The Francine Diaz Memorial Award
Each year, a woman of color from Boalt Hall’s graduating class receives the Francine Diaz Memorial Award. Established in 1987, this award serves to memorialize Francine Diaz’s commitment to social justice through legal services and advocacy. Diaz, a member of the class of 1987, was tragically killed in a car accident while returning home from the Boalt Hall Employment Discrimination Clinic, where she was working. During her first year at Boalt, Diaz was a member of the La Raza Students Association, serving on its steering committee and as treasurer. She was also active in the Migrant Legal Services program. Outside Boalt, Diaz sat on the board of Centro Legal de la Raza, a community law firm serving San Francisco’s Mission District.
Established by Diaz’s family and friends, the Award is given to a candidate who has shown commitment to social justice through her work experience, her involvement with organizations concerned with social justice, her course selection at Boalt Hall, and her career plans. After nominations have been received, the chosen students then submit a personal statement outlining their qualifications. A committee comprised of two Boalt faculty members, a Diaz family member, and several Diaz friends reviews the application and selects a recipient. In addition to the award, income from the Francine Diaz Memorial Fund can also be used at the Dean’s discretion to provide additional resources for financial aid and other activities benefitting minority women students at Boalt.
At its annual Gala, the Henderson Center awards a prize to a Boalt Hall graduate who has been admitted to the bar for fewer than seven years and best exemplifies the intellectual rigor, integrity, courage and vision that are distinctive of the Honorable Thelton E. Henderson.
The nominee should have (1) graduated from Boalt Hall within the last seven years; (2) demonstrated a commitment to social justice through use of the law to challenge societal inequities; (3) made a significant contribution to under-represented and/or disadvantaged communities; and (4) engaged in professional work that reflects the intellectual rigor, integrity, courage and vision that are distinctive of the Honorable Thelton E. Henderson.