For Immediate Release

Shari Ireton
University of Washington School of Law


UW School of Law Awards Alumni at Annual Banquet

SEATTLE - The University of Washington School of Law recognized four distinguished alumni last night at the 2007 Alumni Recognition Banquet. This year's award recipients are:

Ms. Polly McNeill '87
Service Recognition Award

Mr. Jerry McNaul '68
Mr. Chang Rok Woo '83
Distinguished Alumni Award

Mr. Todd Larson '88
Henry M. Jackson Distinguished Public Service Award

2007 Law School Association Award Recipients with Dean Knight

(l to r) Jerry McNaul '68, Chang Rok Woo '83, Dean W.H. Knight, Polly McNeill '87, and Todd Larsen '88.

Following are biographies of the award recipients:

Ms. Polly McNeill '87
“Polly McNeill is a catalyst for change through her commitment to and engagement with the UW School of Law. Polly’s support of student groups and scholarship is unquestioned.” (Gail Stone ’92)

Polly McNeill, recently named CEO of the Summit Law Group in Seattle, is an expert in environmental law and land use. Her practice involves dealing with unique problems associated with contaminated property, and she has negotiated cleanups, contractual allocations of risk, and prospective purchaser agreements under both federal and state laws. She has managed land use development and permitting for many industrial and commercial developments. In addition to practicing in state and federal courts, Polly works with many local jurisdictions and most state regulatory agencies, including the Department of Ecology, the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission, and the Department of Natural Resources.

Polly is an ardent supporter of the School of Law. For more than 10 years, she was a member of the Law School Alumni Association and was president from 2001 to 2003. Through her leadership, the association increased engagement among alumni, students, and faculty, and thanks to her fundraising efforts, students benefit from increased scholarships.

A volunteer with endless energy, Polly is often seen at the law school judging moot court practices and assisting student teams. She provides guidance for clinic programs and welcomes new incoming classes. She offers support and kind words for students taking the bar exam and continues to remain in close contact with law school alumni through her work with recent graduates and class reunions.

Mr. Jerry McNaul '68
“Jerry McNaul served on the Law School Alumni Association as an officer for many years. He served with wisdom, wit, and good will. He is a distinguished member of the Washington State Bar and the Federal Bar and is a credit to the University of Washington School of Law.” (Lish Whitson ’72)

Jerry McNaul graduated from the School of Law in 1968 and began his career as a trial attorney with the Federal Trade Commission in Washington, DC, before joining the Seattle firm of Culp Dwyer Guterson & Grader in 1970. A specialist in commercial, employment, construction, and antitrust litigation, he remained with the firm until its dissolution in 1995 and then became a founding partner in McNaul Ebel Nawrot & Helgren PPLC.

A fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, Jerry has been recognized widely for his expertise, serving as a special assistant attorney general in major construction cases, including the sinking of the I-90 bridge and the construction and expansion of the Washington State Convention and Trade Center. In addition, counsel and/or federal and state court judges have frequently appointed or selected Jerry to serve as mediator, arbitrator, or special master in major cases involving intellectual property rights, construction, antitrust, class actions, and employment and environmental issues.

Throughout his career, Jerry has maintained close ties to the law school. He was a member and officer of the Law School Alumni Association for many years. In addition, he has been co-chair of the Civil Justice Reform Act Committee of the U.S. District Court for Western Washington, trustee for the Seattle-King County Bar Association, and chair of the Washington State Bar Association Rules and Procedures Committee.

Mr. Chang Rok Woo '83
“C.R. Woo represents the finest tradition of private lawyers in the public service. I am proud to have had him as a student.” (Roland Hjorth, Garvey Schubert & Barer Professor of Law, Dean Emeritus)

Chang Rok Woo is the founding partner and current managing partner at Yulchon, one of the largest and fastest-growing full-service law firms in Korea. Under C.R.’s leadership Yulchon has grown to more then 140 professionals. In addition to his executive duties as managing partner, C.R. has an active tax law practice and is widely regarded as a preeminent specialist in the tax field.

C.R. is a member of the Korean Bar Association, the International Fiscal Association, the International Bar Association, and the Inter- Pacific Bar Association. He is an active member and past president of the International Association of Korean Lawyers. He is the current president of the Korea Tax Law Association and board chair of the Center for Asian Law.

C.R. volunteers for many educational and charitable organizations. For six years he has been the president of the University of Washington Alumni Association in Korea, and in that role, he conducted the first Korean alumni homecoming at the UW in 2001. C.R. has also led the fundraising campaign for the University’s Korea Study Center. A member of the board of trustees for both Ewha Women’s University and Concord Academy, he is also a director of the Community Chest of Korea, the Milal Welfare Foundation, and the South-North Korea Sharing Campaign; auditor for the Agape Foundation; and an outside director for major corporations including Hyundai Card Co., Allianz Life Korea, and Hyundai Mobis Co.

Mr. Todd Larson '88
“The University of Washington School of Law is a leader in promoting human rights, and Todd’s leadership within the United Nations is a tremendous example of what one can do to change the world for the better.” (John Clynch ’89)

After two years in Togo, West Africa, with the Peace Corps, Todd Larson entered the UW and graduated in 1988 with his J.D. from the School of Law and his MA from the Jackson School of International Studies.

Under a Ford Foundation International Human Rights Bingham Fellowship, he worked first with the Southern Africa Project of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights in Washington, DC, and then as observer to the political process which led to independence elections in Namibia, collaborating in the latter connection with the United Nations Transition Assistance Group. Todd began his career in the United Nations working with the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees in Indonesia and Malaysia and thereafter with the U.N. Department of Peacekeeping Operations in Cambodia, Haiti, and the former Yugoslavia. In recent years, Todd has been working with the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, and New York City. He is presently with the World Intellectual Property Organization, a specialized agency of the United Nations. In his current position, Todd frequently lectures at law schools throughout the United States.

Todd’s efforts to advance employment protections for gay and lesbian staff of the United Nations throughout the world, as advisor in his free time to the Federation of International Civil Servants’ Associations and the U.N. Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual Employees group, led directly to the first affirmative, internal policy initiatives in the U.N.’s 60-year history in favor of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender rights. Todd, who is currently on the board of the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, also teaches a course on international organizations at Hunter College in New York City.

See more about the awards, past recipients, and nominations.

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