DU Law Stars

DU Law Stars unites alumni and the Denver legal community in celebration of those who have made remarkable and lasting contributions to the field of law and legal education. While the event format has changed over the years, the intention is the same—to honor our distinguished colleagues and celebrate the vibrant community that is Denver Law.

 

Save the Date for 2024 DU Law Stars!

Save the date for November 15, 2024, at the Denver Art Museum — Sturm Grand Pavilion. This year's gathering offers sponsors a unique opportunity to gain exceptional visibility and engage with the Denver Law community. As a sponsor, you'll be in the heart of this prestigious gathering, surrounded by legal luminaries, practicing lawyers, and thought leaders. Don't miss your chance to network with participants and celebrate this year's Law Stars honorees.
 

Nominations for 2024 DU Law Stars

Nominations for 2024 Law Stars are now closed. Thank you to everyone who submitted a nomination!
 

2024 Law Stars Sponsorships

Download Sponsorship Info     |     Sponsorship Form

  • 2024 Law Stars Sponsorship Opportunities

    PRESENTING SPONSOR (1 available)

    $25,000

    • Featured placement and promotion in quarterly Sturm College of Law alumni newsletter, website, and event materials
    • Prominent recognition in multimedia presentation and in opening remarks of the awards presentation
    • Reserved table at the DU Law Stars event
    • Ten (10) tickets to the 2024 DU Law Stars event
    • Early access for all ticket holders
       

    PLATINUM SPONSOR (3 available)

    $15,000

    • Exclusive sponsors of the Early Access reception
    • Recognition from the stage during opening remarks of the awards presentation
    • Special recognition in multimedia presentation
    • High visibility recognition in DU Law Stars materials and on website
    • Reserved table at the DU Law Stars event
    • Eight (8) tickets to the 2024 DU Law Stars event
    • Early access for all ticket holders
       

    GOLD SPONSOR (10 available)

    $10,000

    • Special recognition in event multimedia presentation
    • Special recognition in DU Law Stars materials and on website
    • Six (6) tickets to the 2024 DU Law Stars event
    • Early access for all ticket holders
       

    BRONZE SPONSOR (5 available for nonprofit organizations & associations)

    $1,000

    • Recognition in event multimedia presentation
    • Recognition in DU Law Stars materials and on website
    • Two (2) tickets to the 2024 DU Law Stars event
       

    To receive recognition in event collateral, we must receive your sponsorship commitment by September 30, 2024.


    To pay by check, please make your check payable to "University of Denver" and mail it to:

    University of Denver
    ATTN: DU Law Stars
    P.O. Box 910585
    Denver, CO 80291-0585

    For more information contact Christine McCoy, Director of Development, Annual Giving, at christine.mccoy@du.edu.

  • Individual Sponsorship and Registration Options

    INDIVIDUAL SPONSOR

    $250

    • Listing in multimedia presentation
    • One (1) ticket to the 2024 DU Law Stars event
    • Early access for ticketholder
       

    INDIVIDUAL TICKETS

    Ticket Type Early Bird Price* Regular Price
    General $100 $150
    Law School Faculty/Staff $75 $100
    Recent Graduates** $75 $100
    Public Service*** $75 $100

    *Pricing to increase on October 1, 2024
    **Recent Graduates include graduates of the last decade (2014-2024)
    ***Public Service includes those employed at government, judicial, and nonprofit organizations


    To pay by check, please make your check payable to "University of Denver" and mail it to:

    University of Denver
    ATTN: DU Law Stars
    P.O. Box 910585
    Denver, CO 80291-0585

    For more information contact Christine McCoy, Director of Development, Annual Giving, at christine.mccoy@du.edu.


Thank you to our 2024 sponsors!
 
SILVER SPONSORS
 
Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck logo
 
Cohen Black logo
Davis Graham and Stubbs logo
Faegre Drinker logo
Fennemore logo
G E M Family Law Logo
Holland and Hart logo
Otten Johnson Logo
Wheeler Trigg O'Donnell logo
 

 

Congratulations to our 2023 Law Stars!

