Awards & Academic Honors

 Dean's List & Class Rank

Full-time students who complete nine or more graded credits will be awarded a Dean's List certificate for any semester in which their grade-point average for the semester's work is in the top 20 percent of their class.

Class rank and honors (including Order of the Coif) will be determined by the cumulative grade-point average. The Law Registrar determines class rank after all grades are received for the Fall and Spring semesters.

The first ranking of the 1L class is after the Spring semester; there is no ranking of the 1L class after the Fall Semester. All students whose cumulative grade-point average falls within the top 20% of the class will receive an individual numerical ranking. All students whose cumulative grade-point average falls within the top 33% or top 50% will be so notified that they fall within this percentage band. The balance of the class will not be ranked.

Spring 2017 Dean’s List and Class Rank

Spring 2017  1L Class Rank and Dean’s List
Spring 2017  2L Class Rank and Dean’s List
Spring 2017 3L Class Rank and Dean’s List

 Degree Honors

Class rank and honors (including Order of the Coif) will be determined by the cumulative grade-point average. The Law Registrar determines class rank after all grades are received for the Fall and Spring semesters. The first ranking of the 1L class is after the Spring semester; there is no ranking of the 1L class after the Fall Semester.

For those students entering in Fall 2008 and thereafter, the class rank shall be reported as follows:

All students whose cumulative GPA falls within the top 20% of the class will receive an individual numerical ranking. All students whose cumulative GPA falls within the top 33% or top 50% will be so notified that they fall within this percentage band. The balance of the class will not be ranked.

The degree of Juris Doctor will be awarded with honors under the following circumstances:

Degree Honors

For Entering Classes Before 2015-16

The J.D. degree will be awarded with honors under the following circumstances: summa cum laude—final cumulative grade-point average of 3.800 or higher; magna cum laude— 3.500 or higher; cum laude—3.200 or higher.

For Entering Classes from 2015-16 and Thereafter

J.D. degree honors will be based on percentages and will no longer be awarded on the basis of meeting a specific grade-point average. The J.D. degree will be awarded with honors based on the final cumulative grade-point average as follows:

Summa cum laude – awarded to the top 2% of the class;
Magna cum laude awarded to the next 10%;
Cum laude – awarded to the next 33%.

For All Classes

The designations at the Commencement Ceremony are based on the cumulative grade-point average at the end of the previous semester and are only preliminary. The award of honors is determined exclusively by the final cumulative grade-point average.

For students who receive their degrees in September and January, eligibility for honors will be determined based upon the student’s grade-point average in comparison with those students who graduated the previous May.

As of Fall 2014, transfer students and students awarded advanced standing credits who receive 17 or more credits towards their JD degree from a school other than UM Law are eligible for cum laude degree honors only.

 Order of the Coif

Students who graduate in the top 10% of the class (Fall, Spring, and Summer graduating classes combined) and who meet other requirements of the Order may be elected to the prestigious Order of the Coif. Students should be aware that having more than 25 percent of all courses without traditional letter grades will render them ineligible for Order of the Coif. For this purpose, "courses without traditional letter grades" includes all courses taken outside the School of Law (including but not limited to first-year courses taken by a transfer student at another law school).

 Awards for Outstanding Performance: CALI & Dean’s Certificate of Achievement

The School of Law participates in two award programs.

The CALI Excellence for the Future Award recognizes academic excellence and may be awarded to a student in each course, workshop, or seminar who has exhibited excellence in class performance, attendance and final grade.

The Dean's Certificate of Achievement Award is a certificate that may be presented to the top one or two students in each course, workshop and seminar that is taught by a member of the regular faculty or a full-time instructor at the University of Miami School of Law.

Awards Given by Student Organizations 

 Bar & Gavel

The Roger Sorino Award is dedicated to the memory of Roger Sorino, a highly involved UM Law student who died suddenly in 1951. This award is given to a graduating law student who best exemplifies leadership, dedication to the school, and service to the community. Nominees do not have to be members of Bar & Gavel, but they must be graduating in May. 

 Moot Court Awards

Negotiation (monetary prize funded by Duane Morris):

  • Winning Team
  • Finalist Team

Mock Trial (monetary prize funded by Duane Morris):

  • Winning Team
  • Finalist Team
  • Best Oral Advocate

C. Clyde Atkins Fall Advanced Moot Court Competition (monetary prize funded by C. Clyde Atkins Endowment)

  • Winning Team
  • Finalist Team
  • Best Brief- plaque (no monetary award)
  • Best Oral Advocate- plaque (no monetary award)
  • Kurt Murmar Award (given to the most sportsman like competitor from Endowment)

John T. Gaubatz 1L Competition

  • 10 Winners: (monetary prize funded by Duane Morris)
  • Humberto J. Pena Best Oral Advocate

Interschool Competitions

  • Teams that advance to the final rounds receive plaques
  • Teams/individuals that win best brief or best oral advocate awards receive plaques

Most Dedicated Moot Court Board Members

  • 3L – Winner recognized with a plaque
  • 2L – Winner recognized with a plaque

Law Review Awards 

 Miami Law Review

The Soia Mentschikoff Award for Excellence in Scholarly Writing is awarded to the candidate who writes the best student article or casenote.

The Daniel B. Gaubatz Memorial Award is awarded to the candidate who shows humor, concern for others, and dedication to the Review. Both awards are handed out at our annual banquet in the Spring.

