Fall Public Service Awards

Stanford Law School’s Levin Center for Public Service and Public Interest Law annually honors two outstanding public interest attorneys. The Fall Public Service Awards reception is the Levin Center's biggest event of the year. We invite alumni, faculty, students, and staff to join us for a formal dinner reception honoring the award recipients.

The National Public Service Award is designated for an attorney whose work on behalf of the public has had national impact, and the Miles L. Rubin Public Interest Award will be given annually to a Stanford Law School alumnus/a who has similarly engaged in public service and had a significant impact on the community, national, or international level. Each spring we invite nominations for the two awards:

Nomination Guidelines for the Stanford Law School National Public Service AwardNomination Guidelines for the Stanford Law School Miles L. Rubin Public Interest Award

Please scroll down to see the list of past award recipients.

2014 Recipients

The National Public Service Award is designated for an attorney whose work on behalf of the public has had national impact, and the Miles L. Rubin Public Interest Award will be given annually to a Stanford Law School alumnus/a who has similarly engaged in public service and had a significant impact on the nation or community.

This year’s dinner was held on Monday, October 6, 2014 at the Paul Brest Hall in Munger Graduate Residence.

View Press Release

View Video

Marielena Hincapié
National Public Service Award Recipient

Marielena Hincapié is the executive director of the National Immigration Law Center, the main organization dedicated to defending and advancing the rights of low-income immigrants in the U.S. Under her executive leadership, NILC has grown to be one of the premier immigrants’ rights organizations, strategically using a combination of litigation, policy, communications, and alliance-building strategies to effect social change. Ms. Hincapié is highly respected for her legal and political strategies and is seen as a bridge builder within the immigrants’ rights field as well as across broader social justice sectors.

Fully bilingual and bicultural, Ms. Hincapié serves as a resource and is often interviewed by media outlets such as Univisión, Telemundo, CNN en Español, MSNBC, the New York Times, and the Los Angeles Times, among others. She also is a frequent lecturer at national and international conferences, addressing issues of migration, and she works closely with emerging leaders in the social justice movement. Ms. Hincapié began her tenure at NILC in 2000 as a staff attorney leading the organization’s labor and employment program. During that time, she successfully litigated law reform and impact-litigation cases dealing with the intersection of immigration laws and employment/labor laws. She then served as NILC’s director of programs from 2004 to 2008, after which she became executive director.

Before joining NILC, Ms. Hincapié worked for the Legal Aid Society of San Francisco’s Employment Law Center, where she founded the Center’s Immigrant Workers’ Rights Project. She holds a juris doctor degree from Northeastern University School of Law, served on the American Bar Association’s Commission on Immigration, and is currently a member of the Jobs with Justice and Welcome.US boards of directors.

Ms. Hincapié immigrated as a child from Medellín, Colombia, to Central Falls, Rhode Island. She is the youngest of 10 children.

Catherine Crump, JD ’04
Miles L. Rubin Public Interest Award Recipient

Catherine Crump is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Law and Associate Director of the Samuelson Law, Technology & Public Policy Clinic at Berkeley Law. An experienced litigator specializing in constitutional matters, she has represented a broad range of clients seeking to vindicate their First and Fourth Amendment rights. She also has extensive experience litigating to compel the disclosure of government records under the Freedom of Information Act.

Professor Crump’s primary interest is the impact of new technologies on civil liberties. Representative matters include serving as counsel in the ACLU’s challenge to the National Security Agency’s mass collection of Americans’ call records; representing artists, media outlets and others challenging a federal internet censorship law, and representing a variety of clients seeking to invalidate the government’s policy of conducting suspicionless searches of laptops and other electronic devices at the international border.

Prior to coming to Berkeley, Professor Crump served as a staff attorney at the ACLU for nearly nine years. Before that, she was a law clerk for Judge M. Margaret McKeown at the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

2013 Recipients

The National Public Service Award is designated for an attorney whose work on behalf of the public has had national impact, and the Miles L. Rubin Public Interest Award will be given annually to a Stanford Law School alumnus/a who has similarly engaged in public service and had a significant impact on the nation or community.

