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Policies and Procedures

Below is a list of all the topics on which you can find information on policies and procedures. The Policies and Procedures page is in the process of being updated. For questions about information not contained below, contact the Dean of Students Office at lawdos@umn.edu.


Awards – Graduating Students

To honor accomplishments in scholarship, leadership, and service, the Law School awards a variety of honors to graduating students. The Faculty Awards Committee is responsible for coordinating the awards selection process, and for selecting top honorees. The Committee may also delegate to a sub-committee, to an individual instructor, or to journal, moot court, or student organization leadership, the selection of certain awards. The delegated individual or body is responsible for establishing fair selection criteria and procedures, which may differ from those governed directly by the Awards Committee.

Graduate awards eligibility. Graduate awardees are selected each Spring. Eligible awardees include those students expected to graduate at the conclusion of the Spring semester, or who received their degree at the end of the preceding Fall semester.

Materials required for Awards Committee consideration. Nominations are NOT required for graduate awards. To be considered for top graduate awards selected by the Awards Committee or Sub-Committee, 3L students must submit materials pursuant to procedures and deadlines disseminated via email at the start of the Spring semester. Students who do not submit awards consideration materials will not be eligible to receive top graduate awards. In most cases, students are asked to submit a resume, transcript, and brief statement of accomplishments and contributions.

Awards selected by the Awards Committee. The following Awards are selected by the Awards Committee or Sub-Committee thereof:

· ALI-ABA Scholarship & Leadership Award. Awarded to outstanding graduates who demonstrate the combined qualities of scholarship and leadership embodied by the American Law Institute and the American Bar Association.

· Steven M. Block Prize. Most outstanding paper or article by a graduating student in the area of civil rights and/or civil liberties.

· Sidney J. Kaplan Legal Scholarship Fund Award. Awarded to a graduate for outstanding performance as decided by the Dean or appointed committee.

· Lockhart Award for Excellence in Scholarship, Leadership, and Service. Awarded to a third-year student who best exemplifies the combined qualities of excellent scholarship, leadership, and service.

· Mondale Hall Engagement Award. Recognizing graduating students who have enriched the Law School through student initiatives, activities, mentorship, and service to their peers, the Law School, and the community.

· National Association of Women Lawyers Award. Honors a graduate who has contributed to the advancement of women in society and legal profession; exhibited motivation, tenacity, and enthusiasm; demonstrated high academic achievement; and earned the respect of her/his peers and instructors.

· Dr. Matthew Stark Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Student Award. Honors a graduating student who has demonstrated leadership in the areas of social justice, civil liberties, civil rights, and public education.

Awards – Book Awards

The Faculty Book Awards were created to recognize truly outstanding student performance. At the time grades are submitted, one Book Award shall be granted by the instructor: (1) to the top-scoring student in every non-seminar course with an enrollment of 25 students or more; and (2) at the discretion of the instructor, to the top-scoring student whose work is truly outstanding in any non-seminar course with an enrollment below 25 students.

· The "top-scoring" determination may be made by the instructor on the basis of blind-graded mid-term and final examination performance. In cases where more than one student earns identical top exam scores, the instructor may consider students’ relative in-class contributions.

· Generally, only one Book Award will be made per class, with one exception: in the event the Book Award winner is an LL.M, Exchange, Humphrey, or other non-degree-seeking student, the instructor will be asked to identify the top-scoring JD student in the course, who will also receive a Book Award.

· The Registrar’s Office is responsible for collecting Book Award designations from faculty along with grades after each semester. Written notices, signed by the Dean, are distributed to Book Award recipients within three weeks of the end of the grade submission period. All available Book Award notices will be distributed at the same time, except that late-designated winners will be informed immediately upon receipt of his or her name from the course instructor.

· The Book Award does not include conferral of an actual book, but students are encouraged to note the accomplishment on a resume.