The 29th annual DU Law Stars event was held at the Sturm Grand Pavilion at the Denver Art Museum on Friday, November 10, 2023. The night began with a VIP reception at 5 p.m., followed by a general reception and the awards ceremony at 6 p.m. Aaron Goldhamer, Mike Keating, Deirdre Ostrowski, Larry Free, and Zach Warzel from Keating Wagner Polidori Free attended this year’s DU Law Stars event.
The annual DU Law Stars event is a celebration uniting the Denver legal community to honor those in the legal field who have made outstanding contributions to both law and legal education. The event has changed over nearly three decades; however, one thing will always remain the same—its intention of honoring distinguished legal colleagues and celebrating the vibrant Denver Law community.
Keating Wagner Polidori Free is a proud 2023 Platinum Sponsor of DU Law Stars. This event is special to the firm for several reasons. Attorneys Larry Free, Deirdre Ostrowski, Melissa Sullivan, and Mike Keating are all proud DU alumni.
In addition, one of the awards presented each year at DU Law Stars is given in William “Bill” Keating’s name. Bill was Mike Keating’s father and a co-founder and shareholder at the firm. For many years, he served as the annual emcee for the DU Law Stars event.
The William L. Keating Outstanding Alumni Award is reserved for a DU Law graduate exemplifying achievement in the legal field, humanitarian service to the community, and remarkable loyalty to DU Law. This year, Dolores Atencio received this prestigious award. Ms. Atencio is a nationally recognized expert on the history of Latina lawyers and is well-known for her work both in and out of the legal field.
Other awards given at the 2023 DU Law Stars event include:
- Robert H. McWilliams, Jr. Alumni Professionalism Award: Reserved for a DU Law graduate displaying ethical conduct and professionalism, pro bono service dedication or community service, as well as loyalty to Denver Law. George “Skip” Gray III, JD’85, received this award this year.
- Robert B. Yegge Excellence in Teaching Award: Awarded to an educator for their notable contributions to the legal educational field and for cultivating Denver Law’s relationship with the community. The 2023 award was presented to Professor Catherine Smith, Chauncey G. Wilson Memorial Research Chair.
- Thompson G. Marsh Award: Awarded to a DU Law grad with outstanding accomplishments to recipients who may have chosen careers outside of the law or legal professions. This award is unique in that it isn’t an annual award but is given occasionally as determined by Sturm College of Law Alumni Council, the DU Law Stars nominating committee, and the dean of Denver Law. A 2023 award was given to Allison Herren Lee, JD’97.
- Bruce B. Johnson Outstanding Young Alumni Award: Presented to a graduate of the Sturm College of Law within under ten years of graduation at the time of the awards ceremony. The recipient must be enthusiastically committed to Denver Law’s mission, show dedication to upholding the highest standards of professional and ethical conduct, and be well-known for their remarkable contributions to the legal or greater community. This award isn’t annual but rather given occasionally as determined by the Denver Law Alumni Council, the DU Law Stars nominating committee, and the dean of Denver Law. A 2023 award was presented to Olivia Mendoza, JD’19.