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Class of 2012 Students Honored at Awards Ceremony and Reception

Student Awards

Class of 2012 award recipients gather on Stein Plaza following the ceremony.

MAY 17, 2012—The Law School welcomed graduates and their families for the 2012 Student Awards and Recognition Ceremony, held at 3:00 p.m., May 11 in Lockhart Hall. The event acknowledged outstanding student achievement among those in the Class of 2012, prior to the May 12 Commencement.

The Law School Public Service Program

Among this year's graduation class, 94 students completed the 50-hour challenge in the Public Service Program, and half of them performed 100 or more hours of law-related volunteer service. The program, in collaboration with the Minnesota Justice Foundation, the Minnesota Bar Association, and more than 40 legal service providers, challenges law students to contribute at least 50 hours of law-related public service during their study years.

Additional Student Awards and Honors


American Bankruptcy Institute 2012 Medal of Excellence:
Awarded to the graduating student with the highest demonstrated propensity and interest in bankruptcy law.
Richard Raile

American Bar Association and the Bureau of National Affairs Award for Excellence in Health Law:
Honors a graduating student who has demonstrated superior academic performance and an interest in the field of health law.
Catherine E. London

American Bar Association and the Bureau of National Affairs Award for Excellence in Labor and Employment Law:
Honors a graduating student who has demonstrated superior academic performance and an interest in the field of labor and employment law.
Phoebe A. Taurick, Seth Thompson

American Bar Association Journal of Labor and Employment Law Best Article Award:
Given to the second-year staffer who wrote an insightful, relevant, and novel article that added value to legal professionals in the labor and employment field.
Elizabeth A. Dahlstrom

American Bar Association Journal of Labor and Employment Law Best Editor Award:
Given to the second-year staffer who displayed excellence in substantive editing and technical cite-checking.
Seth Thompson

American Law Institute-American Bar Association Scholarship & Leadership Award:
Awarded to outstanding graduates who demonstrate the combined qualities of scholarship and leadership that are embodied by the American Law Institute and American Bar Association.
Elise L. Larson, Matthias L. Niska

Steven M. Block Prize:
Awarded to the graduating student author of the most outstanding paper or article in the area of civil rights and/or civil liberties. The prize honors the late University of Minnesota Law Professor Steven M. Block.
Shardé C. Thomas

University of Minnesota Human Rights Law Award:
Recognizes one or more law graduates who have made significant contributions to scholarship and/or service in the human rights field. The award includes a monetary prize made possible by the University of Minnesota Human Rights Center at the Law School.
Heather Abraham, Michael S. Divine, George (Willy) Madeira, Jr.

Sidney J. Kaplan Legal Scholarship Fund:
Awarded to a graduate for outstanding performance as decided by the Dean or committee appointed by the Dean.
Catherine E. London

Ralph M. McCareins Antitrust Prize:
Annual award given to a second-year law student with the highest examination grade in antitrust.
Richard Raile

Minnesota Intellectual Property Law Association (MIPLA) Award:
Presented to 3L Competition Team participants in the Intellectual Property Moot Court program.
Robert G. Pittelkow, Wes Schwie

Journal of Law & Inequality Outstanding Editor Award:
Recognizes the Journal of Law & Inequality editor who exhibited outstanding dedication, fulfilled his/her duties with enthusiasm, and delivered consistent and superior work throughout his/her participation on the journal.
Jeanine Marie Putnam

Minnesota Journal of Law, Science & Technology Outstanding Editor Award:
Recognizes the Minnesota Journal of Law, Science & Technology editor who exhibited outstanding dedication, fulfilled his/her duties with enthusiasm, and delivered consistent and superior work throughout his/her participation on the journal.
Peter Edwards, Amanda L. Welters

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.
Nadia C. Aboussir, Peter Edwards, J. Bradley Emmons, Bradley William Hammer, Lariss Jude, Tennille C. McCray, Laura J. Nelson, Catherine Alexandra O'Connor, Jessica Shiffman, Nathan A. Wersal

