Alumni News

UCLA Law Magazine | Fall 2020

UCLA Law Awards Celebrate Leading Alumni and Friends

L to R: Katharine DeShaw, William Anderson ’88, Brad Sears, Chuck Williams, Dean Jennifer Mnookin, the Hon. Jacqueline Nguyen ’91, Eileen Decker, Cheryl Lott ’04 and Roddrick Jackson.

UCLA Law honored prominent alumni and friends who excel in business, the judiciary, corporate litigation and public service at the 2019 UCLA Law Awards ceremony in December.

The Hon. Jacqueline Nguyen ’91, William Anderson ’88, Cheryl Lott ’04 and Chuck Williams were recognized for their commitment to excellence in the law and dedication to UCLA Law. The evening celebration was held at the London West Hollywood and was sponsored by Buchalter, Topa Equities, Fenwick & West and the UCLA Alumni Association.

Following opening remarks by UCLA Law Dean Jennifer Mnookin, who noted that the school was celebrating its 70th anniversary and toasted the law school’s more than 18,000 living alumni, the honorees spoke of their appreciation for UCLA Law and how it inspired them to create meaningful impact in the law and society.

Nguyen, a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, received the Distinguished Alumna of the Year award. A former assistant U.S. attorney and judge on the Los Angeles County Superior Court, she was appointed by President Obama to the federal district court and then the appeals court. Nguyen was introduced by her friend Eileen Decker, a former Los Angeles deputy mayor and assistant U.S. attorney, who teaches comparative national security law and policy at UCLA Law.

Anderson, executive chairman of the Topa Equities, was honored with the Distinguished Alumnus of the Year award. Now a leader in diverse businesses including beverage distribution and real estate, he previously worked as a lawyer at O’Melveny & Myers and as a legislative assistant to former Sen. George Mitchell (D-Maine). Anderson was introduced by his friend Katharine DeShaw, who is deputy director of advancement and external relations at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures.

A star in the UCLA alumni universe and a shareholder at Buchalter, Lott received the Emerging Leader award. She is a premier corporate litigator and active leader in the UCLA community, including service as the president of the UCLA Alumni Association and as a member of the boards of the UCLA Foundation, the UCLA Law Alumni Association and the UCLA Law Women LEAD network. She was introduced by her husband, Roddrick Jackson, who is an engineer at Northrup Grumman.

Williams received the inaugural Honorary Alumnus award for his generosity and service to the Williams Institute at UCLA Law. The institute launched in 2001 with his $2.5 million gift, at the time the largest donation ever to support a gay and lesbian academic program in any discipline. Holder of a B.A. and M.B.A. from UCLA, Williams has in nearly two decades donated more than $15 million to the institute, which is the nation’s premier source of LGBT policy research and scholarship. He was introduced by the institute’s founding executive director, Brad Sears, who is now UCLA Law’s associate dean of public interest law and the David Sanders Distinguished Scholar of Law and Policy at the Williams Institute.