This year’s dinner was held on Tuesday, October 29, 2013 at the Graduate School of Business’ Schwab Residential Center. Pictured above, left to right, are Professor Pam Karlan; Dean M. Elizabeth Magill; Roberta Kaplan; Jennifer Chang Newell, JD ’03; Terry Levin, BA ’74, MA ’81; and John Levin, MA ’70, JD ’73.

View Press Release

View Video

Roberta Kaplan and Professor Pam Karlan
2013 National Public Service Award recipients for their work as co-counsel representing Edith Windsor in United States v. Windsor.

Roberta Kaplan

A partner in the Litigation Department at Paul Weiss, Roberta (Robbie) Kaplan has been described as a “powerhouse corporate litigator” and “pressure junkie” who “thrives on looking at the big picture” whether “in the gay-marriage legal fight or high-profile corporate scandals.” Robbie has been selected as one of “The 100 Most Influential Lawyers,” as one of “The 500 Leading Lawyers,” andas one of the top “40 Under 40” lawyers in the United States.

Robbie successfully argued before the United States Supreme Court on behalf of Edith Windsor in United States v. Windsor, the Supreme Court case that may be the most significant civil rights decision of our time. In Windsor, the nation’s highest court ruled that a key provision of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) violated the U.S. Constitution by barring legally married same-sex couples from enjoying the wide-ranging benefits of marriage conferred under federal law.

Robbie has published on a variety of legal topics, including the chapter, “Investigating the Case” in Commercial Litigation in New York State Courts, as well as the chapter, “Interplay Between Commercial Litigation and Criminal Proceedings” in Commercial Litigation in the Federal Circuit Courts. She also recently published an article entitled “Proof vs. Prejudice” in 37 N.Y.U. Review of Law & Social Change (2013). While serving as a senior law clerk to then Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye, Robbie assisted Judge Kaye in connection with a number of articles, including State Courts at the Dawn of a New Century: Common Law Courts Reading Statutes and Constitutions, 70 NYU L Rev 1 35 (April 1995). Robbie also clerked for Judge Mark L. Wolf of the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts.

Robbie’s legal work has been honored by a number of organizations, including the New York City Council, the Family Equality Council, and the National Organization for Women. In 2011, she was honored as the distinguished alumna of the year by the Columbia Law School Women’s Association. She has also received the New York County Lawyers’ Association’s William Nelson Cromwell Award.

Robbie currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Gay Men’s Health Crisis and the New York County Lawyers’ Association. She served on New York Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman’s Task Force on Commercial Litigation in the 21st Century and continues to serve on The Commercial Division Advisory Council.

Pam Karlan

A productive scholar and award-winning teacher, Pamela S. Karlan is also co-director of the school’s Supreme Court Litigation Clinic, where students litigate live cases before the Court. One of the nation’s leading experts on voting and the political process, she has served as a commissioner on the California Fair Political Practices Commission and an assistant counsel and cooperating attorney for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. Professor Karlan is the co-author of leading casebooks on constitutional law, constitutional litigation, and the law of democracy, as well as numerous scholarly articles. She also writes a column on the Supreme Court and legal issues for the Boston Review.

Before joining the Stanford Law School faculty in 1998, she was a professor of law at the University of Virginia School of Law and served as a law clerk to Justice Harry A. Blackmun of the U.S. Supreme Court and Judge Abraham D. Sofaer of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. Karlan is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers, and the American Law Institute and serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the American Constitution Society.

Jennifer Chang Newell, JD ’03
2013 Miles L. Rubin Public Interest Award recipient

Jennifer Chang Newell is a senior staff attorney with the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project, where she first began as a Skadden Fellow in 2004.  Her practice includes challenging state and local anti-immigrant laws and policies, protecting the constitutional rights of immigrants to judicial review and due process, and combating discrimination and retaliation against immigrants.  Newell is counsel in Arizona DREAM Act Coalition v. Brewer, a case brought by the ACLU and its coalition partners challenging Arizona’s decision to deny driver’s licenses to young immigrant “DREAMers” granted federal permission to live and work in the United States.  Newell is also counsel in cases raising Supremacy Clause challenges to several municipal immigration ordinances across the country, including in Fremont, Nebraska; Hazleton, Pennyslvania; and Farmers Branch, Texas.  Newell’s other cases have included litigation invalidating the Department of Homeland Security regulation concerning Social Security Administration “no-match” letters, litigation upholding the validity of the San Francisco Municipal ID Ordinance, litigation challenging the U.S. government’s torture of noncitizen detainees in Iraq and Afghanistan; and litigation protecting the rights of Salvadoran asylum seekers in immigration detention and processing.  Prior to joining the ACLU, Newell was a law clerk to Judge Marsha Berzon of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

