Class of 2016 Students Honored at Awards Ceremony

May 18, 2016

The Law School welcomed graduates and their families for the 2016 Student Awards and Recognition Ceremony, held at 2:00 p.m., May 13 in Lockhart Hall. The event acknowledged outstanding student achievement among those in the Class of 2016, prior to the May 14 Commencement.

The Law School Public Service Program

Among this year’s graduation class, 84 students completed the 50-hour challenge in the Public Service Program, and nearly half of them performed 100 or more hours of law-related volunteer service. The program, in collaboration with the Minnesota Justice Foundation, Minnesota law schools, the Minnesota State 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 2015 Medal of Excellence
Awarded to the student with the highest demonstrated propensity and interest in bankruptcy law.
Benjamin Borden

American Bar Association-Bloomberg Bureau of National Affairs Award Program for Excellence in Health Law
Honors one or more graduating students who have demonstrated superior academic performance and an interest in the field of:

Health Law
Thomas Hale-Kupiec, Katarina Maria Clara Irene Lee, Allison Rochford

Intellectual Property Law
Will J. Orlady, Nicole Danielle Wanlass

Labor and Employment Law
Elizabeth Mary Binczik, Katlyn J. Lynch, Sukanya Momsen

American Law Institute—Continuing Legal Education 2016 Scholarship & Leadership Award
Recognized graduating law students who best represent the qualities of the American Law Institute, a combination of scholarly excellence and professional leadership.
Andrew J. Glasnovich, Kyle R. Kroll

Steven M. Block Prize 
Most outstanding paper or article by a graduating student in the area of civil rights and/or civil liberties. The prize honors the late University of Minnesota Law Professor Steven M. Block. 
Lindsey E. Krause

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.
Ally Billeaud, Griffin Ferry, Marc J. Shinn-Krantz, Shuangqi (Joy) Wang

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

Ralph M. McCareins Antitrust Prize 
Annual award given to a second-year law student with the highest examination grade in antitrust. 
Michael P. Srodoski

Minnesota Journal of International Law Outstanding Editor Award
Recognizes the editor who demonstrated an outstanding dedication to the Journal by coordinating well with staffers, producing quality work, and engaging with the executive board to make the publication process more efficient and effective.
Dong Lee

Minnesota Journal of Law, Science & Technology Outstanding Editor Award
Recognizes the Journal editor who exhibited outstanding dedication, fulfilled his/her duties with enthusiasm, and delivered consistent and superior work throughout his/her participation on the journal.
Kirsten E. Johanson

Mondale Hall Engagement Award
Recognizes graduating students who have enriched the Law School through student initiatives, activities, mentorship, and service to their peers, the Law School, and the community. 
Yi-Ping Chang, Alexandra De Leon, Michael Stephen DePrince, Cresston David Gackle, Amber Kraemer, Chelsea Lemke, Kaiya Amelia Lyons, Rajin Singh Olson, Christopher Michael Ortega, Katharine Marie Saphner

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.
Leah Tabbert

Awards Presented on Another Date

FBA 2015 Donald C. Alexander Writing Competition—First Place
Recognizes a law student author of an original paper on the subject of federal taxation. The award honors the late Don Alexander, who served as IRS Commissioner and was an admired role model for writing skills and style in the area of tax law throughout his career.
Eleanor Dutton Wood

American Bar Association Journal of Labor and Employment Law (JLEL) Awards
JLEL provides balanced discussions of current developments in labor and employment law to meet the practical needs of attorneys, judges, administrators, and the public. The Journal honors students in several categories:

JLEL Best 2L Article Award
Given to the second-year staffer who wrote an insightful, relevant, and novel article that adds value to legal professionals in the labor and employment field.
Katlyn J. Lynch

JLEL Best Best 2L Editor Award
Given to the second-year staffer who displays excellence in substantive editing and technical cite-checking.
Marc J. Shinn-Krantz

JLEL Best 3L Managing Editor Award
Given to the second year staffer who displays excellence in substantive editing and technical cite-checking.
Molly Nang Vo Leisen

Bernard P. Becker Legal Services Staff Award
Recognizes attorneys, paralegals, administrators, and law students who demonstrated commitment to the provision of zealous and skilled legal representation for low-income eligible clients.
Chris W. Wysokinski

