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.

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  • The Honorable Robert Bacharach, JD ’85

    2022 Distinguished Alumnus
    The Honorable Bob Bacharach, JD ’85
    Employer: US Federal Courts, United States Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit

    Judge Bacharach graduated with high honors from the University of Oklahoma, where he earned the Tom Lottinville Award for the best essay in the History Department. Following graduation, Judge Bacharach proudly attended Washington University School of Law, where he obtained a Juris Doctorate in 1985. He graduated Order of the Coif and Order of Barristers, served as developments editor for the Washington University Law Quarterly, obtained two Honor Scholar Awards (for top 10% ranking in his first and second years of law school), earned the Breckenridge Scholarship (for the second-highest grade ranking in his third year of law school), and earned the Mary Collier Hitchcock Prize for the best law review note. Following graduation, Judge Bacharach practiced litigation roughly twelve and a half years at Crowe & Dunlevy, P.C. in Oklahoma City. In early 1999, Judge Bacharach was appointed as a United States Magistrate Judge in the Western District of Oklahoma, where he served for roughly fourteen years. In 2013, he was appointed to serve as a United States Circuit Judge for the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, where he has served for roughly seven years.

    Judge Bacharach has authored or co-authored six law review articles: Judicial Advocacy in Pro Se Litigation: A Return to Neutrality, 42 Indiana Law Review 19 (2009); Section 1983 and the Availability of a Federal Forum: A Reappraisal of the Police Brutality Cases, 16 Memphis State University Law Review 353 (1986); Section 1983 and an Administrative Exhaustion Requirement, 40 Oklahoma Law Review 407 (1987); Motions in Limine in Oklahoma State and Federal Courts, 24 Oklahoma City University Law Review 113 (1999); Dirks v. SEC’s Footnote Fourteen: Horizontal and Vertical Reach, 62 Washington University Law Quarterly 477 (1984); Post-Trial Juror Interviews by the Press: The Fifth Circuit’s Approach 783 (1985). His first book, Legal Writing-A Judge’s Perspective on the Science and Rhetoric of the Written Word, was published by the ABA Press in May 2020.

    Judge Bacharach has earned the Oklahoma Bar Association’s Award of Judicial Excellence; the Oklahoma City Public Schools Foundation’s Wall of Fame; and the Oklahoma County Bar Association’s Award for Leadership in the Law.

  • Mary Ann Clifford, JD '99

    2022 Distinguished Alumna
    Mary Ann Clifford, JD ’99
    Employer: Retired, formerly Washington University School of Law

    Mary Ann Clifford served as the Assistant Dean of Admissions at Washington University School of Law for over twenty years. In this position, she was part of a team that worked to bring the best and brightest students to the law school.

    Clifford met with prospective law students, pre-law advisors, and career counselors at colleges and universities nationwide during her admissions career. She served on the Law School Admission Council’s Finance and Legal Affairs Committee and has been a panelist at LSAC Annual Conferences and Forums.

    Clifford earned her law degree from Washington University School of Law and her Bachelor of Science in Accounting and Masters of Business Administration from St. Louis University. Before attending law school, she was an accountant in the private industry and co-founded the destination and event management company, Destination St. Louis. For many years, she was an officer and board member for the Junior League of St. Louis and an active parent volunteer at The Churchill School and Villa Duchesne and Oak Hill School.

    to the Board of Trustees. She returned to Washington University in 2019, where she served as associate vice chancellor and chief of staff, serving as a key leader on strategic priorities and substantive 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 Communications from Purdue University.

  • Steven Rosenblum, JD ’92

    2022 Distinguished Alumnus
    Steven Rosenblum, JD ’92
    Employer: Washington University

    Steven Rosenblum is the Associate Vice Chancellor for University Initiatives at Washington University in St. Louis. He served as Director of Major and Planned Gifts at the Saint Louis Zoo before returning to Washington University in 2013 as Executive Director of Development. Rosenblum also worked in Arts & Sciences Alumni & Development and the Planned Giving Office at the university. His expertise includes charitable gifts and estate planning, annual giving programs, and campaign strategies. He formerly served as Vice President for Communications of the St. Louis Planned Giving Council Board and as co-chair of the Leave a Legacy program. He was also the co-chair of the Legacy Awards Dinner and served on the planning committee for the Will to Give program.

    Steven Rosenblum has devoted his life and career to advancing cultural, educational, and charitable institutions in the St. Louis region through both his longstanding career in nonprofit fundraising and his extensive volunteer service with a wide variety of civic organizations. Rosenblum currently serves on several Boards of Directors including the Parents as Teachers National Board where he serves on the Executive Committee and is Chair of the Fund Development Committee; the Crown Center for Senior Living, an independent living apartment complex for low-income seniors where he currently serves as Immediate Past Board President, and the Clayton Community Foundation.

