The Distinguished Law Alumni Awards honor alumni who have obtained distinction in their professional or academic careers. Those honored share the same characteristics of leadership, progressive thinking, high standards, uncompromising integrity, commitment, courage, and confidence. Their careers serve as models for WashULaw students and alumni.

The School of Law will celebrate the outstanding achievements of these seven individuals on Thursday, March 26, 2020 at WashULaw. Click here to register for the event.

  • Jane Arnold, JD '93

    2020 Distinguished Alumna 
    Jane Arnold, ‘93
    Employer: Polsinelli

    As office managing partner of the St. Louis office of Polsinelli, Jane Arnold develops strong relationships that often begin with acquisitions or formations of new enterprises, continue through operational ups and downs, and follow clients on to their next endeavors after successful exit transactions. She has a deep understanding of the health care industry and applies that knowledge in a sophisticated transactional practice. Jane also currently serves as chair of the firm’s Health Care Alignment and Organization practice. Her 20 years of experience allows clients to achieve their business goals in a complex regulatory environment.

    Jane is committed to clients in the health care industry and has significant experience in:

    • Transactions involving private equity buyers and sellers of health care portfolio companies
    • Advising public companies with respect to strategic initiatives, including M&A
    • Advising growth-oriented private companies and practices on strategic and operational matters
    • Advising multi-jurisdictional providers, suppliers, and drug/device manufacturers regarding regulatory compliance matters
    • Advising and defending pharmacies and pharmacists on licensure matters
    • Strategic partnerships and alliances involving providers, manufacturers, and others
    • Corporate governance advice and design
    • Operational advice for industry participants, including post-transaction integration matters, development of compliant incentive arrangements and contract and regulatory matters


    Selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® for Health Care Law, 2012-2016, 2018; Honored by Missouri Lawyers Weekly 2014 Women’s Justice Awards, Business Practitioner, 2014; Selected for inclusion in “40 Under 40” by St. Louis Business Journal, 2005

  • Hon. Robert Bacharach, JD '85

    2020 Distinguished Alumnus 
    The Honorable Robert Bacharach, JD ’85
    Employer: US Federal Courts, United States Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit

    Robert Bacharach received his JD from Washington University School of Law in 1985, where he graduated Order of the Coif and served as an editor of the Washington University Law Quarterly. He then clerked for Judge William Judson Holloway Jr. of the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. In 1987, he joined the Oklahoma City law firm of Crowe & Dunlevy, P.C. as an associate, and became a shareholder in 1994 with a concentration on commercial litigation. Robert also served as an adjunct professor at the University of Oklahoma College of Law, teaching civil pretrial litigation.

    He was appointed United States Magistrate Judge of the United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma in 1999, holding that office until his elevation to Circuit Judge in 2013. During his time on the bench, he has handled nearly 3,000 civil and criminal cases and presided over more than 400 judicial settlement conferences. He has issued more than 1,600 reports and recommendations in a wide variety of judicial matters and chaired numerous committees for his district, including the Civil Rules Committee and the Criminal Justice Act Committee.

    On January 23, 2012, President Obama nominated Bacharach to be United States Circuit Judge for the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.

    On January 3, 2013, he was re-nominated to the same office. On February 7, 2013, the Senate Judiciary Committee reported his nomination to the floor by voice vote. The Senate confirmed his nomination on February 25, 2013, by a vote of 93–0. He received his commission on February 28, 2013.

  • Rebecca L. Brown, JD '96

    2020 Distinguished Alumna 
    Rebecca Berkley Brown, JD ’96
    Employer: Washington University

    Rebecca L. Brown serves as chancellor Andrew Martin’s chief strategic liaison to various constituencies, both internal and external to the university. She supports Chancellor Martin in short and long-term strategic priorities and consequential matters affecting the mission and goals of the university.

    Brown served as Chancellor Martin’s chief of staff at the University of Michigan, where he served as dean of the College of Literature, Science and the Arts. She previously held many roles at Washington University, including associate dean at the School of Law. She also worked as an associate general counsel at Deutsche Bank and as an associate in the litigation department at Bryan Cave.

