LAW WEEK COLORADO
Selected for their contributions to the legal profession and dedication to the law school, six former students will be recognized at the 36th Annual Colorado Law Alumni Awards Banquet on March 15 at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts.
Former Gov. Bill Ritter Jr., who graduated in 1981, will receive the William Lee Knous Award, Colorado Law’s highest alumni honor. Awarded every year since 1960, the Knous Award recognizes outstanding achievement and sustained service to the law school. Along with his tenure as the state’s top executive from 2007 to 2011, Ritter is also a former Denver District Attorney and the founder and director of the Center for the New Energy Economy at Colorado State University.
During his four-year term, Ritter helped establish Colorado as a leader in clean energy and is credited with making progress in Colorado on health care, human services, transportation funding and higher education funding during the Great Recession. While serving as Denver’s top prosecutor for 12 years, he served on the executive committee for the National District Attorneys Association and was chair of the board of the American Prosecutors Research Institute. In his current role as director of the Center for the New Energy Economy at Colorado State University, he has worked with the White House as well as with governors, state legislators and other stakeholders to provide strategies and technical assistance aimed to facilitate transition to a clean energy economy.
Colorado Law will also honor four alumni with Distinguished Achievement Awards for demonstrated excellence in their professions:
- Gary Blum, who graduated in 1971 and is currently director of Silver & DeBoskey, earned the distinction for solo and small practice. His trial practice includes a focus on complex civil litigation and health care matters. Blum is active in the Colorado Bar Association’s ethics committee, American Board of Trial Advocates and various other assocations. He was appointed by both the Colorado Supreme Court and U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado to serve on and chair lawyer conduct committees for lawyers practicing in those courts.
- Hugh Gottschalk, a 1979 graduate of CU Law who is partner and president at the Denver-based Wheeler Trigg O’Donnell, is being honored for his work in private practice. He has taken more than 75 trials to verdict in his 30-year litigation career and is an elected fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. He has served as national or regional trial counsel to several large companies in industries from oil and gas, automotive, information technology, manufacturing and consumer and professional services.
- Beverly Ledbetter is current vice president and general counsel at Brown University, and the 1972 alum is being honored for her work as in-house counsel. Prior to Brown, she was legal counsel for the University of Oklahoma and an adjunct professor at the university’s College of Law and at the Center for Higher Education in the College of Education. She has been on the faculty of the management development program at Harvard University, where she has also taught as an adjunct professor. She lectures frequently on higher education issues including employment, civil rights, sexual and racial harassment and federal regulatory compliance and is regarded as an expert in the field of higher education law.
- State Sen. Pat Steadman, a 1991 graduate, earned the distinction for public service. Steadman was selected in May 2009 to fill a vacancy in the Colorado State Senate, and in 2012, was reelected to a full four-year term. As a senator, Steadman has built a career around fighting for progressive causes and giving voice to marginalized and underrepresented communities. In 2013, he was honored at the White House with the Harvey Milk Champion of Change Award, recognizing his more than two decades of advocacy for equal rights.
Dean S. James Anaya will also present the Dean’s Choice Award for “, recognizing exceptional contributions to Colorado Law, to federal district court Judge Christine Arguello as an “Adopted Alumna.” Arguello earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Colorado Boulder in 1977 and earned her law degree from Harvard Law School in 1980. Prior to taking the bench, Arguello’s career was a mix of public and private practice and academia. Arguello joined the court in 2008 after being nominated by then-President George W. Bush. Arguello is the first Hispanic U.S. district court judge in Colorado. Arguello also leads Law School . . . Yes We Can, an organization she founded to provide mentoring and training to diverse undergraduate students interested in attending law school.
For more information on the Colorado Law Alumni Awards Banquet, visit www.colorado.edu/law/banquet.