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2020 Celebration of Achievement

October 17 @ 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm


Sponsor the 2020 Celebration of Achievement

Santa Clara Law hosts the Celebration of Achievement Evening annually to recognize alumni and members of the law school community with the following honors: the Alumni Special Achievement Award, the Edwin J. Owens Lawyer of the Year Award, the Amicus Award and the Young Alumnus Rising Star Award.

The Celebration of Achievement honors lawyers who have made a difference for Santa Clara Law. The Community comes together to acknowledge the significant contributions of alumni and friends from far and wide.


Alumni Special Achievement Award

Rebecca Sue Jones BA '83, JD '87Rebecca Jones BA ‘83, JD ‘87

Rebecca Jones, managing partner of Gallagher, Reedy & Jones, maintains a general practice emphasizing estate planning, wills and trusts, family law, business transactions, unlawful detainer and general litigation. Her firm maintains a fundamental goal to provide ethical, cost-effective legal representation by way of a concerned, personalized attorney-client relationship that focuses on problem resolution as its primary objective. Ms. Jones strongly believes in giving back both in her legal and local communities. Her motto is: “If you take care of the community, the community will take care of you.” Ms. Jones has given countless hours of service to Santa Clara Law. In addition to serving on the Santa Clara Law Alumni Board for nearly 20 years (1997-2018), she has also taught at the Law School for more than 30 years, with classes including first-year Legal Analysis, Research and Writing, Appellate Advocacy, and Upper Division Legal Writing, as well as a writing course to help third-year law students pass the California Bar Exam. In addition, she is a volunteer for the Santa Clara County Pro Bono Project, SALA, and volunteers as a Judge Pro Tem helping others settle their cases. She also serves on the board of Lincoln Glen Little League, the Pirate Football Booster program, and has been an active fundraiser for the Special Olympics Polar Plunge and Coaches Against Cancer.

Edwin J. Owens Lawyer of the Year Award

Kenneth ManasterProfessor Emeritus Kenneth Manaster

Kenneth A. Manaster, the Presidential Professor of Ethics and the Common Good at SCU, has taught at Santa Clara Law for nearly five decades. He also serves as senior counsel in the environment, land use, and natural resources group of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP in San Francisco. After earning his bachelor’s and law degrees from Harvard University, Manaster studied in Peru on a Fulbright Fellowship, served as a law clerk for Judge Bernard M. Decker of the U.S. District Court in Chicago, and was in private practice at what is now Sidley Austin LLP. During the summer of 1969, he worked as associate counsel to the Special Commission of the Supreme Court of Illinois. He then served as a member of the Illinois and Chicago bar associations’ Joint Committee on the Judicial Article. In 1970, he became an assistant attorney general of Illinois, heading the Chicago office of the attorney general’s Environmental Control Division. From 1973 to 1990, he was a member of the Hearing Board of the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, serving as its chair for eleven years. In addition to law review articles on environmental law and other subjects, he co-authored State Environmental Law, a two-volume treatise, and he co-edits California Environmental Law and Land Use Practice, a seven-volume treatise. He is also the author of several other books including Environmental Protection and Justice, Illinois Justice: The Scandal of 1969 and the Rise of John Paul Stevens (which was the basis for a 2015 PBS documentary film), and The American Legal System and Civic Engagement: Why We All Should Think Like Lawyers.

Santa Clara Law Amicus Award

Paul GentzkowPaul Gentzkow

Paul Gentzkow is president and chief executive officer, staffing services of Robert Half International, one of the world’s largest accounting and staffing firms. Founded in 1948 and headquartered in Menlo Park, Robert Half has for several years been ranked first in its industry on Fortune magazine’s list of the “World’s Most Admired Companies.” In his role with Robert Half, Mr. Gentzkow oversees staffing operations throughout North America, Europe, the Asia-Pacific region and Latin America. Since 2006, he has served as a Trustee of Santa Clara University, during which time he has been chair of the Governance and Nominating Committee, chair of the Audit Committee, and a member of the Executive Committee. He recently served a 3-year term as Chair of the Board of Trustees. When Mr. Gentzkow was appointed Chair of the Board of Trustees, then SCU President Michael Engh, SJ said “Paul has a proven track record in corporate leadership here in Silicon Valley and around the globe. His international perspective, as well as his leading presence in Jesuit, Catholic education, have been invaluable to our board.” Gentzkow is a graduate of Minnesota State University, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in finance. He has previously served as Chairman of the Board of Regents for Bellarmine College Preparatory in San Jose and as president of the Board of Directors for Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County. In addition to his service to the University, Paul, his wife Barbara, and his company have generously supported various Law School causes over the years, including the popular Justice Ed Panelli Golf Classic, the construction of Charney Hall, and the mentoring and hiring of many students and alumni from Santa Clara Law.

Young Alumni Rising Star Award

Nicole ShanahanNicole Shanahan JD ‘14

Nicole Shanahan is a California based attorney and the founder and president of Bia-Echo Foundation, a private foundation that aims to invest in changemakers at the forefront of innovation who are tackling some of the world’s greatest challenges: reproductive longevity & equality, criminal justice reform, and a healthy & livable planet. Initial investments and projects led by Bia-Echo include the launch of the world’s first Center for Reproductive Longevity and Equality at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging and the Stanford Computational Policy Lab to drive social impact on criminal justice reform via data analysis and technical innovation. Prior to launching Bia-Echo, Nicole supported these efforts through the Sergey Brin Family Foundation. Nicole is also the founder and chair of the Board of ClearAccessIP, an integrated patent management company using AI to help the creators and owners of IP assets effectively develop, manage and transact patent-protected technology. Nicole is a research fellow at CodeX, the Stanford Center of Legal Informatics, a joint center between Stanford Law School and Computer Science, where she launched the Smart Prosecution project, a multi-disciplinary effort applying data science to the prosecutorial process, involving partnerships with district attorneys and community organizations. Apart from the practical applications of legal technology, her academic research centers on an extension of Ronald Coase’s work on transaction cost theory. Entitled, “Coasean Mapping,” she theorizes on the pace and nature of society’s adoption of artificial intelligence for law and government.

Platinum Sponsor

Robert Half


October 17
6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Event Category:


Law Alumni
(408) 551-1748


The Fairmont Hotel, San Jose
170 S Market Street
San Jose, CA 95113-2360 United States
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    2020 Celebration of Achievement

  • October 17
  • 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
  • The Fairmont Hotel, San Jose