The 29th Law Stars Ceremony was held on Friday, November 10, 2023, at the Denver Art Museum's Sturm Grand Pavilion. Read more about this year's Law Stars and watch video tributes to their accomplishments below. Click here to view photos of the 2023 ceremony.

  • Dolores Atencio, JD'80, William L. Keating Outstanding Alumni Award
    Dolores Atencio

    Licensed for 42 years, Dolores Atencio developed a diverse career within and outside the legal profession and has been an active member of the law school’s alumni community. Atencio is recognized as the national expert on the history of Latina lawyers for her numerous works and creation of the Luminarias Study to identify and produce original empirical data on the first Latina lawyers in the U.S., circa 1880-1980. The Hispanic National Bar Association awarded Atencio the 2021 President’s Award and 2018 Latina Commission Primera Abogada Award. In 2014, she received the prestigious Ohtli Award, Mexico’s highest honor bestowed to non- citizens, and was honored as one of four founders of the National Coalition of Bar Associations of Color.

    Watch Video

  • George “Skip” Gray III, JD’85, Robert H. McWilliams, Jr. Alumni Professionalism Award
    George "Skip" Gray III

    George “Skip” Gray III is a retired senior attorney from the City of Denver’s Department of Law. He practiced law for over 30 years in the Denver area, working as a prosecutor, litigator and transactional attorney in both the public and private sectors, including Holland & Hart, LLP, and Gray Jones Hahn and Browne. Throughout his legal career Gray has devoted time to the area of diversity and inclusiveness in the legal profession. He is a former member of the Colorado Bar Association Board of Governors and past president and lifetime member of the Sam Cary Bar Association. Gray also is a former chair of the Board of Directors of the Center for Legal Inclusiveness, a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing diversity and creating cultures of justice, equity and inclusion within private and public sector legal organizations in Colorado.

    Watch Video

  • Allison Herren Lee, JD’97, Thompson G. Marsh Award
    Allison Herren Lee

    Allison Herren Lee was appointed by President Biden as acting chair of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in January 2021. She was previously appointed as an SEC commissioner and unanimously confirmed by the Senate in 2019. During her tenure with the SEC, Commissioner Lee focused on bringing transparency and accountability to markets on issues related to climate change. Since stepping down from the SEC in 2022, Lee has taken on various roles including as a senior research fellow and adjunct professor at NYU Law, and as a director at the International Foundation for Valuing Impacts, a spin-off of Harvard Business School’s Impact Weighted Accounts Initiative, with a mission to build a global impact economy translating environmental and social impact into the language of currency.

    Watch Video

  • Olivia Mendoza, JD’19, Bruce B. Johnson Outstanding Young Alumni Award
    Olivia Mendoza

    Olivia Mendoza currently serves as director of litigation and policy for the National Redistricting Foundation (NRF), which works to end gerrymandering across the country. Prior to her law career, Mendoza was director of strategic partnerships at the Latino Leadership Institute (LLI). She also led the Minority Business Office in the Office of Economic Development and International Trade through a strategic realignment. She has been recognized for her leadership and selected as a German Marshall Memorial Fellow; Livingston Fellow, and a National Hispana Leadership Institute Fellow.

    Watch Video

  • Professor Catherine Smith, Robert B. Yegge Excellence in Teaching Award
    Professor Catherine Smith

    Catherine Smith joined the University of Denver Sturm College of Law faculty in 2004. After graduating from the University of South Carolina School of Law, Professor Smith clerked for the late Chief Judge Henry A. Politz of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and for U.S. Magistrate Judge William M. Catoe Jr. She then served as a legal fellow at the Southern Poverty Law Center. Professor Smith teaches Torts, Sexuality, Gender and the Law, and a Children’s Rights and the Constitution seminar. Her co-authored amicus brief on children’s rights was cited and relied upon in the same-sex marriage decision, Obergefell v. Hodges. She currently serves as an expert in Juliana v. United States, the landmark climate case brought by twenty-one young people suing the federal government for its role in the climate crisis. In 2023, Smith cofounded the DU-affiliated Consortium for the Advancement of Children’s Constitutional Rights.

