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Class of 2013 Students Honored at Awards Ceremony and Reception

Student Awardees

Class of 2013 award recipients gather in Lockhart Hall following the ceremony.


MAY 20, 2013—The Law School welcomed graduates and their families for the 2013 Student Awards and Recognition Ceremony, held at 2:00 p.m., May 17 in Lockhart Hall. The event acknowledged outstanding student achievement among those in the Class of 2013, prior to the May 18 Commencement.

The Law School Public Service Program

Among this year's graduation class, 125 students completed the 50-hour challenge in the Public Service Program, and over 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 2013 Medal of Excellence:
Awarded to the graduating student with the highest demonstrated propensity and interest in bankruptcy law.
Daniel R. Provencher

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.
Pari I. McGarraugh

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.
Jonathan Reiner

ALI-CLE Scholarship and Leadership Award:
Awarded to outstanding graduates who demonstrate the combined qualities of scholarship and leadership that are embodied by the American Law Institute.
Jonathan Reiner, Chris Schmitter

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.
Nathan J. Ebnet

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.
Justin R. Erickson, Kelsey Kelley, Gordon F. Knoblach, Samuel J. Manning, Kristen E. Rau

Sidney J. Kaplan Legal Scholarship Fund:
Awarded to a graduate for outstanding performance as decided by the Dean or committee appointed by the Dean.
Thomas K. Pryor

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

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.
Emily K. Puchalski

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.
Jamie S. Buskirk, James B. Dickson, Kevin Ha, Susan R. Hallquist, Paula A. Polasky, Jonathan Reiner, Alexis A. Reller, Amanda Anais Ruiz, Nicholas J. Thompson, Richard M. Weinmeyer

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.
Lisa Beane

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.
Joseph A. Dammel, Kenzie Johnson, Richard Lynn Parins

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.
Ra'shya M. Cunningham

Awards Presented on an Earlier Date


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.
Jacob Timothy Schutz

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.
James B. Dickson

Class of 2013 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 2013.
Chris Schmitter

Class of 2013 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.

Claudia Vincze Turcean

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.
Kenzie Johnson

Cooper Fellowship
Professor Laura Cooper and her husband, Benjamin Cooper, established the fellowships to provide University of Minnesota law students the experience of working with the expert attorneys of Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid to provide legal representation to low income and vulnerable members of our community.
Carrie Graf, Sara A. Koehring

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

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.
Chris Schmitter

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.
Brian J. Burke, Benjamin Hamborg, Kenzie Johnson, Michael Kruckow, Janelle A. McCarty, Benjamin Steinberg

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.
Pari I. McGarraugh, Chris Schmitter, Mathew E. Rotenberg

Albert and Anne Mansfield Fellowship:
Summer Fellowship awarded to a second-year student 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.
Ruth Langworthy

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.
Rachel A. Benedict, Nathan J. Ebnet, William Stancil

University of Minnesota's President's Student Leadership and Service Award
Presented to students who have demonstrated exceptional leadership and service to the University of Minnesota and the surrounding community.
Lauren Beach

Kent Wennerstrom Award:
For outstanding contributions by a student clinic director.
Jason M. Reed

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.
Pari I. McGarraugh

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.