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Honors & Awards

Graduation with Honors

Graduates shall be granted the Juris Doctor degree with honors as determined by the cumulative grade point average: Summa cum laude 3.700 and above Magna cum laude 3.350 to 3.699 Cum laude 3.000 to 3.349 Students who attain a grade point average of 3.000 or above for a semester's work shall be placed on the Dean's List for that semester.


Awards at Graduation


Endowed Prizes -- Each year several law students are recognized for their outstanding academic performance and for their contributions to the legal education program. Among these awards, which are normally made after completion of the spring term, are the following:

David Peskind Memorial Award

The David Peskind Memorial Award is generously provided by The Peskind Law Firm of St. Charles for the member of the graduating class who has done the most outstanding work in the area of Family Law.

Ruddy, King and Peterson Bankruptcy Prize

The Ruddy, King & Peterson, LLC Bankruptcy Prize is awarded to the student who has achieved the highest grade in Bankruptcy. The prize is donated by the law firm of Ruddy, King & Peterson through the auspices of Lincoln King, who is a graduate of the Class of 2003.

Francis G. Mays Prize

The Francis G. Mays Prize, established in honor of a distinguished member of the DeKalb County Bar, is awarded to the member of the graduating class for outstanding achievement in those courses which focus on Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure and Evidence.

Brian and Tamra McGough Prize

The Brian and Tamra McGough Prize is generously made available by Brian McGough, a 1990 alumnus of the College of Law, to the member of this graduating class who has done the most outstanding work in the sequence of corporate courses.

Brewster Parker Award

The Brewster Parker Award, established in memory of a distinguished member of the Illinois Bar and former chair of the Illinois Board of Regents, is presented annually to a member of the graduating class for outstanding achievement in courses focusing on Property, Real Estate and Land Use Law.

Hellene & Edward Fioretti Award

The Hellene & Edward Fioretti Award was established to honor the parents of Robert Fioretti, a member of the class of 1978, and is awarded for outstanding achievement in the courses which focus on professional responsibility and ethics.

Paul R. Vella Criminal Award

The Paul R. Vella Criminal Award was established by Paul R. Vella, a member of the class of 1996, and is awarded to the member of the graduating class who has done the most outstanding work in the sequence of criminal law courses and completed a summer internship with a State’s Attorney’s office as a 711 licensee.

George M. Shur Scholarship

The George M. Shur Scholarship is given by the dean and faculty of the College of Law to the member of the graduating class with the highest grade point average for the six semesters of study leading to the juris doctor degree. The award is made available through the generosity of George M. Shur and his family. Mr. Shur, former general counsel for Northern Illinois University, was a long-time friend, honorary alumnus and supporter of the College of Law.

Clover Family Award

The Clover Family Award is given to the student who graduates with the highest number of legal volunteer hours during his or her three years at the College of Law. The prize is donated by the Clover family.

Edward F. Diedrich Award

The Edward F. Diedrich Award is generously provided by the Cosentino Law Firm and is awarded to a graduating student whose community service demonstrates a strong interest in protecting the civil rights of the underprivileged members of our community. This award is in honor of Edward F. Diedrich, a long-time friend and supporter of the College of Law.

Clinical Legal Education Association (CLEA) Award

CLEA is a national organization that advocates for clinical legal education as fundamental to the legal education of lawyers. This award is to honor a law student who has excelled in a clinical course, exhibiting excellence in the field work component of the clinical course as determined by the quality of the student's performance in assisting or representing individual clients, or in undertaking group advocacy or policy reform projects.

Alumni Council Prize

The Alumni Council Prize is a cash prize funded by Alumni contributions. The award is designed to aid graduating students in taking the bar review course and is awarded at commencement.

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Faculty Awards -- Each year the deans and faculty of the College of Law select several law students for recognition for their outstanding academic performance and for their contributions to the legal education program. Among these awards are the following:

Marla Dickerson Award

The Marla Dickerson Award was established in honor of Ms. Dickerson, a member of the class of 1996, and is presented to the graduating student who, in the view of the Dean and the faculty, has demonstrated the strongest commitment to public interest law.

Thurgood Marshall Award

The Thurgood Marshall Award is given by the Dean and the faculty to the graduating student whose educational performance, extracurricular activities, or community service best epitomize Justice Marshall’s deep understanding and commitment to equal justice under law, his or her dedication to the rule of law in a just society, and his or her use of the law as an instrument of social change. 

Award for Academic Excellence

This award is given by the deans and faculty of the College of Law each year to the member of the graduating class with the highest grade point average for the six semesters of study leading to the juris doctor degree. The recipient receives a cash award donated by the deans and faculty.

Dean's Awards for Outstanding Contributions

The deans and faculty present awards for outstanding contributions to Appellate Advocacy, Trial Advocacy, Scholarly Publications and the College of Law Community.

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