In his address at the Brian M. Sax Prize for Excellence in Clinical Advocacy Luncheon, Dean Christopher Edley described the experiences of Boalt clinic students as not only intellectually, but morally and spiritually transformative. That was certainly clear at the luncheon on Monday, April 17, where some 80 attendees gathered for an emotional celebration of the zealous work the clinic community has done on behalf of clients and communities. The event featured opening remarks by Clinical Professor of Law and Death Penalty Clinic Director Elisabeth Semel, an inspiring speech by the dean, and clinic directors and staff members offering tributes to the varied and extensive contributions of their students.
The luncheon was capped by an impassioned and eloquent speech by this year’s winner, Amanda Parks ’06 of the Death Penalty Clinic, who was recognized for significant investigative and legal work on behalf of a client on Alabama’s death row. She thanked the clinic faculty as “attorneys, professors, supervisors, mentors and friends,” and said “the work itself was the true prize.” In his heartfelt and often humorous introduction, Visiting Acting Clinical Professor Ty Alper of the Death Penalty Clinic lauded Parks’ commitment and devotion to her client, her ability to accept critique and her continual efforts to learn more. He said to Parks, “Your clients will be people whom no one has ever fought for in their lives. Now they will have Amanda Parks to fight for them.”
Shelly Cavalieri ’06 and Emily Schaeffer ’06 both received honorable mentions for their work with the International Human Rights Law Clinic (IHRLC) and the East Bay Community Law Center (EBCLC) respectively. Cavalieri was honored by Clinical Professor of Law and IHRLC Director Laurel Fletcher for her work helping to draft and pass California Trafficking Victims’ Protection Act, AB22.
Laura Lane, Director of EBCLC’s Housing Unit, praised Schaeffer for her skilled and vigorous advocacy on behalf of tenants at rent board and section 8 hearings and her commitment to participating in tenants’ rights workshops.