 The Inter-American Law Review

The Lilian R. Levy Award is awarded in recognition of members of the Inter-American Law Review (IALR) who have demonstrated both outstanding achievement in legal research and writing and extraordinary dedication to the improvement of the publication.

Most Outstanding Articles and Comments Editor Award is given in recognition of an Articles and Comments Editor who puts forth outstanding effort and time, beyond the already demanding editorial schedule, to make a lasting and meaningful contribution to the IALR.

The Most Outstanding Third Year Member Award is in appreciation of the Third Year Member of the IALR who exhibits an extraordinary commitment to enhancing the quality of the IALR. This award recognizes the member who, in addition to completing all required tasks and assignments in an exemplary manner, has been reliable and dependable, and has made a noticeable contribution to the IALR.

The Grey Quill Awards are given in recognition of members of the IALR who demonstrate outstanding student writing.

Public Interest Awards 

 Center for Ethics and Public Service

The Center for Ethics & Public Service Fellowship Prizes are given each year at the Center's spring reception to a graduating 3L fellow in each of the Center's programs. The awards are given in recognition of the excellence of their work and the commitment to their programs

 HOPE

HOPE Pro Bono Challenge Award:  Miami Law’s Public Interest Resource Center awards a student in each class who completed the most pro bono hours.

HOPE Commitment Community Service:  Miami Law’s Public Interest Resource Center awards a student in each class who completed the most community service.

3L Awards

Exemplary Service to the Poor: This award is given to a graduating 3L student who has performed exemplary service benefiting poor persons. The work must have been accomplished through an existing student or community organization. Qualifying work includes law-related as well as non-law-related work and may be either directly beneficial to poor persons or to a charitable, religious or educational organization whose overall mission and activities predominately address the needs of poor persons. The term "poor" is not limited to those who meet federal poverty standards but also includes "working poor." A qualifying student may have received academic credit or financial compensation for the work.

Innovative Service in the Public Interest: This award may be given to a graduating 3L student or to a student organization whose board membership consists significantly of graduating 3L students. Qualifying work includes the meaningful expansion of an existing program, or the creation of a new program. The award seeks to recognize innovation in addressing public interest concerns and may include (1) work for persons of limited means; (2) work that expands the work of a charitable, religious, civic, community, governmental or educational organization and addresses the needs of persons of limited means; (3) work that is designed to secure or protect civil rights, civil liberties, or public rights; (4) work that expands the work of a charitable, religious, civic, community, governmental, and/or educational organization; (5) work that is designed to improve the law, the legal system, or the legal profession. A qualifying student may have received academic credit or financial compensation for the work. For more information on the Application Process, contact the HOPE office.


 Academic Achievement Program Award

When warranted, and typically after four semesters as a Dean's Fellow, one or two Dean's Fellows may be recognized for outstanding dedication and service to the Academic Achievement Program and presented with a plaque acknowledging this special honor. This award is presented and the recipient designated at the discretion of the AAP Director.

 Litigation Skills Program Awards

Each semester students who distinguish themselves in Litigation Skills I are recognized by the legal community for their hard work and talent. These students qualify to receive prestigious awards and scholarships generously donated to the law school including:

Thomas Ewald Memorial Award

This award is given each semester to the student in Litigation Skills I who best exemplifies the devotion to high standards and ethical conduct followed by Tom Ewald.

John F. Evans Memorial Scholarship

This scholarship was established in 1989 in memory of John F. Evans, criminal defense attorney, former deputy chief of the US State Department's Miami Strike Force, and founding partner of the law firm of Zuckerman, Spaeder, Taylor and Evans. It is awarded each semester to a second or third year student who has expressed an interest in trial practice.

Kozyak Tropin & Throckmorton Scholarship

Established in 1995 by one of Miami's leading law firms, this scholarship is awarded each semester to a minority law student who has completed Litigation Skills I with an expressed interest in trial advocacy.

Marco A. Vazquez Memorial Scholarship

Established in 1996 in memory of Marco A. Vazquez, a 1993 graduate of the school of law, the Marco A. Vazquez Scholarship is awarded each semester to an academically qualified second or third year law student who has completed the Litigation Skills Program and who has demonstrated financial need. Preference is given to Cuban/American students.

Honorable Theodore Klein Endowed Scholarship

Established in 2006 in memory of Theodore Klein, an outstanding Lawyer, Law Professor, U.S. Magistrate and a Leader among his peers, this scholarship is awarded each semester to a second or third year law student who has demonstrated financial need, ability and excellence in oral and written advocacy and a commitment to public service.

American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) Award

A cash award of $1,000 is given each spring to the top third year minority law student who has shown excellence in becoming a civil trial lawyer.

Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (FACDL) Award

This $250 cash award is given each spring semester to the top second year law student(s) who show great promise in the practice of Criminal Litigation. The number of recipients and the amount of the award vary from year to year.

Outstanding Student Awards

Dean of Students Outstanding Service and Leadership Award
These awards are given at the discretion of the Dean of Students to members of the student body who make a significant contribution to the law school community as student leaders.

Partnership for Professionalism Outstanding Student Award
This annual award is given at the discretion of the Dean of Students and the Associate Dean of Students to recognize members of the student body for their outstanding contribution to the Partnership for Professionalism Program. Recipients will be presented with a plaque acknowledging this special honor.

Who's Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges
The Dean of the Law School nominates a designated number of students for recognition at a University-wide ceremony on the basis of scholastic ability; participation and leadership in academic and extracurricular activities, citizenship, service to the University and community, and potential for future achievement.