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2015 Alexander Law Prize Award Ceremony

March 24 @ 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm

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Martina Vandenberg

Martina Vandenberg photograph by Jeff Hutchens

The 2015 Katharine & George Alexander Law Prize will be awarded to Martina E. Vandenberg, who is the founder and president of The Human Trafficking Pro Bono Legal Center (HT Pro Bono). Vandenberg established HT Pro Bono in 2012 with generous support from the Open Society Foundations (OSF) Fellowship Program.

Prior to becoming an OSF Fellow, Vandenberg served as a partner at Jenner & Block LLP, where she focused on complex commercial litigation and internal investigations under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. She served as a senior member of the firm’s Pro Bono Committee.

Vandenberg has spent nearly two decades fighting human trafficking, forced labor, rape as a war crime, and violence against women. Vandenberg has represented victims of human trafficking pro bono in immigration, criminal, and civil cases. She has testified before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Human Rights and the Law, the Helsinki Commission, the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and the House Armed Services Committee on an array of human rights issues. Through HT Pro Bono, Vandenberg has trained more than 1,200 pro bono attorneys nationwide to handle human trafficking matters.

A former Human Rights Watch researcher, Vandenberg spearheaded investigations into human rights violations in the Russian Federation, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Uzbekistan, Kosovo, Israel, and Ukraine. She is the author of two Human Rights Watch reports, “Hopes Betrayed: Trafficking of Women and Girls to Post-Conflict Bosnia & Herzegovina for Forced Prostitution,” and “Kosovo: Rape as a Weapon of ‘Ethnic Cleansing.’”

As a researcher for the Israel Women’s Network, she investigated and published the first report documenting human trafficking into Israel. While living in the Russian Federation in the 1990s, she co-founded Syostri, one of Russia’s first rape crisis centers for women.

Vandenberg has received multiple awards for her leadership against human trafficking. In 2012, the Freedom Network USA presented Vandenberg with the Paul and Sheila Wellstone Award for her “outstanding leadership and dedication in working to combat human trafficking and slavery in the United States.” In 2013, she received the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation’s Stevens Award for outstanding service in public interest law. She also received Albert E. Jenner, Jr. Pro Bono Award for her successful representation of trafficking victims in United States federal courts and her advocacy before Congress.

A Rhodes Scholar and Truman Scholar, Vandenberg has taught as an adjunct faculty member at the American University Washington College of Law and at the Oxford University Human Rights Summer Program. She is a graduate of Pomona College (B.A.), Oxford University (M.Phil), and Columbia Law School (J.D.).


The first Katharine & George Alexander Law Prize was presented in March 2008 and has been awarded annually thereafter. This award has been made possible through the generosity of Katharine & George Alexander to bring recognition to legal advocates who have used their legal careers to help alleviate injustice and inequity. The hope is that recognition of such individuals will improve the image of lawyers around the world.

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


Past Alexander Prize Winners

Katharine & George Alexander

Katharine Alexander practiced law for 25 years as a public defender for Santa Clara County and taught law courses for several years at San Jose State University.

The late George Alexander served as professor of law at Santa Clara University for 34 years and as dean of its School of Law for 15 years.

Both Katharine and George have dedicated their lives to instilling in students and lawyers a commitment to justice. Their service to humanity serves as a model for other lawyers.


Selection Committee

Cynthia Mertens
Professor of Law, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Santa Clara Law

Donald J. Polden
Professor of Law, Dean Emeritus

Margaret Russell
Professor of Law, Santa Clara Law

Alan Scheflin
Professor of Law, Santa Clara Law

Stephanie Wildman
Professor of Law, Santa Clara Law

 


Nominees must be lawyers who have used their skill, knowledge and abilities in the field of law to correct injustice. The nominees must be individuals who are committed in both heart and mind to alleviating injustice and inequity.

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

Nomination Form

Details

Date:
March 24
Time:
5:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Event Categories:
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Organizer

Noelia McKeever
Phone:
(408) 554-4362

Venue

Adobe Lodge
500 El Camino Real, Santa Clara, CA 95053 United States
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Phone:
(408) 554-4362

    2015 Alexander Law Prize Award Ceremony

  • March 24
  • 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm
  • Adobe Lodge