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.

“I just can’t imagine what law school would have been like if I hadn’t done the clinics that I did. … And particularly in the death penalty context, doing anything — whether it’s editing another team’s brief, putting together your own research memo, or having a call with an outside expert — that might give any of our clients a chance for relief is the most important work that we can be doing.” —Ellen Ivens-Duran ’21, 2021 Sax Prize Winner 

Ellen Ivens-Duran ’21 is the winner of the 2021 Brian M. Sax Prize for Excellence in Clinical Advocacy for her outstanding work in the Death Penalty Clinic and the East Bay Community Law Center’s Health and Welfare Clinic and Education Defense and Justice for Youth Program. Watch her video remarks and read about Ivens-Duran’s efforts with EBCLC’s Education Defense and Justice for Youth Clinic here.

Ted Lee ’21 is the winner of the Sax Prize Honorable Mention for his excellent work in the East Bay Community Law Center’s Consumer Justice Clinic. Watch his video remarks and read about Lee and others’ work in Berkeley Law’s consumer protection community here.