The University of Colorado Law School will celebrate six distinguished alumni at its 43rd annual Alumni Awards Banquet on Thursday, March 14, 2024, at the Seawell Ballroom at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts.
Colorado Law’s signature alumni event recognizes alumni and friends for their contributions to the legal profession, service to their communities, and dedication to the law school. Net proceeds from this year’s event benefit the Dean’s Fund for Excellence, which supports Colorado Law’s areas of strategic importance, and the Law Alumni Scholarship Fund, awarded annually to a student who has demonstrated academic achievement, financial need, and service to the law school community. Alumni award honorees were nominated by their peers and selected by the Law Alumni Board.
We are pleased to honor the following individuals in 2024.
William Lee Knous Award
Zach C. Miller ’80
Zach Miller has practiced environmental, water, and natural resources law since 1980. He has broad experience before numerous state and federal agencies in disputes over, and permitting for, oil and gas operations, public land uses, National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) compliance, water rights, water quality, air quality, hazardous substances, wetlands, pesticides, mining, mineral processing, ski areas, power projects, and related issues. He has litigated complex cases in state and federal courts relating to these and other natural resources matters.
Building on his government experience, Miller has dealt with various resource-related matters on Indian lands and with several tribal entities. He has handled numerous judicial and administrative enforcement and civil penalty actions concerning these areas. Miller’s practice also includes title review and complex transactional work for water rights, mineral interests, and other real property, with an emphasis on brownfield projects and environmental audits and related transactions for mineral properties and processing facilities. He has represented clients in several of the largest water rights acquisitions and change cases in Colorado history. He has also represented developers and lenders in connection with permitting and other regulatory matters for major electric generation and solar and wind energy projects.
Miller has served as an expert witness in state and federal courts on wetlands regulation and Colorado water rights matters. He has also acted as special counsel to the cities of Boulder, Loveland, Aurora, and Greeley, as well as other governmental entities in various water and environmental matters. He is a former member and chair of the Environmental Advisory Board for the City of Boulder. Miller is currently a member at the Getches-Wilkinson Center, for which he serves as the out-going chair. Prior to joining Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP in 1981, Miller served as special counsel to the Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs and as an attorney in the Honors Program of the Solicitor, U.S. Department of the Interior, in Washington, D.C. He has been listed in the Guide to the World’s leading Environmental Lawyers and Who’s Who Legal: Environment. He is listed in Tier 1 and named a “Leader in Their Field” in Chambers USA for Natural Resources and Environment and in The Best Lawyers in America® in the fields of Water Law, Environmental Law, and Environmental Litigation. He was also named in the 5280 as a Top Lawyer in the area of Water Law. The Best Lawyers in America® named him Lawyer of the Year in Colorado in 2013, 2017, and 2019 for Environmental Law and in 2018 for Litigation – Environmental.
Miller also has an AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rating TM from Martindale-AVVO®. In 2011, he was inducted as a fellow of the American College of Environmental Lawyers.
Distinguished Achievement – Public Service
Kenneth Kupfner ’98
Kenneth Kupfner obtained his undergraduate degrees in Political Science and Physics from Cornell College in 1993. While attending the University of Colorado School of Law, he volunteered and interned in the District Attorney’s Office of the 20th Judicial District. Kupfner started his career with the DA’s Office after receiving his law degree in 1998. In 2005 he was promoted to Chief Deputy and has supervised County Court, District Court, and the Sex Crimes Unit as a Chief Trial Attorney. Trial experience includes a significant variety of cases, most notable being several high-profile homicides, sexual assaults, and complex drug trafficking prosecutions. In 2017 he was promoted to Assistant District Attorney. As the Assistant he oversees the Boulder County Critical Incident Team, supervises the Chief Trial and Deputy District Attorneys, and runs the day-to-day operations of the office including acting as the liaison to Boulder County law enforcement agencies.
Kupfner teaches the Prosecution Externship Seminar at the University of Colorado School of Law and coaches a Colorado Law Criminal National Mock Trial team. For Colorado District Attorneys and law enforcement agencies, he has taught Introduction to Prosecution, Felony Prosecution, BWC, Officer Involved Shooting, Major Case, Wiretaps and COCCA, 4th and 5th Amendment and Sexual Assault and in 2020 was awarded the Faculty of the Year by CDAC. Kupfner has also taught prosecutors nationally as faculty for the National District Attorney’s Association.
