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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.

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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.