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USD School of Law awards two rising stars

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University of San Diego School of Law presented its first Rising Star Recent Alumni Awards to Kristin E. Rizzo, 2006, of the Rizzo Law Firm and Catherine L. Tran, 2008, from Cubic Transportation Systems Inc.’s office of business development.

The Rising Star award recognizes alumni who have graduated within the past 10 years and have made significant achievements in the legal profession or chosen field, and have demonstrated a high level of community involvement.

During law school Rizzo, a San Diego native, served on the Appellate Moot Court Board, volunteered at several nonprofit agencies, externed at the U.S. District Court, clerked at the U.S. Attorney’s Office and volunteered at several nonprofit agencies.

Since graduating from USD School of Law, Rizzo has built a reputation for being fearless in her desire to continue learning and become the best attorney possible. She began her legal career as an associate at Higgs, Fletcher & Mack, LLP, where she practiced business, tort and employment law.

In addition to the Rising Star Award, Rizzo has been honored by The Daily Transcript as one of San Diego’s top young attorneys, won the San Diego County Bar “Bar Stars” award multiple times, and she has been the a recipient of the Wiley W. Manuel Award for Pro Bono Legal Service.

Also a recipient of the Rising Star Recent Alumni Award, Tran has a deep dedication to service and community involvement. During law school, she was elected to the Student Bar Association executive board, founded the Criminal Law Society and participated in many other organizations. For her dedicated service, she was honored with the USD Woman of Impact Award for service to the university.

After graduating from USD School of Law, Tran’s service took her to Washington, D.C., as the policy director of the Democratic Caucus of the U.S. House of Representatives, where she was part of the deliberations for every major Congressional action relating to the financial crisis and heath care reform. She was the highest-ranking Asian-American congressional staffer and served as chair of the board of directors of the Conference on Asian Pacific Leadership.

Tran recently returned to California to join Cubic Transportation Systems, Inc., where she manages the company’s business development efforts. She also serves on the USD Law Alumni Association Board of Directors, is a member of the board’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee, and Recent Alumni Subcommittee, and is instrumental in coordinating alumni events for the law school in Washington, D.C. and her new home, San Francisco.

The Rising Star Recent Alumni Awards were presented at the 2011 Distinguished Alumni Awards luncheon on Nov. 4, 2011.

During the event, Distinguished Alumni Awards were presented to Stephen P. Doyle, 1984, president of Brookfield Homes San Diego and San Diego Superior Court Judge (ret.) J. Richard Haden, 1974.

Visit law.sandiego.edu/daa to nominate a USD law alumnus/a for the 2012 Rising Star Award and/or Distinguished Alumni Award, and mark your calendars for next year’s luncheon on Nov. 16, 2012.


-Submitted by University of San Diego School of Law

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