The John and Terry Levin Center for Public Service and Public Interest Law at Stanford Law School honored two exceptional lawyers for their extensive commitment to public service. Its annual Fall Public Service Awards Dinner last night also served as a celebration of its tenth year anniversary.
John Levin, MA ’70, JD ’73, received the National Public Service Award, while Tamika Butler, JD ’09, executive director of the Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust, was awarded the Miles L. Rubin Public Interest Award.
The National Public Service Award honors attorneys whose public service work has had national impact, and the Miles L. Rubin Public Interest Award recognizes an alumnus/a whose outstanding work has advanced justice and social change in the lives of vulnerable populations on a community, national or international level. In particular, the Rubin Award is intended to highlight sustainable solutions to a societal problem.
“Each year, we celebrate lawyers and leaders who have committed themselves to service to others. These award winners are a powerful model for our students of the outsized contributions that lawyers can make,” said M. Elizabeth Magill, dean and Richard E. Lang Professor of Law. “This year, celebrating the lifelong commitment to service by John Levin, as well as his vision in helping to create the Levin Center, is extremely meaningful to the law school. In addition, Tamika Butler’s amazing career—spanning a breadth of roles, strategies, and practice areas—is an example to our students of how just one law degree can be used in so many different settings to accomplish social change.”
“Our honorees this year show how different paths and strategies can all be pursued to serve clients, communities, and causes that make an important difference in our society,” said Diane T. Chin, associate dean of public service and public interest law at the law school. “I can think of no better role model for our students than John Levin, who has dedicated his career to ensuring that public service is integral to a satisfying legal career and the responsibilities of our profession. And Tamika Butler’s fierce advocacy and voice for justice was something I saw in her as a student and have watched develop with awe and pride this last decade. We are so pleased to honor their work and service.”
National Public Service Award Recipient: John Levin
John Levin, MA ‘70, JD ‘73, established the John and Terry Levin Center for Public Service and Public Interest Law at Stanford Law School in 2007 with his wife, Terry. The Levin Center was established to make public service a pervasive part of every law student’s experience and ultimately help impact the broader sector and profession.
In a statement marking the establishment of the Levin Center in 2007, John said: “The whole notion of law as a profession is bundled up with the fact that it’s about service to others. That’s true of all aspects of law—both public and private. It is essential for students to have early and frequent exposure to the meaning of public service as they develop their identities as lawyers.”
In addition to a law degree, John Levin has a Master’s Degree in Education and taught in public high schools in the Bay Area. He was inspired to teach after serving as a tutor in Boston’s public housing developments while an undergraduate at Harvard University.
Beyond the Levin Center, John has long been deeply committed to public service, serving in many roles. John has also served as Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Claude and Louise Rosenberg, Jr. Family Foundation, Vice-Chair of the Board of Trustees of Marin Country Day School, a member of the Board of Trustees of Marin Academy, a member of the Board of Trustees of the Little School, a member of the Advisory Board of the John W. Gardner Center for Youth and their Communities, a member of Harvard University’s Committee on University Resources and a member of the Civil Justice Reform Act Advisory Group of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.
Levin is active in a wide range of community activities and has served on numerous boards. In 2009 he completed a ten-year term as a Trustee of Stanford University, the last five years as Vice-Chair of the Board. He is currently Chair of the Board of Directors of Stanford Health Care, a member of the Board of Directors of Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford and served as Convening Co-Chair of the Campaign for Stanford Medicine. In 2015, Stanford awarded John its Gold Spike, the University’s highest recognition of volunteer leadership service. In 2016, the Stanford School of Medicine awarded John the Dean’s Medal, its highest honor. He is Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Jay and Rose Phillips Family Foundation of California, a founding member of the Board of Trustees of Coaching Corps and a member of the National Advisory Board of the Haas Center for Public Service. John has been active in the leadership of Stanford Law School, serving as a member of the Dean’s Advisory Council, Co-Chair of the Campaign for Stanford Law School and a member of the Executive Committee of the school’s Board of Visitors.
John received his law degree from Stanford Law School in 1973. He earned a Bachelor of Arts from Harvard College in 1969 and a Master of Arts in Education from Stanford University in 1970. Following law school, John served for one year as law clerk to Associate Justice Stanley Mosk of the Supreme Court of California. In 1978, John co-founded Folger & Levin and served as its chairman and managing partner for nearly 30 years. He has been a member of the California Bar since 1973.
Miles L. Rubin Public Interest Award Recipient: Tamika Butler, JD ’09
Tamika Butler serves as the Executive Director of the Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust, a non-profit organization that addresses social and racial equity, and wellness, by building parks and gardens in park-poor communities across Greater Los Angeles.
Tamika has a diverse background in law, community organizing and nonprofit leadership. Recently she was the Executive Director of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition. Prior to leading LACBC, Tamika was the Director of Social Change Strategies at Liberty Hill Foundation and worked at Young Invincibles as the California Director. She transitioned to policy work after litigating for three years as an employment lawyer at Legal Aid At Work (formerly known as the Legal Aid Society-Employment Law Center), where she began her legal career as a Skadden Fellow before becoming the first John and Terry Levin Fellow for Fair Play for Girls in Sports.
Tamika previously served as the co-chair of the National Center for Lesbian Rights Board of Directors, serves as the Institute Co-Director of the New Leaders Council–Los Angeles, is a board member of both Lambda Literary Foundation and T.R.U.S.T. South LA, and is an advisory board member for the Legal Aid at Work’s Fair Play for Girls in Sports program.
Tamika received her JD from Stanford Law School and graduated with bachelor’s degrees in psychology and sociology in her hometown of Omaha, Nebraska. At Stanford, Tamika served as a co-president of the student body, held leadership roles in SPILF, OutLaw, BLSA, and was active in pro bono volunteer work on behalf of survivors of violence.
About the John and Terry Levin Center for Public Service and Public Interest Law
The mission of the John and Terry Levin Center for Public Service and Public Interest Law at Stanford Law School is – through courses, research, pro bono projects, public lectures, academic conferences, funding programs and career development – to make public service a pervasive part of every law student’s experience and ultimately help shape the values that students take into their careers. It also engages in programming and research that support development of the public interest legal community to increase access to justice.
About Stanford Law School
Stanford Law School is one of the nation’s leading institutions for legal scholarship and education. Its alumni are among the most influential decision makers in law, politics, business and high technology. Faculty members argue before the Supreme Court, testify before Congress, produce outstanding legal scholarship and empirical analysis, and contribute regularly to the nation’s press as legal and policy experts. Stanford Law School has established a new model for legal education that provides rigorous interdisciplinary training, hands-on experience, global perspective and focus on public service, spearheading a movement for change.