Awards and Prizes

Student Awards

The faculty recognizes outstanding academic achievement and significant contributions to the Law School community through these awards.

A. H. McLeod Prize

Presented to a third-year student who has demonstrated interest and skill in Advocacy
Sponsored by Doug McLeod

Albert E. Utton Natural Resources Law Award

Award presented to a third-year law student who has shown excellence and interest in Natural Resources Law
Sponsored by Mary Utton & others

ALI-CLE Award (formerly ALI/ABA)

Recognizes a student who best represents a combination of scholarship and leadership
Sponsored by the American Law Institute and the American Bar Association

Ann C. Scales Jurisprudence Award

Awarded to the student who has demonstrated a commitment to moving the law forward in the service of humanity. Further, it goes to a student who has shown an interest and commitment to promoting change of public policy and legal rights through innovative or creative legal work.
Sponsored by The Honorable Linda Vanzi

Atkinson & Kelsey Award for Excellence in Family Law

Recognizes excellence in Family Law
Sponsored by Atkinson & Kelsey, P.A.

Award for Excellence in International Law and Comparative Law

Recognizes excellence in International Law
Sponsored by the UNM School of Law International & Comparative Law Faculty

Clinical Legal Education Association Outstanding Student Award

Recognizes a third-year student who excelled in Clinical Legal Education
Sponsored by the Clinical Legal Education Association

Corporate & Business Law Award

Recognizes a third-year student for excellence in Corporation and Business Law (formerly Wall Street Journal Award)
Sponsored by the UNM School of Law Business Law Faculty

Dean's Awards

Honors students for outstanding contributions to the law school community; committee makes nominations to Dean

Faculty Award

Recognizes outstanding contributions to the law school community
Sponsored by the UNM School of Law Faculty

Felix Briones Award in Ethical Integrity in Business Law

Recognizes a third-year student who best represents a combination of scholarship, leadership and ethics in the area of business.
Sponsored by Viola Briones & Felix Briones; The Honorable B. Paul & Theresa Briones; Thomas & Dr. Stephanie Briones, Elizabeth Gire & Dr. Michael Dragun, Schlenker & Urrea LLP, and Four Corners Community Bank

Frederick M. Hart Prize

Honors students who have shown excellence in Commercial Law
Sponsored by Emeritus Professor Robert Desiderio

Freedman, Boyd, Hollander, Goldberg P.A. Award for Excellence in Criminal Law

Recognizes excellence in Criminal Law
Sponsored by Freedman, Boyd, Hollander, Goldberg P.A.

Health Law Scholar Award

Presented to a third-year student who has demonstrated interest and proficiency in Health Law
Sponsored by an Anonymous Donor

Henry Kent Anderson Human Services Award

Award will benefit a student who is an enrolled member of an American Indian tribe. The award recipient must have demonstrated through exemplary work and deed, a concern for the victims of societies’ inequities.
Sponsored by the Anderson Fund

Honorable Pete Domenici Award for Environmental Excellence, endowed by Paul Bohannon

Recognizes excellence in Environmental Law
Sponsored by Paul Bohannon

Hugh B. Muir Award

Recognizes excellence in Tax Law
Sponsored by the Tax Law Section of the State Bar of New Mexico

Immigration Advocacy Award

Recognizes a student who, through law school courses and/ or activities, has demonstrated a passion and commitment to serve the immigrant population
Sponsored by the UNM School of Law Immigration Law Faculty & other UNM School of Law Faculty

Irwin Stern Moise Award in Legal and Judicial Ethics

Recognizes a third-year student deemed most deserving on the basis of demonstrated scholarship, interest, and activity in the fields of legal and judicial ethics
Sponsored by Steven K. Moise

Jerrold L. Walden Memorial Award

Recognizes a student who is passionate about civil liberties and has quietly worked to advance them.
Sponsored by UNM School of Law Faculty

Judge Oliver Seth Award for Excellence in Alternative Dispute Resolution

Recognizes a student for excellence in Alternative Dispute Resolution
Sponsored by the late Mrs. Jean Seth, Loren Kieve, Tom Olsen, and others

Judge Oliver Seth Award in Ethics

Recognizes a student for excellence in the area of legal ethics
Sponsored by the late Mrs. Jean Seth, Loren Kieve, Tom Olsen, and others

Law Offices of Lynda Latta Award for Excellence in Family Law Advocacy

Recognizes excellence in Family Law Advocacy
Sponsored by Law Offices of Lynda Latta, LLC 

Leo M. Romero Criminal Justice Award

This Award goes to a graduating student who has demonstrated a commitment to a fair and humane criminal justice system--one that protects the community, respects the rights of the accused, and treats defendants, offenders, and prisoners with dignity.

