4 alumni honored at the Annual Alumni Luncheon

Friday, April 11, 2014

Each year, the College of Law honors alumni with awards presented at the Annual Alumni Luncheon. The Alumni Loyalty Award is given to an alumnus or alumna who has demonstrated exceptional leadership through his or her service to the College of Law Community, while the Distinguished Alumni Award honors professional achievements and community leadership.

The Honorable Debra B. Walker (’87) received the 2014 Alumni Loyalty Award. Judge Walker was nominated for the award by C.K. Gunsalus (’84), Carl Vacketta (’67), and past award recipients, Judge James F. Holderman (’71) and Prabha Parameswaran (’93). In a joint nomination letter, Gunsalus and Vacketta said, “Judge Walker exemplifies all that the College of Law could want in an alumna. Her extraordinary record of service and professionalism reflect well on the College of Law. She stands for engagement, selfless dedication and service to others.”

Judge Walker currently sits in Expedited Hearings within the Domestic Relations Division on the Circuit Court of Cook County. Beyond her many professional commitments, Judge Walker has given back to the College of Law in numerous ways. She is a founding member of the Cribbet Society  and is believed to be the youngest member ever of the Board of Visitors. She was a charter chair of the Recent Alumni Advisory Board, has served as a mentor to many law students, and has hired Illinois law students or placed them with colleagues for externships. Judge Walker has been a frequent speaker I lecturer on campus, and she also assists deans in networking with members of the Illinois legal community. A graduate of the class of 1987, she diligently serves as her class agent, organizing reunions and helping to keep alumni connected to the College of Law.

This year, the College selected three Distinguished Alumni Award recipients.

Carol Harrington (’77) is a partner in the law firm of McDermott Will & Emery LLP, where she heads the firm’s Private Client Practice Group. A national authority on the federal generation-skipping tax, she is a co-author of a tax treatise and has published many articles on the subject. Among many other awards, Harrington was named one of the three most influential lawyers of 2011 by The National Law Journal for trusts and estates.

Lee Reichert (’92) is the deputy general counsel of Molson Coors Brewing Company and the chief legal officer of its Molson Coors International business unit, where he leads the legal aspects of the company’s international joint ventures, strategic alliances, and acquisition activities. He oversaw the company’s recent market entries into South America, India, Australia, and Europe, and his efforts on a recent acquisition and integration resulted in the “Best Corporate Counsel Award” from the Denver Business Journal in 2013.

Adam Hoeflich (’91) is a partner at Bartlit Beck, where he represents major U.S. and international companies in mass torts, purported class actions, antitrust cases, contract interpretation disputes, and a range of other complex commercial matters in federal and state courts throughout the United States. He has been lead counsel on numerous high profile cases, and his accomplishments have been noted by several legal publications, one of which referred to him as a “litigation star.” He is also currently a lecturer at the University of Chicago Law School.

The awards were presented to the honorees at the Alumni Awards Luncheon in Chicago on Thursday, April 24. Please join the College of Law in congratulating our 2014 recipients!

From left: Adam Hoeflich, Lee Reichert, Carol Harrington, Dean Bruce Smith, and Debra Walker.