Distinguished Achievement – Corporate Counsel
Kimberly M. Pryor ’10
Kim Pryor serves as General Counsel at JBS Foods USA, a position she has held since 2020. Pryor joined the legal team at JBS Foods in 2013 as corporate counsel and quickly progressed through leadership positions in the company's legal and corporate strategy departments. JBS Foods is the wholly owned subsidiary of JBS S.A., the world’s largest food company. As JBS Foods’ General Counsel, Pryor is responsible for the North American legal function and serves on the company’s Executive Committee as well as its Business Security Committee, Safety Committee, Disclosure Committee, and Ethics Committee.
During her tenure with JBS Foods, Pryor was instrumental to the company’s growth strategy by leading numerous acquisitions that helped increase its revenue by 55% since 2013 to $54B in 2022. In her role, she ensures compliance with all state and federal regulations governing the production and processing of food, provides legal guidance on the management of a portfolio of brands and distribution to customers in more than 100 countries, works on a wide variety of employment issues for a significant workforce of more than 75,000 employees in the U.S. alone, and manages all real estate, environmental, corporate governance, litigation, and transactional matters.
Pryor partners with the business to help drive the mission and success of the company and has an extensive track record as a business leader who excels in advising boards of directors and executive leadership through complex legal matters. As General Counsel, she defended and was successful in achieving favorable results for the company in numerous multi-billion dollar proceedings. Pryor has had to manage a large portfolio of high-stakes, high-profile legal matters that have required her to interface with political representatives on both a state and federal level and to work closely with the corporate affairs, government relations, and ethics and compliance teams to execute company strategy and reputation management.
Prior to joining JBS Foods, Pryor worked in private practice at Berg Hill Greenleaf and Ruscitti as a litigator, focusing on complex commercial litigation. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in classics and political science from St. Michael’s College, where she was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, and her Juris Doctor degree from the University of Colorado School of Law.
Distinguished Achievement – Private Practice
Lucy Stark ’98
Lucy Stark focuses her practice on securities and capital markets, advising clients in a wide range of industries on debt and capital market deals, mergers, and acquisitions, as well as public and private securities offerings. She also counsels boards and board committees on corporate governance, disclosures, SEC reporting, and other compliance issues.
A Colorado native, Stark began her legal career in the Denver office of Gibson Dunn & Crutcher where she practiced for almost nine years. She joined the Holland & Hart Denver office in 2007 and became a partner in the Corporate group in 2011. Stark has served in key firm leadership roles, including Practice Group Leader of the Corporate group; and since 2020 as the firm’s Managing Partner. She also founded and served as the first leader of Holland & Hart’s Women’s Forum Steering Committee.
In 2023, Stark was appointed to the Board of Directors of the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity. She has been recognized by Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers in Corporate since 2009 and in Natural Resources & Energy since 2019. In 2023, she was named The Best Lawyers in America® Lawyer of the Year in Denver for Corporate Compliance Law and Leveraged Buyouts and Private Equity Law. Her expertise has also garnered recognition by Colorado Super Lawyers®, 5280 Magazine’s Top Lawyers, IFLR100 United States, and the Denver Business Journal’s list of “Top Women in Energy.”
Dean's Choice Awards
Dean Lolita Buckner Inniss will also present a Dean's Choice Award, recognizing exceptional contributions to Colorado Law.
Dean Edward C. King Making a Difference Award (Dean’s Choice)
*Ashley K. Boothby ’13
In March of this year, our community lost a remarkable soul, Ashley Boothby, who left us after a valiant battle with mental illness. Dean Inniss now honors her enduring legacy—one marked by profound intelligence, a tireless pursuit of justice, and an unshakable commitment to her community—with the Dean’s Choice, Dean Edward C. King Making a Difference Award, which she no doubt earned during her short but impactful career.
Boothby graduated Summa Cum Laude with dual majors in Politics & International Relations and American Studies from Scripps College in 2007. Her academic excellence was celebrated with numerous awards. She then graduated first in her class from Colorado Law in 2013 as a Dean’s Scholar and a member of the Order of the Coif. After graduation, she accepted the challenge of clerking for the Colorado Supreme Court and U.S. District Courts. Working alongside Chief Justice Nancy Rice, Ashley drafted opinions and bench memoranda and assisted in preparing oral arguments. Soon after, she began clerking for Judge Christine Arguello, where she managed a docket of 250+ civil and criminal cases. During this time, she began dedicating her time to teaching as an Adjunct Professor of Federal Litigation at the University of Colorado and as a Speech and Debate Coach at Kent Denver School.
