Honorable J. Clifford Wallace Receives Prestigious Jensen Public Service Award

For Immediate Release

Susan Gluss, media relations director, 510.642.6936 sgluss@law.berkeley.edu

Berkeley, CA—September 19, 2008… The Honorable J. Clifford Wallace ‘55, former chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, has been chosen as the 2008 recipient of the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law’s Judge D. Lowell and Barbara Jensen Public Service Award. The award is given annually to a prominent Berkeley Law graduate who has demonstrated outstanding dedication to public service in the legal profession. Wallace will receive the award at a September 23 dinner in San Diego.

“I am deeply honored to be recognized by my alma mater with such a prestigious award,” Wallace said. “Berkeley Law taught me the value of judicial integrity and independence—powerful pillars of my life’s work and chosen profession.”

Wallace was appointed to the federal bench by President Nixon in 1970, following a successful 15-year career in private civil litigation practice in San Diego.  Elevated to the appeals court in 1972, he served for 24 years as an active judge on the nation’s largest federal appellate court. He served as chief judge of the circuit for five years before assuming senior status in 1996. Wallace was a co-recipient of the Berkeley Law 1989 Citation Award.

Wallace is probably best known as an international ambassador for the rule of law.  The respected jurist has worked with foreign judges in over 50 countries on every continent—from Bangladesh and Botswana to Turkey and Pakistan—on issues of judicial independence, judicial administration, and judicial education.

Berkeley Law Dean Christopher Edley, Jr. praised the selection of Judge Wallace whom he described as a “passionate advocate of judicial fairness.” Edley said “Wallace devoted his remarkable career to improving the justice system and promoting the rule of law in the developing world. He is a role model for our law students and an inspiration to our Berkeley Law community.”

Wallace has served with distinction at the highest levels of the federal judiciary.  He conceived the idea of a program to improve trial lawyers based on the English Inns of Court.  The endorsement of Chief Justice Warren Burger led to the establishment of American Inns of Court throughout the United States, a national organization dedicated to excellence, civility, professionalism, and legal ethics. As chief judge of the Ninth Circuit from 1991 to 1996, he organized the first federal task forces to study racial, religious, and ethnic fairness within the court and its services to the public. Wallace also developed a program to secure pro bono assistance for the neediest cases, among other achievements.

Despite his world travels, Wallace has always been an active participant in his hometown of San Diego.  He has a long affiliation with the Boy Scouts of America and served as co-chair of a committee to develop scouting in African-American and Hispanic communities. He also was vice president of the San Diego County Bar Association and a member of the county nominating committee for the Red Cross.

The Jensen Award was established in 1998 by fellow alumni and former clerks of U.S. District Judge D. Lowell Jensen ’52, a former Alameda County district attorney and U.S. deputy attorney general, and his late wife Barbara. Past recipients of the award include Judge Thelton Henderson ’62 (2004), Judge Robert Puglia ’58 (2003), and former U.S. Attorney General Edwin Meese III ’58 (2002).This year’s awards dinner will also recognize Berkeley Law students Cynthia Hsu ’10 and Emmy Rhine ’09, who will receive Jensen summer fellowships for work in public interest law.

About University of California, Berkeley, School of Law
For over a century, Berkeley Law has prepared lawyers to be skilled and ethical problem-solvers. The law school’s curriculum—one of the most comprehensive and innovative in the nation—offers its J.D. and advanced degree candidates a broad array of nearly 200 courses. Students collaborate with leading scholars and practitioners working on complex issues at more than a dozen interdisciplinary centers, institutes, and clinical programs within its Boalt Hall complex. For more information, visit https://www.law.berkeley.edu/