    Watch Video

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Award Descriptions

  • William L. Keating Outstanding Alumni Award

    The William L. Keating Outstanding Alumni Award is granted to a graduate of Denver Law who has:

    • Maintained a strong connection to DU and the College of Law since graduation (e.g., by participating in the Michael G. Massey Professional Mentoring Program, serving as an externship supervisor, serving on the Alumni Council,  or serving as a mentor in the Ascent program, among other ways of maintaining a strong connection to DU and the College of Law); and
    • Worked to make a positive difference in their community.
       

    Recipients of this award should also:

    • Be excellent communicators with impeccable ethics;
    • Be dedicated to the practice of law and to advancing fairness and equity; and
    • Exhibit “good sportsmanship” throughout the legal community, both in and out of the courtroom.
       

    The William L. Keating Outstanding Alumni Award may be, but is not required to be, awarded on an annual basis.

  • Robert H. McWilliams, Jr. Alumni Professionalism Award

    The Robert H. McWilliams, Jr. Alumni Professionalism Award is granted to a graduate of Denver Law whose community work reflects their professionalism. Recipients of this award should also:

    • Exemplify integrity and strong ethical standards;
    • Have a commitment to strong legal writing that has a positive impact on the legal profession;
    • Be dedicated to the public sector and/or pro bono legal services; and
    • Be community-oriented.
       

    The Robert H. McWilliams, Jr. Alumni Professionalism Award may be, but is not required to be, awarded on an annual basis.

  • Thompson G. Marsh Award

    The Thompson G. Marsh Award is granted to a graduate of Denver Law who has shown a strong dedication to their community (e.g., via volunteer service or by providing pro bono legal services, among other ways of supporting their community; does not need to be in a teaching/faculty role).

    Recipients of this award should also:

    • Have an illustrious and fulfilling career;
    • Live a well-rounded life outside of their career; and
    • Be actively involved with the community.
       

    The Thompson G. Marsh Award may be, but is not required to be, awarded on an annual basis.

  • Bruce B. Johnson Outstanding Young Alumni Award

    The Bruce B. Johnson Outstanding Young Alumni Award is granted to a graduate of Denver Law who is between five (5) and ten (10) years out of law school at the time of the awards ceremony. Post-undergraduate professional experience prior to law school may count toward this calculation.

    Recipients of this award should be dedicated to upholding the highest standards of ethical and professional conduct and be known for their outstanding contributions to the legal or greater community. This could be, but is not limited to being, demonstrated by:

    • Exhibiting strong leadership;
    • Demonstrating courage and humor in the face of adversity; or
    • Being a skilled problem-solver.
       

    Recipients of this award should also be deeply committed to their clients, listen to their clients, and act decisively on that commitment.

    The Bruce B. Johnson Outstanding Young Alumni Award may be, but is not required to be, awarded on an annual basis.

  • Robert B. Yegge Excellence in Teaching Award

    The Robert B. Yegge Excellence in Teaching Award is granted to a teacher at Denver Law who has made outstanding contributions to the legal educational mission and has fostered Denver Law’s relationship with the community. Recipients of this award should be retired or current members of the faculty at Denver Law.

    The Robert B. Yegge Excellence in Teaching Award may be, but is not required to be, awarded on an annual basis.

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Past Honorees

Take a look back at our distinguished honorees over the years. 

View Photos and Video Tributes

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Stay in Touch

Alumni, we want to hear from you! Find more information on alumni benefits, resources, careers and more, as well as stay in touch with former classmates.

 

Learn More