Top-Ranking Graduate Erin Joyce Receives Inaugural Daniels Diploma

Erin JoyceAt the end of her three years at the University of New Mexico School of Law, Erin Joyce was the top-ranking student in her class and was awarded the inaugural Daniels Diploma in honor of this accomplishment.

The $5,000 Daniels Diploma is awarded to the Juris Doctorate candidate who, by scholarship, conduct, and character, has demonstrated evidence of great promise upon graduation. The University of New Mexico School of Law created this award in 2013 in honor of graduate and former professor Justice Charles W. Daniels of the New Mexico Supreme Court.

"The Daniels Diploma is a fantastic capstone to my law school career," says Joyce. "During my time at UNM Law, I have had the opportunity to cultivate and discover new areas of interests." Her most distinct early memory of law school was a presentation during her first year of a case that illustrated the powerful ability of the civil legal system to prompt change and prevent future wrongs.

At UNM, Joyce served on the Law Review, prosecuted and won a DWI trial, served as a research assistant, tutored a first-year torts class, and forged relationships with faculty. She also clerked for several law firms and discovered an interest in health law and domestic violence issues.

Prior to coming to UNM, Joyce worked as a legal assistant for a small Albuquerque firm while obtaining her master's degree in criminal justice in the evenings. Originally from the Chicago area, she came to New Mexico in 2006 after graduating from Elmhurst College. Her family attests that she announced her plan to attend law school at the age of ten.

Erin Joyce

Left to right: Justice Charles W. Daniels, Darius Jackson, Daniels Diploma recipient Erin Joyce, Randi McGinn and UNM School of Law Dean David Herring

October 9, 2013