Honors and Course Awards

Graduation Honors

The J.D. degree may, at the discretion of the faculty, be awarded with the honors indicated to graduating students who have successfully completed the requirements prescribed by the faculty and who have achieved the following overall grade point averages in their law school work:

  • cum laude 3.40
  • magna cum laude 3.60
  • summa cum laude 3.80

Students are not eligible for academic honors based upon rank or cumulative grade point average unless they complete a minimum of sixty (60) graded course hours at UNM School of Law, including no fewer than twenty (20) graded first-year course credits at UNM School of Law. For election to the Order of the Coif, a national legal fraternity for the top ten percent of a graduating class, eligible students may not have more than twenty-five percent (25%) of their classes in a non-graded status (CR/NC). For students graduating with the minimum 86 credits, they will need sixty-five(65) credits.

At the discretion of the faculty, a student who is ineligible for recognition under the above policy may receive special recognition for outstanding academic performance at UNM School of Law.

Semester Honors

Any law student in good standing is eligible for:

  • Dean's List- grade point average of 3.50 or higher during a semester in which twelve (12) or more credit hours are earned, of which at least nine (9) are graded;
  • Honor Roll - grade point average of 3.00 or higher during a semester in which twelve (12) or more credit hours are earned, of which at least nine (9) are graded.

As voted by the faculty, a student will receive honors if he or she (1) takes twelve credit hours in a semester, (2) at least seven of those credits are graded, and (3) the remaining five credits are received in Moot Court or Journals.

Students enrolled in a formal joint-degree program are eligible for the School of Law's Dean's List and Honor if they are enrolled in at least twelve graded credit hours from either school. Of these, at least nine credit hours must be at the UNM School of Law and six of the nine credit hours must be graded. Only grades earned at the UNM School of Law are included in the grade point calculation for such honors.

Thesis Honors

The faculty annually may award one or more special certificates of honor to students who produce a thesis of exceptional quality. Supervising faculty may nominate a student's thesis for honors. All nominated papers are read by a committee annually appointed by the Dean. If the Committee agrees that the student's thesis is of exceptional quality, a certificate of honor shall be awarded to the student.

Course Awards

Law professors have the option of noting the student who earned the top grade in each of his or her courses. Such notations are marked on the student's record.