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.
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.