Honors & Awards

  • The J.D. will normally be awarded with highest distinction to any student who has compiled a cumulative grade point average of 8.00 or higher.
  • The J.D. will normally be awarded with high distinction to any student ranked within the top 12% of his or her graduating class, but who does not meet the standard for graduation with highest distinction.
  • The J.D. will normally be awarded with distinction to any student ranked within the top 35% of his or her graduating class, but who does not meet the standard for graduation with high or highest distinction.
  • Transfer students must have completed at least 45 graded hours at the College of Law and have compiled a cumulative GPA of 7.0 to be eligible for graduation with honors.

Order of the Coif
Order of the Coif is a national legal scholastic honorary society. Each fall, the faculty elects student members to the Nebraska Chapter. Those chosen must rank in the upper ten percent of the graduating class.

Order of the Barrister
Order of the Barrister is a national honorary society which promotes excellence in moot court, mock trial and other advocacy programs. Members of the faculty elect nine students to the organization each year, basing their selection on the candidates’ overall contributions to the moot court and trial advocacy programs.

Awards & Prizes

A number of awards and prizes are given each year to law students for outstanding academic achievements.

The Theodore C. Sorensen Fellowship.
This fellowship was established by Theodore C. Sorensen, a 1951 graduate of the College of Law, who has had a distinguished career in public service, including serving as Special Counsel to President John F. Kennedy. Fellowship awards up to the amount of full tuition and fees go to third year students who have demonstrated superior academic performance, are native Nebraskans or have graduated from a Nebraska high school and have demonstrated a commitment to public affairs and to the public service of Nebraska or the United States or at the international level.

Robert G. Simmons Nebraska Law Practice Award.
Each year the author of the best student paper of significance to the general practice of law in Nebraska receives this award. The award was established by the family of Robert G. Simmons to honor his leadership and dedicated service to Nebraska as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Nebraska, a member of Congress and an attorney. The author of the winning paper receives a $1,000 prize, while the runner-up receives a $500 prize. The name of the winning student is engraved on the Robert G. Simmons Plaque.

The Guy Cleveland Chambers Awards.
These awards were established by Robert R. Chambers in honor of his father, Guy Cleveland Chambers, a 1916 graduate of the College. The awards are for the highest and second highest overall grade point average of graduating law students.

Law College Prize for Outstanding Academic Achievement.
Each year the first, second and third year students who compile the highest grade point average in their respective years each receive a $150 prize from the College of Law. The prizes are made possible through an anonymous gift from a member of the faculty.

American Bankruptcy Institute Medal of Excellence.
This award recognizes the top student in the Bankruptcy class.

CALI Excellence for the Future Award.
CALI, the Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction, presents an award to the student in each course achieving the highest grade.

Credit Advisors Foundation Award.
This award recognizes the outstanding civil clinic student each semester and the outstanding civil clinic student of the year. The winners receive a $250 award. The name of the Outstanding Civil Clinic Student of the Year is engraved on the Credit Advisors Foundation Award Plaque.

Gross and Welch Best Brief Award.
This award recognizes the student team with the best first year brief in Legal Research and Writing. The recipient’s names are engraved on the Gross and Welch Best Brief Award plaque, and the two team members each receive a $500 award.

International Academy of Trial Lawyers Award.
This award is given each year to the outstanding student in Clinical Practice and the student’s name is engraved on the International Academy of Trial Lawyers Plaque.

McGrath North Excellence in Legal Writing Award.
This award recognizes the student in each small group of the first year Legal Research and Writing course who had the best performance in his or her section. The recipient receives a certificate and a $250 award.

Silver Quill Award.
This award, established by the Nebraska State Bar Foundation, recognizes outstanding legal writing ability. Recipients receive a $500 award and have their names engraved on the Silver Quill Award Plaque.

Nathan Burkan Memorial Competition Prize.
This competition is sponsored by the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers. Prizes of $500 and $200 are authorized each year for papers on copyright law which have been recommended to the Society by the faculty.

Nebraska Trial Attorneys Award.
Each year, the Nebraska Association of Trial Attorneys presents an award of $250 to the outstanding oral advocate in the final round of the Allen Moot Court competition. The winner’s name is engraved on the Roscoe Pound Plaque.

Kenneth L. Noha Memorial Award.
This award, established in memory of a 1971 graduate of the College of Law, is presented each year to the team with the best brief in the Allen Moot Court Competition. The winners’ names are engraved on the Kenneth L. Noha Plaque.

National Association of Women Lawyers’ Award.
Each year, this award is presented to the third year graduating student who has shown academic achievement, motivation, tenacity and drive, and shows promise to contribute to the advancement of women in society. The award consists of a one-year honorary membership in NAWL.

Professor Arthur Bruce Winter Constitutional Law Scholar Award.
This award is presented annually to the student who excels in Constitutional Law I. Professor Winter was a professor of Political Science at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln from 1954 until 1989. A state and local government specialist, Professor Winter’s lifelong interest in constitutional law led him to develop the rigorous undergraduate constitutional law course that inspired many of his students to pursue careers in law. The award was established by Winter’s daughter, Patricia J. Winter (J.D., ’75), as a memorial to Professor Winter’s personal and academic integrity and his devotion to superior scholarship.