William Knowles, a partner with the law firm Verrill Dana, received the Peter J. DeTroy III Award for his work advancing justice.

The award, conferred by the Campaign for Justice, was created in 2017 to honor DeTroy’s legacy. It recognizes an individual who has worked to remove barriers for people who are vulnerable, or who has worked to advance justice, and exemplifies the same selfless spirit as DeTroy, according to a release from Verrill Dana. DeTroy, a lawyer renowned for his humanity, compassion and intellect, died in 2016.

“Like Peter DeTroy, Bill Knowles is known as a tireless advocate for fairness and justice for all,” said Trish O’Donnell, Campaign for Justice director, in the release. “His empathy, kindness, generosity, leadership and quiet counsel reflect Peter’s legacy. He is a role model in every regard.”

In addition to his responsibilities at Verrill Dana, Knowles is a current member and former chair of Pine Tree Legal Assistance and on the board of directors of the Maine Justice Action Group.

Knowles is also a former board member and legal director of the Maine Civil Liberties Union and previously served on the board of governors of the Maine Trial Lawyers Association.

The award was presented to Knowles by Daniel E. Wathen, former chief justice of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court.