Peggy Browning Fellowship
The Peggy Browning Fund sponsors this 10-week Summer Fellowship program at labor-related organizations around the country.
Jeffrey R. Bruno, Rebecca M. Cassler, Sam Jackson

Class of 2016 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. 
Kerry McGuire

Class of 2016 Most Outstanding Contribution Award 
Honors the graduating student who distinguished his 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 2016. 
Andrew J. Glasnovich

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. 
Timothy John Culver II

Cooper Fellowship
Fellowships established by Professor Laura Cooper and her husband, Benjamin Cooper, 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.
Garrett Christensen, Joanna K. Dobson

Harold Will Cox Award
Awarded to the student(s) with the best oral arguments during the Maynard Pirsig Oral Honors Tournament. 
Dillon Michael White

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. The award honors the memory of Judge Edward J. Devitt, who contributed significantly to the federal legal system in Minnesota. 
Eugenia Chung Srodoski

2015 International Humanitarian Law (IHL) Student Writing Competition
Honors law student original writing on the theme, “The Intersection of International Humanitarian Law and Gender.” The competition is sponsored by the Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law at American University Washington College of Law, The American Society of International Law’s Lieber Society, and the IHL program of the American Red Cross.
Griffin Ferry

Journal of Law and Inequality Outstanding Editor Award
Recognizes the editor of the Journal who exhibited outstanding dedication, fulfilled duties with enthusiasm, and delivered consistent and superior work throughout participation on the journal.
Jenna Kathryn Johnson, Allison Rochford

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. 
Jerome H. Borden, Anne Dutton, Christopher J. Menezes, Barbara Marchevsky, Samuel David Posnick, Kimberly VandenAkker

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. 
Nicholas Bednar (announced at commencement)

Minnesota Intellectual Property Association Award
Presented to one or more 3L students who have demonstrated interest and achievement in Intellectual Property Law. 
Suhai Guo, Shelleaha Jonas

Minnesota Law Review Volumes 35 & 36 Memorial Award: Excellence in Writing 
Awards for excellence in student writing among Minnesota Law Review staff or editors. 
Nicholas Bednar, Maxwell Mensinger, Samuel David Posnick

Robina Public Interest Scholars
The Robina Public Interest Scholar Program, funded by the Robina Foundation, awards grants to students at the University of Minnesota Law School working in unpaid summer public interest internships and who display a life-long dedication to public interest work. 
Rebecca M. Cassler, Rosie Derrett, Anne Dutton, Nicholas D. Hittler, Ian Jackson, Allison Kvien, Chris Land, Kerry McGuire, Christopher Michael Ortega, Allison Rochford, Katharine Marie Saphner

Dr. Matthew Stark Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Student Award
Student has shown a unique and demonstrable contribution to the democratic process in one or more of the areas of social justice, civil liberties, civil rights, or public education through their research, teaching, outreach, or community engagement.
Kaiya Amelia Lyons

Justice John Paul Stevens Fellowship
The Justice John Paul Stevens Fellowship, which honors Justice Stevens’ lifelong dedication to improving the justice system, awards grants to students working in unpaid summer public interest internships. 
Sara L. Fechtelkotter, Joseph A. Mahoney

Stinson Leonard Street Law Review Award
Awarded to Minnesota Law Review board members who demonstrate 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. 
Samuel Andre, Michael Stephen DePrince, Eleanor Dutton Wood

University of Minnesota’s President’s Student Leadership and Service Award
The President’s Student Leadership & Service Award recognizes the accomplishments and contributions of outstanding student leaders at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. It is presented to approximately one-half of one percent of the student body for their exceptional leadership and service to the University of Minnesota and the surrounding community. 
Andrew J. Glasnovich, Kyle R. Kroll, Katarina Maria Clara Irene Lee, Chelsea Lemke, Allison Richford, Marc. J. Shinn-Krantz

Kent Wennerstrom Award
For outstanding contributions by a student clinic director.
Chris Land

The Dean’s graduation reception for the Class of 2016 was held in Dorsey Foyer and Auerbach Commons following the awards ceremony.

Class of 2016 award recipients on Stein Plaza
Class of 2016 award recipients on Stein Plaza

Contact Information

University of Minnesota Law School

Walter F. Mondale Hall | 229 19th Avenue South | Minneapolis, MN 55455

P: 612-625-1000

Email Us

Connect on Social Media