The ACLU of Southern California is pleased to announce that Staff Attorney David Sapp has been awarded Stanford Law School’s 2012 Miles L. Rubin Public Interest Award.  The award is presented annually to a Stanford alumnus whose outstanding work has advanced justice and social change in the lives of vulnerable populations on a community, national, or international level. In particular, the Rubin Award is intended to highlight concrete and sustainable approaches and solutions to a societal problem.
“It’s a tremendous honor to be recognized by your peers, and it’s especially meaningful when the award is also a homecoming,” said Sapp, who received his law degree from Stanford in 2005.  “I’ve been fortunate to spend much of my career working with children, youth, and families, and I am forever grateful to Stanford for preparing me and helping me pursue such fulfilling work.”
Sapp joined the ACLU of Southern California in 2009 as a staff attorney.  During his tenure he has focused primarily on education and juvenile justice issues. He worked on Casey A. v. Gundry, a case regarding failure of a juvenile probation camp to provide minimally adequate education and rehabilitation services to detained youth. He served as counsel in the Reed v. State of California, which addressed the inequitable distribution of teacher layoffs in inner city schools in Los Angeles, and Doe v. State of California, which focused on the State’s failure to ensure districts provide a free public education system as required by the California Constitution.
“David is a tremendous advocate,” said Hector Villagra, executive director of the ACLU of Southern California.  “He embodies all the traits of a great public interest lawyer:  he is selfless and tireless, he is intelligent and innovative, and he is devoted to his clients and to fighting injustice.  We are extremely fortunate to work with and learn from him.”
Prior to joining the ACLU, David clerked for U.S. Ninth Circuit Court Judge Raymond C. Fisher and was a Skadden Fellow at Advocates for Children’s Services in Durham, North Carolina, where he represented students in school discipline and special education proceedings. He began his legal career clerking for the Honorable Myron H. Thompson on the District Court for the Middle District of Alabama.
"From the moment I met David, I knew that he would be a public interest leader not only at Stanford but in the profession at large," said Diane Chin, associate dean for public service and public interest law at Stanford Law School.   “The Rubin award is granted every year to a member of our alumni community who can serve as a role model to our students and who is bringing about important change in their community.  David is the perfect recipient of this award, not only for the vital work he undertakes at the ACLU of Southern California, but because of the respectful and kind person and lawyer he is.  I'm incredibly proud of him and all he has accomplished."
Sapp received his bachelors in public policy and linguistics in 2001 from Duke University.