National Association of Women Lawyers Award:
Honors a graduating student who best contributes to the advancement of women in society; promotes issues and concerns of women in the legal profession; exhibits motivation, tenacity and enthusiasm, demonstrates high academic achievement; and earns the respect of Law School classmates and community.
Nadia C. Aboussir

Charles N. Nauen Award for Outstanding Achievement in Environmental and Energy Law:
Honors one or more graduating students in the Environmental and Energy Law Concentration program who exemplify a strong commitment to environmental and energy law, academic accomplishment in the area, and leadership in and contributions to the Law School's environment and energy law program.
Thomas Braun, Bradley William Hammer

Dr. Matthew Stark Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Student Award:
Honors a student who has demonstrated distinguished service, writing, teaching, involvement, or public leadership in the areas of civil rights and civil liberties.
Heather Abraham

Awards Presented on an Earlier Date


Class of 2012 Excellence in Public Service Award:
Honors the graduating student who most distinguished his or her commitment to public service during the past three years through participation in formal and informal public service roles in the Law School and the legal and non-legal community.

Anne Fuchs

Class of 2012 Most Outstanding Contribution:
Honors the graduating student who distinguished him or herself by contributing the most to the 3L class during the past three years through (1) outstanding class participation; (2) outstanding involvement in academic programs; (3) outstanding participation and leadership in extracurricular activities; and (4) outstanding enhancement of the Law School experience for all members of the Class of 2012.
Sanjiv Prakash Laud

Clinical Legal Education Association Outstanding Student Award:
Presented by the Clinical Legal Education Association to a law student who has excelled in a clinical course through excellence in field work, excellence in the seminar component, and contribution to the clinical community.
Lindsey Erin Greising

Harold Will Cox Award:
Awarded to the student(s) with the best oral arguments during the Maynard Pirsig Oral Honors Tournament.
David J. Warden

Federal Bar Association Foundation's Judge Edward J. Devitt Award:
Given to a third-year student who has excelled in the study of federal law and practice. Each award is named in honor of a person who has contributed significantly to the federal legal system in Minnesota.
Mark Thomson

Dorothy O. Lareau Writing Award:
Awarded to a second-year student with the best brief in the Maynard Pirsig Moot Court tournament. Also awarded to the best brief written in each first-year legal writing section.
Staci J. Amundson, Sanjiv Prakash Laud, Robert C. Painter, Anupama Sreekanth, Mark Thomson, Megan S. Van Dyke

Leonard, Street & Deinard Law Review Award:
Awarded to Minnesota Law Review board members who demonstrated an ability to write, analyze legal problems, and provide realistic legal solutions in a Note or Comment that is published in the Minnesota Law Review during the student's third year.
J. Bradley Emmons, R. Benjamin Hanna, Elise L. Larson

Albert and Anne Mansfield Fellows:
Summer 2011 Fellowships awarded to students who have completed their second year who are interested in pursuing a career in public interest law. Selection is based on a commitment to community work and an interest in a career in legal services.
J. Bradley Emmons, Priyanka Jyoti Sharma, Laura G. Wilson

Minnesota Black Women Lawyers Network (MBWLN) Scholarship Award:
Honors outstanding students who demonstrate a commitment to MBWLN and dedication to its mission relating to the advancement of Black women lawyers in Minnesota.
Tennille C. McCray, Shardé C. Thomas

Minnesota Law Review Volumes 35 & 36 Memorial Award: Excellence in Writing Award:
Awards for excellence in student writing among Minnesota Law Review staff or editors.
Daniel Iden, Mark Thomson, Margaret Ellen Wade

Kent Wennerstrom Award:
For outstanding contributions by a student clinic director.
Laura G. Wilson

Award Bestowed at Commencement


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.
J. Bradley Emmons

A reception was held on the subplaza for the award recipients and their guests, followed by the Dean's graduation reception in Dorsey Foyer and Auerbach Commons.