Skip Sub Menu

Law School Awards

Each year at the Supreme Court Celebration Banquet, Drake Law School awards outstanding students for their achievements during the past year.

Rodney L. Hudson Appellate Advocacy Award

This annual cash award is from a fund established in honor of Rodney L. Hudson, LW’16, whose career exemplified the skills, dedication, and character demanded of the complete advocate. This award for outstanding student practitioners of the art of appellate advocacy goes to the student who, in the opinion of the justices of the Iowa Supreme Court, makes the best argument at the annual Supreme Court Competition. This award is made possible by the Rodney L. Hudson Family Foundation.

2019 recipient:
Jackson O'Brien

2019 finalists:
Amy Howells
Zachary Goodrich
Chelsey Knapp

Jeffrey and Elizabeth Goodman Distinguished Advocate Award

This award was established in 2003 by Jeffrey and Elizabeth Goodman, both 1985 graduates of the Drake Law School. Its purpose is to recognize a Drake Law School student who demonstrates excellence and proficiency in client representation and advocacy. The recipient receives a cash award.

2019 recipient:
Jackson O'Brien

International Academy of Trial Lawyers

Each year the academy awards a certificate and cash award to the student who best demonstrates the qualities of a good trial practitioner based on his or her excellence in legal clinic courses.

2019 recipient:
Olivia Brooks

Robert J. Kromminga Award

This award is given to an outstanding clinical student in client representation and advocacy in the Criminal Defense Program. This award is made possible by the Iowa Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and is accompanied by a cash gift and a commemorative plaque.

2019 recipient:
Abdullah Azkalany

Timothy N. Carlucci Award

This award was established in honor and memory of Timothy N. Carlucci, LW'87. This award is given to the law student who best exemplifies civility and professionalism in his or her dealings with fellow students and others in the profession. The Timothy N. Carlucci Award is accompanied by a commemorative plaque and a cash award contributed by the Iowa Defense Counsel Association.

2019 recipients:
Anna Mallen and Anne Reser-Moorehead

Ferguson Prize

The Ferguson Prize Gold and Silver Awards are presented to the students who best exemplify the commitment of Drake Law School and the legal profession to public service and who have rendered outstanding service, primarily legal assistance, to eligible individuals or groups in the Law School Clinic or to other public service projects integrated with the Law School. The Ferguson Prize was established by Edwin Earle Ferguson Sr., LW’34. The Gold and Silver Awards are accompanied by cash gifts and commemorative plaques.

2019 Gold Award recipient:
Amy Howells

2019 Silver Award recipient:
Jordan Siebert

Martin Tollefson Award

The Student Bar Association created this award to recognize the student leader who best exemplifies the hopes and aspirations of the late Dean Tollefson. This award is the highest form of recognition for leadership and service contributions to Drake Law School. Selection for this cash award is by election of the graduating class. The award is accompanied by a cash gift and a commemorative plaque.

2019 recipients:
Jackson O'Brien and Anne Reser-Moorehead

Justice David and Madonna Harris Award

This award honors Justice David Harris, who served on the Iowa Supreme Court from 1972 to 1999. It is presented each spring to the graduating senior who, in the opinion of the faculty, demonstrates the greatest promise as an advocate, a public servant, and a practitioner. Like Justice Harris, the recipient of this award has demonstrated not only academic promise, but also leadership ability, the speaking and writing skills of an effective advocate, and a commitment to public service and Drake Law School. The William, LW’86, and Ellen Cooney, LW’87, Hoye Award is accompanied by a cash gift and a commemorative plaque.

2019 recipient:
Amy Howells

K.M. Waggoner Peer Mentoring Award

This award was established to annually recognize one Drake Law School student who embodies Dr. K.M. Waggoner’s spirit of mentoring and has made a significant positive impact on their fellow students through peer mentoring. Recipients of this award are nominated by their peers and selected by the Drake Law School faculty. The K.M. Waggoner Peer Mentoring Award was established by Philip De Koster, LW’10, and is accompanied by a commemorative plaque and a cash award.

2019 recipients:
Chelsey Knapp and Brittany Sievers

Drake University Law School Award for Equity and Inclusion

The Drake University Law School Award for Equity and Inclusion recognizes student efforts to increase diversity at the Law School. The award acknowledges and honors a student’s outstanding contributions to promoting understanding and appreciation of diversity, and to achieving and advancing diversity of gender, race, ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation, religion, age, or disability within the Law School community. The Award for Equity and Inclusion is accompanied by a cash gift and commemorative plaque thanks to generous donations by Bradshaw, Fowler, Proctor & Fairgrave, PC, and Michael Traxinger, LW'11.

2019 recipients:
Ayinde Ashford and Peter Larsen

Marsha Ternus Outstanding Child Advocate Award

This award recognizes the student in the Children’s Rights Clinic that best lives up to the ideals of Chief Justice Marsha Ternus, who said, "Iowans like to say that we put our children first; it’s now time to show that we mean it." This award is accompanied by a commemorative plaque.

2019 recipient:
Natalie Deerr

Merseal Award for Social Justice

The Merseal Prize for Social Justice was established by Karmen Anderson and Professor Brent Pattison to honor the memory of Kacy Merseal. Kacy graduated from Drake Law in 2016 and died tragically a year later. She demonstrated in her life and brief career a deep commitment to social justice. The Merseal Prize is awarded to a student whose time at Drake Law School similarly demonstrates a commitment to advancing social justice.

2019 recipient:
Sanjuanita Martinez

Justice Daryl Hecht Award

The Justice Daryl Hecht Award was established in 2019 to recognize a student who exemplifies Justice Hecht's passion for fairness, equality, kindness, integrity, civility, and professionalism.

2019 recipients:
Whitney Bugni and Ashley Frazier

Iowa County Attorneys Association Prosecution Excellence Award

The Iowa County Attorneys Association established this award to recognize a student’s outstanding achievement in the prosecution internship program. The award acknowledges a student who rendered outstanding performance in prosecutorial trial advocacy, and who exhibited excellent ethical conduct and a commitment to criminal prosecution work. The award includes a commemorative plaque and a cash gift.

2019 recipient:
Lily Dayton

American Board of Trial Advocates Scholarship

Each fall, the Iowa Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) recognizes a Drake Law student who shows great potential as a future trial lawyer based on grades, clinical performance, and other related factors. The student is recognized at the annual meeting and receives a cash scholarship in the amount of $2,500.

2019 recipient:
Olivia Brooks

Linda S. Weindruch Scholarship

The Iowa Taxpayers Association (ITA) offers a scholarship in memory of Linda S. Weindruch, a long-time member of the ITA. The scholarship recognizes outstanding accomplishments in promoting and protecting the principles of fair business and law policies.

2019 recipient:
Andrew Karas

Iowa State Bar Association Award

The Iowa State Bar Association Award is given to the graduating student who, by service, attitude, and ability, is expected to be the most successful member of the class in leadership in the Iowa Bar. The award will officially be presented during the ISBA annual meeting in June.

2019 recipient:
Jackson O'Brien

Law School News
February 20, 2020
John Gilbertson, a third-year student at Drake University Law School, was recognized onstage during GRAMMY Week 2020 at the 22nd Annual Entertainment Law Initiative Event and Scholarship Presentation, hosted by the Recording Academy. His paper, titled Play It Again Sam: The Free-Market Case for Government Intervention in the Music Streaming Sector, received runner-up in the Entertainment Law Initiative Writing Competition, winning him a trip to Los Angeles and a $2,500 scholarship.