2012 Recipients

The National Public Service Award is designated for an attorney whose work on behalf of the public has had national impact, and the Miles L. Rubin Public Interest Award will be given annually to a Stanford Law School alumnus/a who has similarly engaged in public service and had a significant impact on the nation or community.

This year’s awards dinner was held on Thursday, October 11, 2012 at the Paul Brest Hall in Munger Graduate Residence.  Pictured above are Nancy Rubin, Judge Patricia Wald, Dean Elizabeth Magill, Associate Dean for Public Service and Public Interest Law Diane Chin, David Sapp, JD ’05, Miles Rubin, JD ’52, BA ’50, and Levin Center Executive Director Anna Wang.

View Press Release

View Video on YouTube

The Honorable Patricia M. Wald
National Public Service Award Recipient

Judge Patricia M. Wald has been a remarkable role model for a generation of public interest lawyers. She graduated from Connecticut College in 1948 and earned her law degree from Yale Law School in 1951.  Upon graduation, she served as a clerk for Judge Jerome Frank of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, the only woman to clerk on that Circuit that year.  She later went to work at Arnold and Porter in Washington, DC before leaving the firm after about a year to join her Navy JAG husband, Robert, who had been assigned to duty in Norfolk.  For almost a decade, Judge Wald stayed at home, devoting her energies to launching the lives of the couple’s five children and doing occasional legal research and writing.  When she returned to the practice of law in the sixties, she worked in such diverse fields as criminal justice, juvenile law, mental disability law, drug abuse, poverty and public interest law, administrative law, constitutional law, judicial process, and women and the law.  Judge Wald worked at the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Criminal Justice, Washington D.C.’s Neighborhood Legal Services Program, the Center for Law and Social Policy, and the Mental Health Law Project, among others. She served in the Carter administration as Assistant Attorney General before being appointed as the first woman to be a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, where she served as chief judge from 1986 until 1991. After 20 years on the federal bench, Judge Wald accepted an appointment to serve as a judge for the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. She later served as a member of the Iraq Intelligence Commission.  In addition to her exceptional career as a jurist, she has taken on countless leadership roles in professional associations, national commissions and legal reform efforts in the  United States and abroad.

David Sapp, JD ‘05
Miles L. Rubin Public Interest Award Recipient

David Sapp joined the ACLU of Southern California in 2009 as a staff attorney.  During his tenure Mr. Sapp has focused primarily on education and juvenile justice issues. He worked on Casey A. v. Gundry, a case regarding failure of a juvenile probation camp to provide minimally adequate education and rehabilitation services to detained youth. He served as counsel in the Reed v. State of California, which addressed the inequitable distribution of teacher layoffs in inner city schools in Los Angeles, and Doe v. State of California, which focused on the State’s failure to ensure districts provide a free public education system as required by the California Constitution.  Prior to joining the ACLU, David clerked for the Honorable Raymond C. Fisher on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and was a Skadden Fellow at Advocates for Children’s Services in Durham, North Carolina, where he represented students in school discipline and special education proceedings. He began his legal career clerking for the Honorable Myron H. Thompson on the District Court for the Middle District of Alabama.

2011 Recipients

Photo of the award winners with the Levins and Stanford deans

The National Public Service Award is designated for an attorney whose work on behalf of the public has had national impact, and the Miles L. Rubin Public Interest Award will be given annually to a Stanford Law School alumnus/a who has similarly engaged in public service and had a significant impact on the nation or community.

Pictured above are Associate Dean Diane Chin; Sharon Terman, JD ’04; Vernon Jordan; Terry Levin, BA ’74, MA ’81; John Levin, MA ’70, JD ’73; and Dean Larry Kramer.

