Reception 5-6 pm
Lecture 6-7 pm
The 2017 Katharine & George Alexander Law Prize will be awarded to Paul Hoffman, one of the leading human rights lawyers in the United States. He has been involved in many of the most important cases brought under the Alien Tort Statute (“ATS”), including the cases brought against Ferdinand Marcos and against corporate defendants including Exxon, Chevron, IBM, Ford, and many others. He argued the Sosa v Alvarzez-Machain and Kiobel v Royal Dutch Petroleum cases in the U.S. Supreme Court. He has argued ATS cases in the D.C., Second, Fifth, Seventh, Ninth and Eleventh Circuits and in many District Courts.
From 1984 to 1994, Mr. Hoffman was the Legal Direction of the ACLU Foundation of Southern California. He was lead counsel in Coalition Against Police Abuse v. Board of Police Commissioners (the “police spying” cases), which challenged unlawful surveillance of community activists by the Los Angeles Police Department, and in Wilkinson v. FBI (a challenge to the FBI’s COINTELPRO operation against the National Committee To Abolish HUAC). In 1984, he received the Clarence Darrow Award for outstanding First Amendment advocacy for my work in the police spying cases.
Since 1994, he has been in private practice and since 1999 he has been a partner in Schonbrun Seplow Harris & Hoffman, LLP. His practice focuses on constitutional and civil rights litigation, including First Amendment, discrimination and privacy litigation, civil and criminal appeals anad international human rights litigtion. He has been named one of the 100 most influential attorneys in California by the Daily Journal.
Mr. Hoffman was an Associate Professor at Southwestern University School of Law Los Angeles, California from August 1981 to July 1984, where he was also the Co-Director (with Stanley Fleishman) of a clinical program on the rights of the disabled and elderly. He is currently the Director of the International Human Rights Litigation Clinic at UC Irvine School of Law where he also teaches in the Civil Rights Litigation and Appellate Litigation Clinics. In the past, he has taught as an Adjunct Professor at Stanford Law School, UCLA School of Law, USC Law School, Loyola Law School, and Southwestern University School of Law.
He has long been active in Amnesty International, including serving as the Chair of Amnesty International-USA’s Board twice ans serving as the Chair of AI’s International Executive Committee from 2002-2004. He is also the co-founder of the Center for Justice and Accountability.
He is the author of numerous articles on civil and human rights subjects and is the co-author of an International Human Rights casebook. He has appeared at dozens of conferences on civil and human rights topics over the years.
He is a 1976 graduate of New York University School of Law and received a M.S. degree in 1973 from The London School of Economics and Political Science. He received his B.A. from the City College of New York in 1972.
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.
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.
Francisco Rivera Juaristi, Chair Assistant Clinical Professor and Director, International Human Rights Clinic, Santa Clara Law
Hadar Harris Executive Director, Northern CA Innocence Project, Santa Clara Law
Lynette Parker Associate Clinical Professor, Katharine and George Alexander Community Law Center, Santa Clara Law
Alan Scheflin Professor of Law Emeritus, Santa Clara Law
Jiri Toman Professor of Law, Santa Clara Law
Skip Horne Sr. Assistant Dean for External Relations, 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