Washington University in St. Louis School of Law celebrated the outstanding achievements of six individuals at the annual Distinguished Alumni Awards Dinner April 15 in the Crowder Courtyard of Anheuser-Busch Hall.
Kent Syverud, JD, dean and the Ethan A.H. Shepley University Professor, presented the awards. Four alumni received Distinguished Law Alumni Awards, and two received Distinguished Young Law Alumni Awards.
Distinguished Law Alumni
Clifford M. Buchholz (JD ’70) is owner of Miramont Lifestyle Fitness of Fort Collins, Colo., and a member of many advisory boards. An innovator in the health club industry, he owns four health and wellness clubs with 22,000 members and 400 employees. He also founded St. Renatus LLC, a dental pharmaceutical company that created a nasal mist anesthetic that is entering Phase III FDA trials.
Before entering WUSTL law school in 1966, Buchholz played in the U.S. Open tennis tournament nine times and Wimbledon twice. He reached the rank of No. 17 in singles and No. 4 in doubles.
Since 1971, he founded and operated six tennis clubs and retired in 2002 from 20 years as the director for the fifth largest tennis tournament in the world, now the Sony Ericsson Open.
The Buchholz family funded the Ashe-Buchholz Tennis Center in Miami, which provides opportunities for inner-city youth.
Andrea J. Grant (AB ’71, JD ’74) is a partner in the Washington, D.C., office of DLA Piper and part of its government affairs practice group. A member of the WUSTL Board of Trustees since 2010, Grant serves on the Regional Council, as co-chair of the Washington, D.C. Scholarship Initiative and the National Council for Arts & Sciences.
Named as a “legend” in the industry by the New England Fuel Institute, Grant has been involved in energy and environmental law first with the federal Oil Import Appeals Board and later, in private practice, with U.S. energy policy on petroleum prices, taxes, oil spills, air quality, climate change and renewable fuels. She has provided advice to the U.S. Department of Energy, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Internal Revenue Service and various congressional committees.
Kenneth J. Rothman (AB ’57, JD ’58) was lieutenant governor of Missouri from 1980-84. He served in the Missouri House of Representatives for 18 years, rising to majority leader and speaker of the House. He was involved in passage of legislation on child abuse prevention, mental health reform, extension of nonpartisan court appointments to include St. Louis County, revision of the judicial article, creation of the first two renal dialysis centers in the state and the Rothman-Brockfeld Road Act.
Rothman was a judge in St. Ann and Richmond Heights and is of counsel to Capes, Sokol, Goodman & Sarachan in the areas of administrative law, health care, and civil and criminal trial practice. He is a member of the Missouri Municipal & Associate Judges Association.
Tatjana V. Schwendinger (JD ’72) has been an administrative law judge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission since 1983 and a supervisory administrative judge since 1995. Prior to joining the EEOC, she worked in private practice and with the National Labor Relations Board.
Schwendinger is a former board member of the Forsyth School and has been a board or committee member at Grace Hill Settlement House since 1991. She and her husband, Bob, are members of WUSTL’s Law Eliot Society and Scholarship Initiative committees. They are annual scholarship donors and established a bequest commitment to fund an endowed scholarship at the law school.
Distinguished Young Law Alumni
Michael D. Burton (JD ’85) has served as an associate circuit judge, circuit court judge and, since 2008, an administrative (presiding) judge of St. Louis Family Court, where he spearheaded the St. Louis County Domestic Violence Court.
He was an attorney with the St. Louis Special Public Defender’s Office from 1985-89, and then worked for 10 years as a criminal defense trial attorney with a special emphasis on death penalty cases for Margulis, Grant, Burton and Margulis. He also was a guardian ad litem for juvenile and domestic cases in the family court.
In 1990, Burton and his wife, Sheila, started Join Hands ESL Inc. for youth in East St. Louis. The organization formed mentoring programs for teens and young mothers. More than 250 volunteers, most from the legal community, have worked with Join Hands. He also created Students Toward Academic Responsibility Court, which pairs volunteer lawyer-mentors with truant children from the Ferguson-Florissant School District.
Kevin E. Packman (JD ’98) is a partner with Holland & Knight and chair of its offshore compliance team and private wealth services group. His practice includes tax controversies, estate planning and creditor protection planning.
He is the first recipient of the ALS Association’s Kevin Packman Award for the Most Outstanding Volunteer, the Thelma Gibson Community Service Award and Health Care Hero Award. He is chairman and CEO of the nonprofit ALS Recovery Fund, which has given $1 million to fund a permanent chair for ALS Research at the University of Miami and more than $750,000 to ALS patients, making it the only ALS organization in the country to provide patient grants of up to $10,000.
Packman also heads a program to help Holocaust survivors in South Florida apply for pensions from Germany.