Honors and Awards
Order of the Coif
The Order of the Coif is a national honorary legal society that encourages scholarship and the advancement of the ethical standards of the legal profession. Students who graduate in the upper 10 percent of each class are invited to join the Washington chapter of the society.
Article IV of The Order of the Coif Constitution stipulates that students must have completed at least 75% of the total credits needed to graduate in graded courses. To be eligible for election to membership, graduates must therefore have at least 102 graded credit hours by the end of their third year. For this reason, any student who has enrolled in a substantial number of non-graded courses (such as externships, journal work, moot court participation, etc.) and who aspires to Coif membership should pay careful attention to the number of graded units they will have at the completion of their studies. Non-law courses will count towards the number of graded credit hours but grades received in these courses are not counted in computing the student's law school GPA. Only graded law school courses are counted in determining final GPA.
Transfer students who enter the University of Washington School of Law at the start of their second year are eligible for Coif membership based exclusively on their graded courses at the University of Washington. At least 75% of their law school credits must be in graded courses. At a minimum, transfer students must have 68 graded credit hours in their two years at the University of Washington to qualify for membership.
Joint degree students are eligible based solely on their graded courses at the School of Law. The graded courses must equal 75% or more of their required law school credits, for a total of 90 graded credit hours.
The Law School confers the following honors at graduation on students with outstanding academic records: High Honors (the top 5 percent of the class) and Honors (the next 15 percent of the class). These honors are noted on the student's permanent transcript.
Each year the faculty (shall) designate an Honor Graduate, with an appropriate designation on a plaque in the law school. It is anticipated the Honor Graduate would ordinarily be the student graduating with the highest grade point average, though an affirmative vote of the faculty would be required.
Source: 03-06-1979 Regular Faculty Meeting.
Award for Excellence in the Study of Labor and Employment Law
The Award for Excellence in the Study of Labor and Employment Law is sponsored jointly by the American Bar Association Section of Labor and Employment Law and the Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. (BNA). It is awarded annually to the second- or third-year student with the highest grade-point average in a basic labor and/or employment law course or who is otherwise regarded as being an outstanding student in these fields, as determined by the Law School. Winners of the award receive a special certificate and their choice of one of the ABA-BNA treatises on various aspects of labor and employment law, and their names are publicized in the Section Newsletter.
The Carkeek Prize
The Vivian Carkeek Prize of $500 is awarded annually "for the best student contribution to the Washington Law Review on a point of Washington law or any point of peculiar interest to Washington attorneys."
Nathan Burkan Memorial Competition
The American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers awards annually, in each of the approved law schools in the country, a first prize of $500 and a second prize of $200 for the best papers by graduating students on subjects within the field of copyright law. Winning papers will be considered for national prizes of up to $3,000.
Delta Theta Phi Founders Award
Award is given to the student with the highest combined first- and second-year grades; amount of award varies since it is from the annual income earnings of the fund.
Mary Ellen Krug Award
Award is made to the student or students who have demonstrated both an interest and proficiency in the fields of labor and employment law and related subjects.
Judge James J. Lawless Award
This award of $750 is made annually to the second-year student with the highest grades during the first year. The award is presented by the judges of the King County Superior Court.
Hugh Miracle Award
Award is given to the student with the best opening statement made in trial advocacy, trial practice or moot court.
Eugene A. Wright Scholar Award
This award of $2000 is made annually to a second- and a third-year student who (a) have produced a paper or article of particular noteworthiness as a Law Review or Journal note or comment, or as an analytical writing project; or (b) have performed exceptionally well in trial or appellate moot court competition, either orally or in brief writing; or (c) have combined an outstanding academic record with a demonstrated and exemplary record of public service and community involvement.
Faculty members have the option when turning in their grades to designate the student with the highest grade as the winner of the CALI Excellence for the Future Award. Awardees receive a printed certificate and a permanent URL Virtual Award that they can link to from their online resumes or biographies. More information about the awards can be found at:
Source: Faculty Resolution dated April 3, 2003