Faculty of Law Holds Virtual Honors and Awards Recognition Ceremony

From left to right: law students represented in the order of the names as they appear in the story.

As part of a long-standing tradition, the Faculty of Law of the University of the University of the University presented more than 20 graduate awards to the class of 2021 in a virtual ceremony on June 8 . The recipients of Latin honors were also recognized.

Each award was created to honor members of the law school community who have excelled in a particular field of endeavor. The prizes are endowed or financed by benefactors with important ties to the Faculty of Law.

The awards include the three students with the best scores in the class as well as internal and external recognitions for academic excellence, pro bono hours provided while studying law and serving the school and the community.

“We are incredibly proud of these students who have worked so hard and remained dedicated to educational excellence during an unprecedented and difficult year,” said Margaret Sova McCabe, Dean of the Faculty of Law. “We are also grateful to our alumni and friends whose generous contributions made this celebration a possibility.”


The most prestigious awards of each year are those which reward the general classification of the class. Hannah Smith received the Academic Excellence Award for graduating first class. Hannah Hines finished second in her class and received the Academic Excellence Award. Nick Bell received the Academic Achievement Award for achieving the third highest grade point average in the class of 2021.

Bell also received the Joe C. Barrett Award in Commercial Law and the Erron and Libby Smith Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Law School Publications Award.

Additional 2021 Graduate Winners:

  • Alexis Bibbs, American Bankruptcy Institute Medal of Excellence; Clinical Legal Education Association Outstanding Clinical Student
  • Alexis “Lexi” Acello, exceptional contribution to the Community Law School Prize; Pro bono gold medal recipient
  • Courtney Baltz, American Law Institute and Continuing Legal Education Fellowship and Leadership Award; Craig Sterne Memorial Award for Estate Planning and Taxation
  • Kara Butler, Robert F. Fussell Pro Bono Award; Pro bono gold medal recipient
  • Julian Sharp, Bogle-Sharp Award; TC and Rosemary Carlson Memorial Award in Constitutional Law
  • Jonathan Jenkins, Arkansas Legal Aid Pro Bono Student of the Year Award
  • Marissa Fennell, Bard Rogan Natural Resources Award
  • David Lee, James H. McKenzie Award for Professional Responsibility and Ethics
  • Hayden Wyatt, WJ Arnold Memorial Award for Most Promising Trial Lawyer
  • Britannie Gragg, The Medico-Legal Prize
  • Dawson Floyd Award, Mr. Jeff Starling for Labor and Employment Law
  • Laura Edmonson, pro bono gold medal recipient
  • Mara Hayn, pro bono gold medal recipient
  • Sarah Koch, pro bono gold medal recipient
  • Anna Tanselli, recipient of the pro bono gold medal
  • Rebekah Verhoek, recipient of the pro bono gold medallion
  • Alicia Canfield, pro bono silver medal recipient
  • Derick Dillard, recipient of the pro bono silver medal
  • Badria Mryyan, pro bono silver medal recipient
  • Jordan Sharp, Pro Bono Silver Medal Recipient
  • Chafer Stanley, pro bono silver medal recipient

About the University of Arkansas: As Arkansas’ flagship institution, the U of A offers internationally competitive education in over 200 academic programs. Founded in 1871, the U of A contributes to more than $ 2.2 billion for the Arkansas economy through the teaching of new knowledge and skills, entrepreneurship and job development, discovery through research and creative activity while providing training in professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation ranks the U of A among the top 3% of US colleges and universities with the highest level of research activity. American News and World Report ranks the U of A among the best public universities in the country. Find out how the U of A is working to build a better world at Arkansas Research News.

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