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.
“Clinic has given me the opportunity to interact with and learn from so many phenomenal people—my supervisors, clinical peers, and clients—all of whom have inspired me, believed in me, and helped me become a better advocate. … It is clinic that has ultimately taught me how to be a lawyer.” —Savannah Reid, 2020 Sax Prize Winner
Savannah Reid ’20 is the winner of the 2020 Brian M. Sax Prize for Excellence in Clinical Advocacy for her outstanding work in the Policy Advocacy Clinic and the Death Penalty Clinic. Bill Nguyen ’20 is the winner of Honorable Mention for his excellent work in the Death Penalty Clinic and the East Bay Community Law Center’s Youth Defender Clinic.