eventually became chief trial counsel for the agency and participated in numerous precedent-setting fair housing cases, including two that reached the U.S. Supreme Court.

Schwemm began teaching at UK in 1975 and during his career in Kentucky he served four years as a member and eventually vice chair of the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights.  He also took a leave of absence from teaching to serve as a special attorney with the Housing and Civil Enforcement Section of the U.S. Justice Department when the new U.S. Fair Housing Amendments Act was first being implemented in 1991.

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