    Brown earned a law degree from Washington University School of Law and her undergraduate degree in Communication from Purdue University.

  • Larry Deskins, JD ‘77

    2020 Distinguished Alumnus
    Larry Deskins, JD ‘77
    Employer: Lewis Rice LLC

    Larry Deskins is a Member at Lewis Rice LLC, where he represents a variety of corporations, limited liability companies, partnerships, and individuals across a broad range of industries, including auto supply, food and beverage, gaming, manufacturing, and service. He also represents both buy and sell-side clients, specializing in: banking and financial matters, mergers and acquisitions, securities, closely held businesses, partnerships, joint ventures, business finance, restructuring, and workouts.

    Larry is a member of the Committee on Private Equity and Venture Capital of the American Bar Association, and is also AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell. He was selected for inclusion in Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyers® 2005.

    An ardent supporter of many charities and civic causes, Larry serves on: the board of directors for the Automobile Club of Missouri, the Tyrrell Williams Lecture Committee at Washington University’s School of Law, the board of directors at Girls Incorporated of St. Louis, and many more organizations.

  • Yingxi Fu-Tomlinson, JD '89

    2020 Distinguished Alumna 
    Yingxi Fu-Tomlinson, JD ’89
    Employer: Arnold Porter

    Born and raised in Shanghai, Yingxi Fu-Tomlinson is among the first small group of attorneys to have received formal legal education and practiced in both the United States and China.

    Yingxi’s 30 years of experience in M&A and corporate law matters spans the US, China, and other Asian countries. She has advised multinational corporations, private equity funds, and Chinese companies on a wide range of strategic and financial in-bound and out-bound investment, acquisition, restructuring, and joint venture projects in various industries. She has also represented many prestigious technology companies and financial institutions in mergers and acquisitions, public offerings and private placements, as well as other general corporate and commercial matters in the US.

    Yingxi has been recognized as a leading practitioner in Chambers Global (2010-2018) and Chambers Asia (2009-2018). Clients have commented that she has “the unique ability to bridge the cultural and communication divide between the US and China,” citing her “distinguished profile in strategic investments, acquisition restructuring and joint venture projects.” She also has been featured in The American Lawyer and its sister publication, The Asian Lawyer. She has appeared on CNBC and has been interviewed frequently by other news media such as the New York Law Journal, China Daily, Business Weekly (a China Daily publication), and Global Entrepreneur.

  • Bhavik Patel, LLM ’04

    2020 Distinguished Alumnus
    Bhavik Patel, LLM ’04
    Employer: Sandberg Phoenix

    Bhavik R. Patel joined Sandberg Phoenix & von Gontard in 2004. He currently serves as the firm’s CEO and Chairman of the Executive Committee. Bhavik oversees the strategy and direction of the firm, manages growth and expansion opportunities and coaches the firm leaders. Under his direction, the firm developed and implemented a strategic communications plan and rebranded to better reflect the firm’s values, culture and commitment to service. He has fostered and led the firm to grow to nearly 350 employees and approximately doubled the firm’s revenue in the last three years.

    In addition to his work as CEO, he is the Chair of the firm’s Wealth Planning Group and Special Needs Planning Group and focuses in the following areas: Wealth/Tax Planning and Administration, Business/Corporate Planning, Special Needs Planning, Probate and Trust Litigation, FINRA Litigation, Trademarks

    Bhavik’s work with the special needs community extends outside of the firm. He is the founder and chairman of Families at Ease, a local not-for-profit entity focused on delivering information about programs, services and resources available for special needs children and their families. He is also committed to civic and philanthropic causes. Bhavik serves as the Membership Co-Chair for Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO), a global leadership community, as a Member of the Board of Directors for St. Louis ARC, Starkloff Disability Institute, Emeritus Board Member of the Foster and Adoptive Coalition, founded the Sandberg Phoenix Charitable Foundation and is this year’s Co-Chair for this Strategy Across the Board Gala.

2020 Distinguished Young Law Alumni Awards

The Distinguished Young Law Alumni Awards honor alumni who graduated from the School of Law within the past 10 years. The recipients exemplify achievement and commitment to the ideals embodied in the School of Law education.

