STANFORD, Calif., October 12, 2012—The John and Terry Levin Center for Public Service and Public Interest Law at Stanford Law School has announced two awards for remarkable achievements in public service. The recipient of the National Public Service Award is Judge Patricia M. Wald, who most recently served on the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and who has been a role model for a generation of public interest lawyers. The recipient of the Miles L. Rubin Public Interest Award is David Sapp ‘05, staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Southern California, who has focused his work on education and juvenile justice. Both recipients were honored last night at a ceremony at Stanford.
The National Public Service Award is designated for an attorney 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.
National Public Service Award Recipient: the Honorable Patricia M. Wald
“Judge Wald’s career is exceptional. She has made signal contributions to advance the public good in so many corners of our profession,” said M. Elizabeth Magill, Richard E. Lang Professor of Law and Dean. “She is a role model for our students, and for all lawyers, for her lifetime commitment to justice on the national and international stage.”
The Honorable Patricia Wald has 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. After earning her law degree from Yale Law School in 1951, 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, D.C., and then took a ten-year leave from the profession to launch the lives of five children she had with her Navy JAG husband, Robert. She returned to practice and 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 twenty 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 and has taken on countless leadership roles in professional associations, national commissions and legal reform efforts in the United States and abroad.
Miles L. Rubin Public Interest Award Recipient: David Sapp, JD ’05
The 2012 Miles L. Rubin Public Interest Award recipient David Sapp is being recognized for his legal advocacy for youth, primarily working on education and juvenile justice issues. During his tenure as staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union, he worked on Casey A. v. Gundry, a case that led to the complete overhaul of education and rehabilitation programming at Los Angeles County’s largest juvenile detention center. He also served as counsel in Doe v. State of California, which challenged the State’s failure to ensure that districts provide free public education as required by the California Constitution, and local districts’ charging of illegal fees. This case led to the enactment of recent legislation establishing a statewide accountability system. 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. David Sapp earned his JD from Stanford Law School in 2005.
“David Sapp has been in the profession for fewer than 10 years, but he has already transformed the lives of hundreds of clients in need,” said Magill. “He is an inspiration to our students and to us all.”
“I’m certain that our students will find this year’s honorees particularly inspiring role models for how to pursue careers that fulfill all lawyers’ responsibility to do justice,” said Diane T. Chin, associate dean for public service and public interest law and lecturer in law who oversees the John and Terry Levin Center for Public Service and Public Interest Law. “Their work and commitments serve as a wonderful reminder about the ability of the law and legal structures to help and empower communities.”
The awards were established in 2006 by the Levin Center for Public Service and Public Interest Law as part of its mission to raise awareness about the importance of public service. The awards are given annually to individuals who exemplify a commitment to public service, provide models of practice that are interesting and innovative, and who make a contribution to the overall public interest legal field. The recipients were chosen by a committee that included Todd Rubin, a member of the Rubin family who helped establish the Miles L. Rubin Public Interest Award, Larry Kramer, former Richard E. Lang Professor of Law and Dean, and Chin.
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 supports development of the public interest legal community and increases 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.