Awards & Honors

In all award categories, the fact that the work was compensated will not be an automatic disqualifying factor. While voluntary pro bono activity is preferred, an award may be conferred where the level of effort and/or the achievement far exceeds the amount of compensation.

Graduating students also may qualify for a number of Graduation and Faculty Awards, as well as other honors in recognition of individual achievement.

Graduation Awards

Graduating students receive the Juris Doctor degree:

  • Cum laude. Students graduating with a cumulative grade point average of 3.533 – 3.732 (3.200 to 3.399 for students beginning their studies prior to Fall 2007 and beyond) receive the Juris Doctor degree cum laude. Additionally, students who fall below a 3.533 GPA (3.200 for students beginning their studies prior to Fall 2007), but who are in the top 10 percent of their class, will graduate cum laude.
  • Magna cum laude. Students with a GPA of 3.733 to 3.932 (3.400 to 3.599 for students beginning their studies prior to Fall 2007) receive the degree magna cum laude.
  • Summa cum laude. Students with a GPA of 3.933 (3.600 for students who began their studies prior to Fall 2007) or better receive the degree summa cum laude.
 
Law Center students are also eligible for the following awards:
 
  • ABA/BNA Awards for Excellence: Presented to a graduate for outstanding achievement in specific areas of study (for example: Intellectual Property or Employment Law).
  • Alumni Association Academic Achievement Award: Awarded to the full-time and part-time students with the highest GPA in their respective divisions, one year prior to their graduation.
  • American Bankruptcy Institute Medal of Excellence: Presented to a graduate for outstanding achievement in and with plans to practice Bankruptcy Law.
  • American Law Institute-American Bar Association Scholarship & Leadership Award: Presented to a graduate who best exemplifies scholarship and leadership.
  • Bessie Ray Geffner Memorial Award: Presented to the Outstanding Woman Law Student – Evening Division.
  • CALI Award for Academic Excellence: The Law Center, in cooperation with the Center for Computer Assisted Legal Instruction (CALI), awards to each student with the highest grade in each section of each course the CALI Award for Academic Excellence.
  • Elizabeth Gonzalez Book Award: Presented to a second-year student who best exemplifies the ideals of caring, dedication and self-sacrifice established by Ms. Gonzalez, an exemplary third-year student who was tragically killed in an accident caused by a drunk driver in December 1992.
  • Michael Aaron Silver Award: Presented to a student for promoting tolerance and harmony among the diverse elements of the Law Center community.
  • Nathan Burkan Memorial Writing Competition Award: Presented annually by the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers to the best papers by Law Center students on Copyright Law.
  • National Association of Women Lawyers Outstanding Woman Law Graduate Award: Presented annually by the National Association of Women Lawyers to the outstanding woman law graduate.
  • New York State Bar Association Law Student Bar Association Achievement Award: Presented to a graduate for outstanding contribution to a Bar association at the school, state or national level.
  • New York State Bar Association Law Student Legal Ethics Award: Presented annually by the New York State Bar Association for the best paper on Legal Ethics by a Law Center student.
  • Ronni D. Cohen Class Orator Award: Presented to a graduate chosen by the graduating class to speak on behalf of the class.