Boothby's legal career was a testament to her passion for justice. As an Associate Attorney at Kelman Buscher Firm, she fiercely represented plaintiffs and classes in cases related to the Fair Labor Standards Act, tirelessly advocating for the rights of workers before federal and state courts. Her dedication continued as she served as Senior Policy Advisor for the Colorado Division of Labor Standards & Statistics, where she investigated systemic labor law violations and championed the cause of paid sick leave.
Beyond her professional accomplishments, Boothby was known for her kindness, generosity, and thoughtfulness. She brightened the lives of those she loved with impromptu gifts and dedicated herself to causes close to her heart, including donating children's books to prisons and sponsoring a young Vietnamese girl, Ho Thi Be Ni. Her witty sense of humor, love for nature, and passion for reading were just a few facets of her radiant personality.
In her memory, her family asks us all to confront the stigma surrounding mental health, depression, and suicide. Ashley Boothby's spirit and legacy will endure as a beacon of hope, reminding us of the importance of seeking truth, fostering justice, and embracing compassion.
Sonny Flowers Award (Dean’s Choice)
Patricia M. Corrales ’89
Patricia M. Corrales is an attorney at law, practicing primarily in the fields of criminal and immigration defense with a focus on complex citizenship issues that have a criminal component. She is a leading expert on issues pertaining to U.S. citizenship - both acquisition and derivation of U.S. citizenship as well as denaturalization or the revocation of citizenship for those who have procured their U.S. citizenship illegally or by misrepresentation.
Prior to establishing her current private practice, Corrales was an attorney for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) (1995-2012). She has an outstanding reputation that has earned her the respect of judges, prosecutors, and her colleagues throughout Southern California. Corrales’ dedication to excellence, combined with her extensive trial experience and high ethical standards, has merited exceptional results for her clients since her departure from ICE.
Corrales began her career as a Deputy District Attorney in Denver, Colorado. She then went on to join the former U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service, and continued as a prosecutor with the creation of ICE. As a Senior Attorney, she was on the team that handled complex National Security cases. As a Senior Attorney with ICE, she worked closely with special agents from ICE, the FBI, and other law enforcement agencies, as well as various U.S. Attorneys’ Offices nationwide. She is recognized for providing quality legal analysis on criminal denaturalization cases.
Corrales’ experience includes significant trial and motion practice, settlement negotiations, and FOIA litigation. She has received training in Privacy laws, and was the point of contact in the Los Angeles Chief Counsel’s Office on issues pertaining to the Privacy Act. Corrales has had favorable decisions published in several cases — including, De Lara Bellajaro v. Schiltgen, INS, 378 F.3d 1042 (9th Cir. 2004); U.S. v. Dang, 488 F.3d 1135 (9th Cir. 2007); U.S. v. Aiman Nasser Mohalla, 545 F.Supp.2d 1035 (C.D. Cal. 2008); U.S. v. Wang, 404 F.Supp.2d 1155) (N.D. Cal. 2005).
Corrales was awarded a Certificate of Appreciation and Recognition from the FBI for successful prosecution in the case of U.S. v. Mousavi. She received a Certification of Appreciation from the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department for successful prosecution in a cybercrime case. The Office of the Principal Legal Advisor presented Corrales with a Special Achievement Award for contributions made to ICE in successfully achieving significant mission goals, and a Special Achievement Award for her successful litigation in the case of U.S. v. Ahmadazi.
Since entering private practice, Corrales has testified as an expert in immigration law in several federal and state cases including, Duncan Roy et. Al v. Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department; People v. Abel Bexeril; C.F.C. v. Miami-Dade County; Samuel v. Cheeran, NY, index no: 002638/2017. Additionally, she produces and hosts a legal program called “Justice Matters” which primarily deals with immigration issues.
Corrales is a frequent speaker and CLE presenter, including a presentation at the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) national conference. She was a 2017 contributor to an AILA podcast on naturalization. Corrales is also a member of the Los Angeles County Bar Association (LACBA) and a CLE presenter on naturalization issues.
Most recently, she consulted on an immigration documentary airing on Netflix entitled “Living Undocumented.” Corrales was the immigration attorney featured on the documentary, providing legal commentary on the eight courageous families who shared their stories.