In 2013, the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia (PILCOP) presented John and his team with the Thaddeus Stevens Partnership Award, which recognized the team for their pro bono support in a case alleging racial discrimination of students through special education placement. In Blunt v. Lower Merion School District, DLA Piper served as co-counsel with PILCOP in a lawsuit centered around claims that Lower Merion School District systematically discriminated against African-American students by disproportionately and inappropriately placing them in special education programs and the lowest level classes.