The Brian M. Sax Prize for Excellence in Clinical Advocacy

The Brian M. Sax Prize for Excellence in Clinical Advocacy was established in memory of the 1969 Law Building alumnus by his family, colleagues, and friends following his death in 1997. It honors Sax’s enthusiasm for the practice of law and his dedication to teaching. The Sax Prize, initially a $500 award, was increased to $1000 in 2006. It is given each spring semester to a graduating student who, during his or her law school career, has displayed excellence in advocacy and professional judgment on behalf of clients in a Berkeley Law in-house or faculty-sponsored clinic. The first prize was given in 1998, and the names of each year’s recipients are inscribed on a plaque located in the lobby of Simon Hall and posted here.

Faculty and students submit nominations to a four-person committee that consists of Ronald G. Aronovsky ’80, one of Sax’s former law partners, along with clinical and non-clinical faculty members selected by the dean. In reaching its decision, the Brian M. Sax Prize Committee considers the applicants’ oral and written advocacy skills, their demonstrated commitment to the zealous representation of their clients, and their reflections on the lawyer’s role within the profession and society.

“Housing is a human right, and as lawyers, we are uniquely positioned to combat systems of oppression; there is no better time to start than as a law student in a clinic.” — Gabby Areas ’24

Gabby Areas ’24 is the winner of the 2024 Brian M. Sax Prize for Excellence in Clinical Advocacy for her outstanding work in the East Bay Community Law Center‘s Housing Clinic. She began in the Tenants Rights Workshop, then as a clinic student, and finally as an EBCLC student board member. She represented tenants in more than 30 eviction lawsuits and secured just over $600,000 for those clients in relocation payments and rent waivers. Gabby handled negotiations with opposing counsel, successfully drafted and argued motions in court, and engaged in complex discovery and fact investigations. 

Cassidy A. Veidelis ’24 is the winner of the Sax Prize Honorable Mention for her excellent work in the International Human Rights Law Clinic, where she worked to bring a new case in the African regional human rights system to hold social media companies accountable for violating children’s rights in their business models. She interviewed stakeholders mobilizing around this issue in Africa and deepened the clinic’s understanding of how little these companies invest in protecting African children from online harms.