Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Alexander Prize Seeking Nominations

My institution, Santa Clara University School of Law, is seeking nominations of outstanding lawyers who might be candidates for the Alexander Law Prize, given annually by the Law School. Now in its 5th year, the “Katharine and George Alexander Law Prize” is intended to bring recognition to lawyers who have used their legal knowledge and skills to help alleviate injustice and inequity. It is named after its two benefactors: George Alexander, Dean Emeritus of the Law School and a Professor of Law for 34 years, and Katharine Alexander, who practiced law for 25 years as a Santa Clara County Attorney. In establishing this Prize, the Alexanders aim to inspire young lawyers to heed the call of the public interest. It is also hoped that the recognition of such individuals will improve the image of lawyers around the world.

The winner of the Alexander Prize receives a substantial cash award to be used as the individual chooses. The winner will be brought to Santa Clara University to be honored at a ceremony in March 2012. The winner will also be invited to participate in lectures and classes and may choose to serve in residence as a teacher, mentor, and scholar for a limited period at the School of Law.

Nominees must be lawyers who have used their skill, knowledge and abilities in the field of law to correct injustice. Selection criteria may include factors such as the:
  • Innovative nature of the programs or other activities undertaken
  • Courage and self-sacrifice required
  • Sustainability of the programs the nominee has implemented
  • Number of people benefited

In particular, we are seeking nominees who are committed in both heart and mind to alleviating injustice and inequity.

To nominate an individual for the Prize, feel free to use our nomination form or simply send an email to Noelia McKeever at NMcKeever@scu.edu. In your nomination, please provide the candidate’s name and contact details as well as a narrative as to why you feel the individual is deserving of the Prize. Feel free to include additional information, such as press coverage or web links about the individual. Please submit all nomination materials by January 25, 2012.

A number of exceptional lawyers have already been honored with the Prize in years past:

2008 Award Winner: Bryan Stevenson, the founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative in Alabama, where he and his colleagues have helped reduce or overturn death sentences in more than sixty cases.

2009 Award Winner: Mario Joseph, one of Haiti’s most influential and respected human rights attorneys and Managing Attorney of the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI), which uses prominent human rights cases and a victim-centered approach to force open the doors of Haiti’s justice system for the country’s poor majority.

2010 Award Winner: Shadi Sadr (upper left), an Iranian lawyer who has risked her life in her efforts to protect the human rights of women, activists, and journalists, and who launched the “End Stoning Forever” campaign and Raahi, a legal center for women which has been forced to close since Ms. Sadr has been in exile.

2011 Award Winner: Paul Van Zyl (right), former Executive Secretary of South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, co‐founder of the International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ), and now the CEO of PeaceVentures.

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