Evidence of this commitment to Criminal Justice can include:

  1. Enrollment in Criminal Law in Practice
  2. Enrollment in a Clinical course involving criminal defense or prosecution
  3. Enrollment in an Externship in an office of the District Attorney, Public Defender, or private criminal defense attorney
  4. A paper written on a criminal justice topic for a seminar, a law review article, or a senior thesis
  5. A Motion or Brief submitted in a criminal case
  6. Any other work in the criminal justice system that might include policing, jail, bail, probation, prison, and parole.

Lewis R. Sutin Award

This award is presented to an outstanding student in either Trial or Appellate Advocacy.
Sponsored by The Honorable Jonathan B. Sutin

LexisNexis Awards

Acknowledge outstanding contributions to scholarship by the top three ranked members of the third-year class
Sponsored by LexisNexis

Margaret Keiper Dailey Award

Given in recognition of awareness of social problems, concern for people in trouble and professional dedication to equal justice for all
Sponsored by The late Honorable Marybelle Dailey Mueller & the Mueller Family

Mary Beth & W. Richard West, Jr. Award for Excellence in Indian Law

The award is to support a third-year graduating American Indian student who has demonstrated excellence in Indian Law.
Sponsored by Mary Beth and W. Richard West, Jr.

Maureen Sanders Award for Intellectual Curiosity

Maureen Sanders was a former tenured faculty member who taught a wide variety of subjects during her time at the law school including Contracts, Insurance Law, Advocacy, Business Associations, Civil Procedures II, Federal Jurisdiction and Ethics.  Her practice over 40 plus years has been equally diverse from significant appellate work and mediations to litigating cases in civil rights, insurance coverage and bad faith, qui tams, commercial disputes, professional liability.  This Award recognizes a student who over their three years at the school of law has demonstrated intellectual excellence and curiosity, a willingness to pursue a wide variety of legal subjects, and a willingness to help both faculty and students engage in the learning process.
Sponsored by Professor David Stout

Michael Browde Award for Excellence in Constitutional Law

Nominees must have displayed excellence in the area of Constitutional Law during law school.
Sponsored by Emeritus Professor Ted Occhialino

National Association of Women Lawyers' Award

Presented to a third-year student for academic achievement, interest, and contribution to the advancement of women in society
Sponsored by the National Association of Women Lawyers

Natural Resources and Environmental Law Program Award

Presented to a student for outstanding service and commitment to the natural resources and environmental law program
Sponsored by the UNM School of Law Natural Resources & Environmental Law Faculty

Tom & Ruth Montoya Award

Recognizes the third year student whose hard work and dedication resulted in the highest 3 year academic improvement.
Sponsored by Tom & Ruth Montoya

Tort Scholar Award

Recognizes a student who has demonstrated interest and proficiency in Tort Law
Sponsored by an Anonymous Donor

Additional Awards & Prizes

These awards and prizes are awarded annually outside of the faculty-led Honors & Awards process and ceremony.

Justice Pamela B. Minzner Award for Professionalism and Ethics

Awarded annually to a UNM Law student entering the final year of law school who demonstrates need and an interest in professionalism and legal ethics.
Established to honor the memory of Justice Pamela B. Minzner

Daniels Diploma

Awarded to the student who, by scholarship, conduct and character, has demonstrated evidence of the greatest promise upon graduation. Will generally be awarded to the student who graduates as the top ranking student in his or her class over their three consecutive years of legal studies at the UNM School of Law

The Salazar Prize For Outstanding Academic Achievement

(In Memory of Tibo J. Chavez, Esq.)
Awarded each year to the University of New Mexico law student with the highest cumulative GPA at the conclusion of the second year of law school. Established in 2013 by John P. Salazar, Esq., and his wife, Terri, in memory of his late uncle, a great public servant, excellent lawyer, distinguished jurist, noted historian and inspirational human being.