View Press Release View Video

Vernon E. Jordan, Jr.
National Public Service Award Recipient

Stanford Law School is delighted to honor Vernon E. Jordan, Jr. for his lifetime of public service and will present him with the 2011 National Public Service Award. Over the course of his career, Mr. Jordan has been a leader in the civil rights movement, starting from shortly after graduating from law school when he worked to empower African Americans in the South via community organizing and voter registration drives, including serving on the legal team that desegregated the University of Georgia. He later led several major organizations and successfully fundraised to finance black colleges, job training programs, early childhood education, and other causes dedicated to breaking the cycle of poverty. Mr. Jordan has served as president and chief executive officer of the National Urban League, Inc.; executive director of the United Negro College Fund, Inc.; director of the Voter Education Project of the Southern Regional Council; attorney-consultant at the U.S. Office of Economic Opportunity; assistant to the executive director of the Southern Regional Council; Georgia field director of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People; and as an attorney in private practice in Arkansas and Georgia. He also recently served as a member of the Iraq Study Group, of the United States Institute of Peace.

He is currently a partner at the investment firm of Lazard Frere & Company in New York and serves as Senior Managing Director of Lazard Group LLC. Mr. Jordan is also Of Counsel/Senior Counsel at Akin Gump.

Mr. Jordan’s presidential appointments include: the President’s Advisory Committee for the Points of Light Initiative Foundation; the Secretary of State’s Advisory Committee on South Africa; the Advisory Council on Social Security; and the Presidential Clemency Board.

Watch Mr. Jordan’s speech here.

Sharon Terman, JD ’04
Miles L. Rubin Public Interest Award Recipient

Sharon Terman, JD ’04 is senior staff attorney and director of the Work and Family Project at the Legal Aid Society – Employment Law Center of San Francisco. As the 2011 Miles L. Rubin Public Interest Award recipient, Ms. Terman is being recognized for her pioneering work in enforcing family leave laws, both the Federal Family Medical Leave Act and California’s own family leave law, which significantly expands workers’ rights beyond the federal statute. She assists poor women, many of whom are immigrants and often undocumented, who face illegal treatment at work. Ms. Terman tackles pregnancy discrimination, violations of family and medical leave laws, domestic violence in the workplace, and harassment.

Watch Ms. Terman’s speech here.

2010 Recipients

The National Public Service Award is designated for an attorney whose work on behalf of the public has had national impact, and the Miles L. Rubin Public Interest Award will be given annually to a Stanford Law School alumnus/a who has similarly engaged in public service and had a significant impact on the nation or community.

View Press Release

Bryan Stevenson
National Public Service Award Recipient

Bryan Stevenson, executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI), was honored for his extraordinary work securing relief for dozens of condemned prisoners, advocating for poor people, and developing community-based reform litigation aimed at improving the administration of criminal justice. Stevenson has been representing capital defendants and death row prisoners in the Deep South since 1985 when he was a staff attorney with the Southern Center for Human Rights in Atlanta, Georgia. Since 1989, he has been executive director of the EJI, a private, nonprofit law organization he founded that focuses on social justice and human rights in the context of criminal justice reform in the United States.

Full Bio

Lynne Echenberg, JD ’02
Miles L. Rubin Public Interest Award Recipient

Lynne Echenberg is creator and director of the Next Generation Center (NGC) in the Bronx, New York. She has devoted her legal career to helping at-risk youth, particularly those aging out of the foster care system. The NGC provides youth leadership and life skills training, technology instruction, job readiness and job development services, educational guidance and tutoring, legal advocacy, housing assistance, creative and visual arts, and recreation to young people, ages fourteen to twenty-four.

Full Bio

2009 Recipients

The National Public Service Award is designated for an attorney whose work on behalf of the public has had national impact, and the Miles L. Rubin Public Interest Award will be given annually to a Stanford Law School alumnus/a who has similarly engaged in public service and had a significant impact on the nation or community.

Debo P. Adegbile
National Public Service Award Recipient

Debo P. Adegbile is the Director of Litigation at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF), where he oversees the legal program and supervises the legal staff in the areas of Economic and Criminal Justice, Education, and Political Participation, while remaining actively engaged in litigation and advocacy including in a number of recent cases before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Full Bio

Corene Kendrick, JD ’03
Miles L. Rubin Public Interest Award Recipient

Corene Kendrick, JD ’03, is a Staff Attorney at the Youth Law Center (YLC) in San Francisco, a nonprofit legal organization that advocates for the rights of children in foster care and juvenile justice systems across the country.

