Law School Alumni Association Honors Seven Graduates

The awards, which recognize contributions to the law school, legal profession and greater community, will be presented at a virtual ceremony on Oct. 26, 2021.

photos of award recipients

The recipients of the 2021 University of Connecticut Law School Alumni Association awards, top row, from left: Michael J. Callahan JD ’95, Robert W. Clark CLAS ’93 JD ’97, Constance Belton Green JD ’72; bottom row, from left: Alexandra J. Cavaliere JD ’16, Franklin E. Perry JD ’13, Bianca Scherr JD ’16, and DeVaughn L. Ward JD ’11.

The University of Connecticut Law School Alumni Association will honor seven graduates at a virtual awards ceremony and annual meeting at 6 p.m. on Oct. 26, 2021. The event is open to all UConn Law alumni.

The annual awards recognize the contributions of UConn Law graduates to the law school, the legal profession and the community.

Michael J. Callahan JD ’95 will receive the Distinguished Graduate Award. He is the executive director of the Arthur and Toni Rembe Rock Center for Corporate Governance and professor of the practice of law at Stanford Law School. Before entering academia, he was senior vice president and general counsel at LinkedIn. Before that, he was executive vice president and chief legal officer at Ten-X and executive vice president and general counsel at Yahoo! Inc.

In 2020, Callahan and his wife, Dana Weintraub, established the Mike Callahan ’95 Family Scholarship for Veterans at the UConn School of Law.

Judge Robert W. Clark CLAS ’93 JD ’97, who was sworn in as a judge of the Connecticut Appellate Court in March 2021, will receive the Public Service Award. Clark previously served as a Superior Court judge in the Bridgeport GA and juvenile court and as general counsel to Gov. Ned Lamont. He worked for 14 years in the Connecticut Attorney General’s Office, first as an assistant attorney general in the Special Litigation Department and later as special counsel to Attorney General George Jepsen. He previously worked for the law firms of Day, Berry & Howard LLP, now Day Pitney, and Kramer Levin.

Constance Belton Green, JD ’72, the first Black woman to graduate from the UConn School of Law, will receive the Distinguished Service Award. In addition to her JD, Green holds an education doctorate from Teachers College Columbia University. She began her legal career as a staff attorney at the New Haven Legal Assistance Program and at Greater Hartford Legal Aid. She served as an education consultant at the Connecticut Department of Education and as chief diversity officer at Eastern Connecticut State University. Green is the author of “The Trailblazing Bessye Bennett” and “Still We Rise: African Americans at the University of Connecticut School of Law.”

Green, a diversity consultant, serves as a co-chair of the Diversity Equity and Belonging Committee at UConn Law. The Constance Belton Green Diversity Fund, established in 2020 by Dean Eboni S. Nelson, supports diversity and social justice initiatives at the law school.

The association will also honor four alumni with the Graduates of the Last Decade Impact Award:

Alexandra Cavaliere JD ’16 is an associate at Locke Lord LLP, where she focuses on general corporate, regulatory and transactional insurance matters. She began her legal career as an associate in the Boston office of Proskauer Rose LLP. After a long journey beginning in July 2019, she was officially diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as ALS and Lou Gehrig’s disease. While she is still working, she is transitioning her focus to advocating for ALS patients’ access to funding and treatments full-time.

Franklin Perry II JD ’13 works for the Connecticut General Assembly as the chief of staff for the Connecticut House Democrats. He previously worked as an attorney at Brown Rudnick LLP in the Government Affairs and Real Estate practice groups. During his time at UConn Law, Franklin served as the Student Bar Association president. He currently serves as a board member on the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority and the Connecticut Bar Foundation.

Bianca Slota Scherr ’16 is a former prosecutor, journalist and PR specialist. From 2005 to 2010, she was a news reporter and anchor for television stations in Anchorage, Alaska, and Burlington, Vermont. She subsequently served as press secretary to Gov. Peter Shumlin of Vermont and as a social media and digital communications specialist at the UConn School of Law. After graduating cum laude, Scherr joined the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office as an assistant district attorney. She spent nearly five years prosecuting misdemeanors and felonies, including sex crimes and human trafficking cases, before leaving the office to be a full-time parent.

DeVaughn L. Ward JD ’11 is senior legislative counsel at the Marijuana Policy Project and has worked in several states on marijuana legalization. He previously spent nearly a decade gaining experience in law and public policy by serving in legislative roles in the Connecticut State Senate, the Connecticut Department of Public Health, and the City of Hartford. In addition to his role at the Marijuana Policy Project, he manages a boutique civil rights practice in Hartford and has worked on behalf of Connecticut inmates in their battle to receive adequate medical care.

“One of the wonderful traditions of the UConn Law School Alumni Association is the annual awards dinner,” association President Tara Trifon said. “Not only is the event an opportunity for fellow alumni to connect — even if we have to do it virtually — but it offers us a chance to honor some of the incredible graduates from our alma mater. This year’s honorees include people who have devoted their time and energy to helping others through education, public service and advocacy. Indeed, they have worked tirelessly to make our society and legal community a better place. They are truly inspirational leaders, and the LSAA is honored to be able to present them with these awards.”

More information and registration.