  • Bethany Lee, JD '12

    2020 Distinguished Young Alumna
    Bethany Lee, JD ’12
    Employer: Google

    Bethany Lee is Corporate Counsel at Google LLC, where she serves as lead cloud counsel for the New York and New England regions. In this role, Bethany is responsible for negotiating complex cloud transactions involving Google’s wide array of cloud offerings, including Google Cloud Platform, G Suite, Google Maps, Google Cloud’s artificial intelligence and machine learning products and Google Cloud professional services. During her time at Google, Bethany has closed deals totaling an estimated $1.5 billion in cloud revenue with numerous strategic customers, including Verizon, McKesson Corporation, Etsy Inc.,, Kohl’s and Wayfair. Prior to joining Google, Bethany was Corporate Counsel at Oracle America, Inc., where she was responsible for closing Oracle’s largest cloud transaction with AT&T worth $1 billion. Bethany also worked as an associate in the mergers and acquisitions practices of White & Case LLP in New York City and Covington & Burling LLP in Washington, DC and clerked for Justice Randy J. Holland of the Delaware Supreme Court and Judge Charles E. Erdmann of the US Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces.

    Bethany is a member of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association and the Asian American Bar Association of New York. She is also an active volunteer in the Street Law and #IamRemarkable community outreach programs. Street Law is a global, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization with more than 40 years of experience developing classroom and community programs that educate middle and high school students about law and government. #IamRemarkable is a Google initiative empowering women and underrepresented groups to celebrate their achievements in the workplace and beyond.

    Bethany earned her B.A. in History and English from Duke University in 2007 and her J.D. from Washington University School of Law in 2012. During her time at Washington University School of Law, Bethany received the Charles Wendell Carnahan Award for Legal Excellence in Conflict of Laws, the CALI Award for Excellence in Conflict of Laws, and the Washington University in St. Louis Scholar in Law Award. Bethany was also a member of the Washington University Global Studies Law Review and the Asian Pacific American Law Student Association.

    Bethany currently resides in New York City with her husband, Tim Lupinek, and their rescue dog, Ollie.

  • Virginia J. Maynes, JD '13

    2020 Distinguished Young Alumna
    Virginia J. Maynes, JD ’13
    Employer: Immigration Counseling Service (ICS)

    Virginia Maynes is currently an attorney at Catholic Community Services (“CCS”) in Salt Lake City, Utah.  At CCS, Virginia is responsible for a new program to provide representation to low-income adults and children in removal proceedings in front of the federal Immigration Court in Salt Lake City.  The program is designed to bring together the various nonprofit providers, law students, and private bar volunteers in the area to provide services to those at risk of removal from the United States.

    Previously, Virginia was the Managing Attorney of the Unaccompanied Minors team at the Immigration Counseling Service (“ICS”) in Portland, Oregon.  As such, Virginia worked with a team of dedicated individuals to provide representation and critical rights information to minors detained by the Office of Refugee Resettlement in facilities in the Portland area.  The minors represented by Virginia and her team either did not have a parent or legal guardian available to provide care and custody for them at the time of their apprehension or they were separated from their family members by the U.S. government.

    Before beginning her work with unaccompanied minors at ICS, Virginia was the Child Welfare Managing Attorney at the Immigrant Law Center in Omaha, Nebraska.  Beyond her formal work advocating for immigrants, Virginia also volunteered with the organization Advocates Abroad to assist refugees arriving in Athens, Greece from war-torn areas of the Middle East.  She is also active in providing service through her membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Make a gift in honor of a 2020 Distinguished Alumni Awardee.

A block of rooms are available at the Drury Inn & Suites, Brentwood at the reduced rate of $119.00/night plus applicable taxes. To make a reservation, call (314) 968-3704 and reference Group #2407278, or book online.

2019 Distinguished Alumni Awards Pictures

Nomination Guidelines

To nominate an alumni for the Distinguished Alumni Award, please click here.

For more information, please contact:
Office of Alumni & Development Programs
Phone: (314) 935-5246

Past Distinguished Alumni Recipients

2019 • 2018 2017 • 2016 • 2015 • 2014

2013 • 2012 •  2011 • 2010 • 2009 • 2008