Each year at the Supreme Court Celebration Banquet, Drake Law School awards outstanding students for their achievements during the past year.
This annual cash award is from a fund established in honor of Rodney L. Hudson, LW1916, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Keegan Cassady, Adam Lange
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.
2023 Gold Award recipient:
2023 Silver Award recipient:
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.
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.
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.
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 Michael Traxinger, LW'12.
Dariann Garrison-Nickerson, Marcus Coleman
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.
Marcos Danielson, Shelby Clinging
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.
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.
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.
New in 2023, the Richman Blue Ribbon award is sponsored by Drake Law alumna Andrea Hardesty, LW'22, to honor long-time Drake staff member Lori Richman. The award recognizes a Drake Law Student who exemplifies award winning qualities inside and outside of the classroom. In honor of Lori's welcoming smile, outstanding character, and commitment to Drake Law, this award is given to a student that has strong character, treats everyone with the respect they deserve, and is dedicated to making Drake Law and the community a better place. This student exudes the compassion and commitment we all hope to see in the legal community. Selection for this award is by election of the Drake Law Staff.
The Clinical Legal Education Association created this award to honor the law students at each law school who has excelled in a clinical course.
The American Law Institute Scholarship and Leadership Award recognizes a law student in the graduating class who best represents a combination of scholarship and leadership. The winner receives free tuition to an ALI CLE webcast or on-location course of their choice and a free one-year subscription to the ALI CLE Digital Content Library, with access to online articles, forms and course materials in her areas of interest.
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.