On Wednesday, March 13, 2013, the University of Colorado School of Law celebrated its 32nd annual Law Alumni Award Banquet with more than 600 attendees gathering at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. Dean Phil Weiser served as master of ceremonies as six distinguished award recipients were honored.
In the first award of the night, Regina Rodriguez received the Distinguished Achievement Award for private practice. Ms. Rodriguez is a 1988 graduate of CU Law. She is now a partner with the Denver office of Faegre Baker Daniels. Prior to joining Faegre Baker Daniels, Ms. Rodriguez was an assistant U.S. attorney. She supports numerous pro bono causes and is a founding member of Colorado Youth at Risk and a board member at Open Door and Family Star Montessori.
The Honorable Timothy Tymkovich of the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals was honored for the judiciary. Judge Tymkovich is a 1982 graduate of CU Law. After clerking for Chief Justice William Erickson of the Colorado Supreme Court, Judge Tymkovich was in private practice with Davis Graham & Stubbs. He served as solicitor general and founded the firm of Hale Hackstaff Tymkovich Friesen before being nominated to the Tenth Circuit by President George W. Bush.
Carole Yaley was recognized for distinguished achievement in industry. She received her J.D. from CU Law in 1980 and is recently retired from Exxon Mobil Corporation after a distinguished 33-year career. Ms. Yaley was Chief Attorney for Exxon Mobile, managing more than 70 attorneys around the world. She handled such various legal issues as antitrust, real estate, construction, cybersecurity, data privacy, and much more.
This year’s Dean Edward C. King “Pay it Forward” Award went to John Schultz, who is a 1953 graduate of CU Law. He practiced in the oil and gas field for 37 years. Mr. Schultz and his late wife founded the John and Cynthia Schultz Law Scholarship. As the school’s largest scholarship fund, it is awarded each year to a second- or third-year student. Mr. Schultz also supported the construction of the Wolf Law Building and generously contributed to the Loan Repayment Assistance Program. In accepting his award, Mr. Schultz thanked the person who would receive next year’s award for all he or she will do for CU Law in the coming year.
The Richard Schaden “Adopted Alumnus” Award was presented to Jason Mendelson. Mr. Mendelson co-founded the Foundry Group and is managing director and general counsel at Mobius Venture Capital. Prior to this, he practiced corporate and securities law with Cooley Godward Kronish. Mr. Mendelson currently teaches the VC 360 course as an adjunct professor at CU Law. He was instrumental in securing $1 million to establish a permanent professorship for the Entrepreneurial Law Clinic.
The final award of the night went to Colorado Supreme Court Chief Justice Michael Bender as he accepted the William Lee Knous Award, the law school’s highest award. Justice Bender graduated from CU Law in 1967. He was appointed to the Colorado Supreme Court by Governor Roy Romer in 1997 and selected as Chief Justice in 2010. Attendees enjoyed a video with tributes from Justice Bender’s friends, family, and colleagues. All of the justices of the Colorado Supreme Court were present to celebrate Justice Bender’s award with him. As Justice Bender thanked his family, colleagues on the bench, law clerks, and many others who had impacted his career, he asked them to remain standing to emphasize that it takes the support of a village of people to achieve success is one’s career.