    Rosenblum received his JD from Washington University Law School and his BA from the History Honors College at the University of Texas in Austin. A native of St. Louisan, Steven shares his passion for public service with his wife Andrea and three sons, Myles, Spencer, and Henry. Steven’s character, enthusiasm, and commitment to improving the lives of others are summed up in the words of a colleague: “Steven is a model of tolerance, thoughtfulness, optimism, creativity, and hard work. He inspires me to look for the good everywhere, to demonstrate openness to everyone, and to find perpetual enjoyment in the big and small. It is a pleasure and honor to work for Steven and to learn and grow from his daily example.” His dedication and devotion to the non-profit world and his ability to link high-end donors to the institutions he works at have made him a well-respected member of both the non-profit community and the legal community.

  • Sondra Tennessee, JD ’92

    2022 Distinguished Alumna
    Sondra Tennessee, JD ’92
    Employer: University of Houston

    Sondra R. Tennessee is the Associate Dean for Alumni and Community Relations overseeing alumni engagement, community outreach, continuing legal education programming, and career development at the University of Houston Law Center. In addition, she works strategically with a broad group of offices on the University of Houston campus. Before assuming her current position, she served as the Associate Dean for Student Affairs at the UH Law Center.  Before joining the UH Law Center, she also worked at the University of Oklahoma College of Law and Washington University School of Law.

    Active in legal education nationally, Dean Tennessee has served in leadership positions in several organizations, such as the chair for the Law School Admission Council Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee from 2017-2019, co-chair for the American Bar Association’s 2017 and 2019 Associate Deans Conferences, and a member of the American Bar Associations Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs.

    In 2018 during their 50th Anniversary Gala, the Council on Legal Education Opportunity (CLEO) recognized Dean Tennessee for her work in diversity with a CLEO EDGE Award. She also received the University of Houston Law Center Dean’s Award for outstanding service.
    Graduating from Vanderbilt University with BA in Philosophy and from Washington University in St. Louis with a law degree, Dean Tennessee has used her education to help others achieve their goals.

    Dean Tennessee is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and Jack and Jill of America. She lives in Pearland, Texas with her husband Gregory, their son Jacob, and two furry friends, Humphrey and Poppy.

  • Hao Zhou, LLM ’02

    2022 Distinguished Alumnus
    Hao Zhou, LLM ’02
    Employer: King & Wood Mallesons

    Hao is Co-Chief Executive of King & Wood Mallesons’s Hong Kong office, the largest law firm in Hong Kong, and a KWM’s China Management Committee member. Hao also heads KWM HK’s debt capital markets practice and US securities practice.

    Qualified in both Missouri and Hong Kong, Hao specializes in advising issuers and international investment banks in investment-grade bond offerings involving different credit enhancement structures, public and private high yield bond offerings, liability management exercises such as consent solicitation, and tender offers. Hao also has rich experience in acting as US counsel in initial public offerings on the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong.

    Hao is consistently ranked as a leading capital markets lawyer by major international legal directories.

  • Wei Zhu JD '17

    2022 Distinguished Young Alumna
    Wei Zhu, JD ’17
    Employer: Grail, LLC

    Wei Zhu is Sr Counsel, IP at Grail, LLC, a healthcare company focused on early cancer detection. In this role, Wei manages Grail’s intellectual property portfolio and provides a global intellectual property strategy in line with Grail’s business goals. Before joining Grail, Wei worked at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich Rosati and Bookoff McAndrews as a patent attorney, a role in which she assisted dozens of domestic and foreign clients with growing and protecting their patent portfolios in a variety of technical fields including machine learning, artificial intelligence, bioscience, pharmaceuticals, neuroscience, medical devices, databases, semiconductors, material science, and clean technology. In 2020, Wei was selected as a Super Lawyers Rising Star in intellectual property in Washington, DC.

    Wei was raised in China’s Hunan Province, and she studied at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign for her Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering, a Master’s in Statistics, and an MBA degree. She worked at a clean energy startup company for 3 years and became the principal investigator for a National Science Foundation project.

    Wei later obtained a JD from Washington University Law School in St. Louis in 2017. During law school, she served as a Graduate Student Representative to the Washington University Board of Trustees (2016–17). She was selected by William Tate, Dean of the Graduate School and Vice Provost for graduate education, to deliver the graduate student address at Washington University’s 156th Commencement in 2017.

    Wei resides in McLean, Virginia, with her husband, Hyunsu Kim. They have one daughter, Ellie, who was born in 2021.