His efforts paid off Dec. 2 when the historical marker he made possible was unveiled at the boyhood home of former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis — the namesake for UofL’s Louis D. Brandeis School of Law.
Segal, a Harlan Scholar pursuing an undergraduate degree in political science, said he found out about the Brandeis home while on a 2010 Kesher Kentucky Jewish Louisville tour. Tour guide Allan Steinberg lamented that the building did not have some kind of marker. Before the tour was over, Segal told Steinberg that he would champion an effort to get a historical marker for the home.
His work spanned three years and included navigating the historical marker approval process with various state agencies, raising $2,300 to pay for the marker and rallying community support. Segal, a sophomore at duPont Manual when he started the project, said his mother, Joanne Weeter, and Steinberg helped him immensely.
UofL law professor Laura Rothstein, who attended the unveiling ceremony, said that it’s gratifying to see a student take an interest in Brandeis’ contributions.
“Brandeis helped lay the foundation for many of the civil liberties we enjoy today,” Rothstein said. “So it’s not just important that we remember him because he was a native of Louisville, but also because he helped shaped the social policies of our nation.”
Justice Brandeis was a graduate of Harvard Law School and served on the U.S. Supreme Court from 1916 to 1939. He died in 1941 and his remains are in the portico of UofL’s law school.
It’s rewarding to “finally honor one of the greatest Louisvillians and people I have ever had the pleasure to study,” Segal said.
“I hope that the historical highway marker will motivate people to look up more information on Brandeis so they can learn about all of his good works, just like I did,” he said.