Full Bio

2008 Recipients

The National Public Service Award is designated for an attorney whose work on behalf of the public has had national impact, and the Miles L. Rubin Public Interest Award will be given annually to a Stanford Law School alumnus/a who has similarly engaged in public service and had a significant impact on the nation or community.

Shannon Price Minter
National Public Service Award Recipient

Shannon Price Minter is the Legal Director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), one of the nation’s leading advocacy organizations for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people.

Full Bio

Julia R. Wilson ’98
Inaugural Miles L. Rubin Public Interest Award Recipient

Julia R. Wilson currently serves as the Executive Director of the Legal Aid Association of California (LAAC) and the Public Interest Clearinghouse (PIC). As Executive Director of the sister organizations, she is responsible for leading statewide advocacy eff orts on behalf of the legal services delivery system, undertaking multiple statewide strategic planning initiatives, and serving as the legal services community’s liaison to key access to justice partners.

Full Bio

Press Release

Stanford Law School Honors Public Interest Attorneys Shannon Price Minter and Julia R. Wilson with Public Service Awards

2007 Recipients

The National Public Service Award is designated for an attorney whose work on behalf of the public has had national impact, and the Alumni Public Service Award will be given annually to a Stanford Law School alumnus/a who has similarly engaged in public service and had a significant impact on the nation or community.

David Doniger
National Public Service Award Recipient

David Doniger is policy director of the Natural Resources Defense Council’s (NRDC) Climate Center, where he helps to develop environmental and energy policies that reduce the threat of global warming and enhance America’s energy security. David also leads NRDC’s work to complete the phase-out of chemicals that deplete the earth’s protective ozone layer.

Full Bio

Christopher Ho, JD ’87
Alumni Public Service Award Recipient

Christopher Ho, JD ’87 is a senior staff attorney with the Legal Aid Society – Employment Law Center (“LAS-ELC”) in San Francisco, where he litigates cases in defense of the employment rights of historically subordinated communities. His primary focus for over a decade has been on efforts to challenge and rectify workplace practices that disproportionately impact national origin minorities, particularly recent immigrants.

Full Bio

Press Release

Stanford Law School Honors Public Interest Attorneys David Doniger and Christopher Ho with Public Service Awards

2006 Recipients

The National Public Service Award is designated for an attorney whose work on behalf of the public has had national impact, and the Alumni Public Service Award will be given annually to a Stanford Law School alumnus/a who has similarly engaged in public service and had a significant impact on the nation or community.

William P. Quigley
National Public Service Award Recipient

Quigley, an active public interest lawyer since 1977, served as General Counsel for the ACLU of Louisiana for over 15 years. Quigley has served as an advisor on human and civil rights to Human Rights Watch USA and Amnesty International USA. In 2003, he was named the Pope Paul VI National Teacher of Peace by Pax Christi USA; in 2004 he received the SALT Teaching Award presented by the Society of American Law Teachers; and in 2006, he received the Camille Gravel Civil Pro Bono Award from the Federal Bar Association New Orleans Chapter. Quigley is also an active volunteer lawyer with School of the Americas Watch and the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti.

Christa Gannon, JD ’97
Alumni Public Service Award Recipient

Christa Gannon, JD ’97 was selected as one of ten people in the United States to receive funding from the George Soros Foundation to develop an innovative criminal justice program. With this seed funding Gannon started FLY. FLY strives to reduce juvenile crime and incarceration through legal education, mentoring and leadership training. By providing at-risk and disadvantaged youth with vital information regarding the decisions they make in their lives, FLY has helped nearly 10,000 youth avoid the criminal justice system and transform from delinquent youth into positive community leaders. In recognition of Gannon’s abilities, in the fall of 2000, she was selected by the National Law-Related Education Consortium to be California’s State Coordinator of Law-Related Education. In this capacity she acts as the expert for the State of California supporting individuals and organizations that want to start law-related education projects. Gannon is the youngest state coordinator in the country.

Press Release

Stanford Law School’s New Center for Public Service and Public Interest Law Names First Public Service Award Recipients