Annual Alumni Awards Honor Eight Distinguished Alumni


After Law School Alumni Awards nlawproud

On Friday, April 12, Dean Yuracko presented awards to eight distinguished alumni at the Northwestern Pritzker School of Law’s sixth annual Alumni Awards Luncheon. The ceremony took place at the Union League Club of Chicago.

The awards and recipients are:

Distinguished Alumni Award
Jeff Hammes (JD ’85)

Jeff Hammes joined Kirkland & Ellis in 1985, became partner in 1991, and has served as chairman of Kirkland’s Global Management Executive Committee since 2010. He has led the firm through significant growth and expansion around the world. He was a founding partner of Kirkland’s offices in San Francisco and Palo Alto, and led the opening of the firm’s offices in Houston and Hong Kong. He also led and oversaw the transformation and growth of the firm’s offices in New York and London. During his tenure as chairman, Kirkland’s revenues more than doubled from $1.4 billion to over $3.2 billion, making Kirkland the largest firm in the world by revenue. Prior to becoming chairman, his legal practice focused on complex business transactions including mergers, acquisitions, leveraged buyouts, and going private transactions. Hammes has proudly served on the Northwestern Pritzker School of Law Dean’s Advisory Board since 2010.

Dawn Clark Netsch Award for Public Service
Katie Krueger (JD ’80)

A Chicago native, Katherine Kamp Krueger (“Katie”) grew up in South Florida, where she developed a passion for ocean science. Initially a geologist (BS and MS from Tulane), she worked for Gulf Oil in New Orleans and later the Field Museum in Chicago. After receiving her law degree she was an in-house environmental attorney for petrochemical companies in the greater Houston area. After moving to Washington State in the 1990s, she worked for some 20 years within the Quileute Tribe on the Olympic Peninsula on legal issues affecting treaty resources — salmon habitat, marine fisheries, wildlife, and vegetation — and wrote grants to restore or protect them. This tribe shares jurisdiction with state and federal agencies both onshore and in the ocean, and Krueger served on many committees regarding governance of the natural resources, a task she continues today as a volunteer, after retirement. She is also active in the local bar and in the MATE program furthering student interest in the sciences.

Daniel B. Rodriguez Alumni Club Excellence Award
The Honorable Sunil Harjani (BA ’97, JD ’00)

United States Magistrate Judge Sunil R. Harjani was appointed on September 27, 2018 and took his oath of office on January 10, 2019. Prior to assuming the bench, from September 2018 through January 2019, he was an assistant U.S. attorney and deputy chief of the Securities and Commodities Fraud Section for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Chicago, where he investigated and prosecuted complex white-collar crimes. Prior to that, Judge Harjani practiced federal civil litigation as a senior counsel at the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission, as an associate at Jenner & Block, and as a federal judicial law clerk. Judge Harjani is an adjunct professor of law at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law, where he teaches white collar crime and civil discovery courses. Judge Harjani is also a trained and certified mediator.

Peter Stach (BA ’06, JD ’12)

Peter Stach is a proud double purple alum of Northwestern who fondly remembers the days when finding an electrical outlet in Lincoln Hall could be the most physically demanding thing you did that day. He has spent his entire career in the Chicago office of Kirkland & Ellis LLP, where he is a partner in the Corporate M&A group. Stach lives in the West Loop with his wife Erin (JD ’10), his son Victor, and his daughter Violet, whose name is a tribute to the fact that her parents met and fell in love at Northwestern and also a ploy to make it into the alumni magazine. He enjoys cheering on all of Northwestern’s sports teams despite the years they have shaved off of his life.

Volunteer Service Award
Kendrick Washington (JD ’10)

Kendrick Washington is a civil rights attorney with the United States Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights. He is also currently an adjunct professor at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law. Prior to his current role, Washington served as an assistant general counsel for the Board of Education of the City of Chicago. He started his legal career as an assistant public defender for the Committee for Public Counsel Services in Boston, Massachusetts. Additionally, he serves as the president of the Board of Directors for Free Write Arts and Literacy and volunteers as a coach for the Bartlit Center Trial Team. Prior to law school, he was a sergeant in the United States Army and a veteran of Operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom.

Emerging Leader Award
Karl Riley (JD ’10)

Karl Riley is a law clerk for the Honorable Johnnie B. Rawlinson on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. At his previous firm, Riley defended Fortune 50 clients in federal and state forums. His practice included defense of general business disputes, various consumer protection statutes, and millions of dollars of assets against numerous wrongful foreclosure claims. In the employment arena, he defended against discrimination and harassment claims, as well as wage and hour disputes. Riley served as the chair of the National Bar Association Young Lawyers Division in 2014-15, and the National Bar Association named him to its “40 Lawyers Under 40” list in 2015. The State Bar of Nevada named him as the Young Lawyer of the Year in 2017, and he is a fellow of the American Bar Foundation. In 2018, Riley received the American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division “On the Rise” Award, which recognizes lawyers under the age of 36 who exemplify a broad range of high achievement, innovation, vision, leadership, and legal and community service. He was a 2018 fellow of the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity, which identifies high-potential attorneys from diverse backgrounds and sets them on the path to leadership of their organizations. Riley is the chair-elect of the State Bar of Nevada’s Young Lawyers Section.

International Alumni Award
Gabriel Moens (LLM ’72)

Professor Gabriel A. Moens is emeritus professor of law, The University of Queensland, Australia. He served as pro vice chancellor, dean and professor of law, Murdoch University and as Garrick Professor of Law, The University of Queensland. He was a visiting professor of law at J. Reuben Clark Law School, Brigham Young University and at Loyola University, New Orleans. In 1999, Professor Moens received the Australian Award for University Teaching in Law and Legal Studies. He is the editor-in-chief of International Trade and Business Law Review. In 2003, the Prime Minister of Australia awarded him the Australian Centenary Medal for services to education. Professor Moens was recently honored by the Australian legal profession at the launch of A Commitment to Excellence, which reviews his teaching, research, administrative, and mooting achievements. Professor Moens is a Membre Titulaire, International Academy of Comparative Law, Paris, and fellow of the Australian Academy of Law.

Dean’s Legacy Award
Sara Hays (JD ’89, MBA ’00)

Sara Hays is a legal and corporate governance expert with executive leadership experience in the commercial real estate, finance, and hospitality industries and over 30 years of board experience spanning public, private, family, and non-profit organizations in a variety of leadership, advisory, and committee roles. A general counsel, corporate secretary, and COO over the course of her career (Hyatt Hotels, Wrightwood Capital), she currently serves as an independent director of Apogee Enterprises, Inc., a global manufacturer of value-added glass products, services, and technologies; ECI US Holdings, a multi-family developer/operator with properties throughout the Southeast; and Draper & Kramer, a vertically integrated real estate and financial services company. Hays holds an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management, a JD from Northwestern Pritzker School of Law (where she is the immediate past president and a member of the Law Board) and a BA in History from Carleton College, where she previously served as a trustee.