OXFORD, Miss. – Completing law school is an impressive feat on its own. But several recent graduates of the University of Mississippi School of Law went above a beyond the rigors of the classroom, standing out among their classmates and within their organizations.
Thirteen graduating third-year law students earned special recognition for their accomplishments last week during UM Law’s awards ceremony.
The Dean Robert J. Farley Award for Highest GPA went to Nathan Simpson. Simpson finished at the top of his graduating class of 107.
The John Robin Bradley award, named for an emeritus faculty member of the law school, is awarded to a graduating student whose commitment to social justice holds great promise for the future of Mississippi and the nation. The award is voted on by the UM Law faculty. This year’s recipient was Brianna Warner.
Warner was also recognized for her work in the clinical programs with the Bobby Wood Clinical Program Award, named after an alumnus who has dedicated his career to helping others. Wood was in attendance at the ceremony.
Tucker Carrington, associate dean of clinical programs, presented the award and told students to remember compassion in their legal careers.
“A lot of folks, and a lot of lawyers, think compassion doesn’t have a place in your practice because it’s divorced from legal advice and that the two don’t usually go hand in hand,” Carrington said. “I actually think that’s objectively wrong and ethically wrong in part because you’ll be referred to as a counselor. You need to counsel your clients on the best course of legal advice.”
Warner was selected by clinical faculty based on her deep commitment to the clinical course, tireless efforts on behalf of clients, practice according to the highest professional and ethical standards, and exemplary classroom work.
The Phi Delta Phi Award is given to the graduating law student whose character, scholarship, personality and general ability, in the opinion of the faculty, best exemplifies the attributes of a successful lawyer. Allison Slusher was the recipient of this year’s award.
Kelsey Dismukes was honored with the Outstanding Student Award by the law faculty.
The inaugural Stephen A. Gorove Award for Excellence in Space Law was presented to Cameron Pittman.
The award is named for Gorove, who joined the UM Law faculty in 1965 and developed the first space law course in American legal education. He also founded the Journal of Space Law.
Michelle Hanlon, associate director of the Center for Air and Space Law, said the award was given to the Journal of Space Law editor who best demonstrated a dedication and commitment to the articulation and evolution of space law.
“Cameron joined the journal as a staff editor, but his work ethic, outstanding attention to detail and no-nonsense approach to even the most tedious tasks earned him a promotion to senior editor in January,” Hanlon said.
She added that his work as been praised by authors. Pittman’s paper regarding a unique use of remote sensing technology to generate clean energy on earth was selected for publication in this year’s upcoming journal.
Sammy Brown, Student Bar Association president for the 2018-19 academic year, presented three students with the Dean’s Distinguished Service Award. He, along with Dean Susan Duncan, selected the students based on their commitment to service to the law school.
This year’s recipients were Dean’s Leadership Council members Danielle Banks, Charlotte Cooper and Laura K. Cooper.
Members of the Mississippi Law Journal selected the recipient of the Mississippi Law Journal award, which is the highest award the journal can bestow upon a student editor. This year’s recipient was Katherine Farese.
“Her positive attitude is unmatched in the law journal, and I would say unmatched in the law school,” said Kelsey Dismukes, editor-in-chief of the journal. “She is the first person to offer to help and the last person to offer a word of complaint.”
The journal also presented Emily Warwick and Nathan Simpson with the Robert C. Khayat Award for their scholarship in law.
The award is presented to two MLJ staff members who exemplify excellent work.
Individual organizations also recognized the commitment of their members.
John Cody Hallmark was named Trial Advocacy Board Member of the Year for his time, effort and dedication to the board.
Andrew Cicero, outgoing Moot Court Board chair, was named Moot Court Board Member of the Year. Daniel Tankersley was named Negotiation Board Member of the Year.
Several faculty and staff were also recognized at the ceremony. Antonia Eliason, assistant professor of law, was voted Outstanding Professor of the Year by the law student body. Phillip Broadhead, director of the Criminal Appeals Clinic, was presented with the Ben Hardy Faculty Excellence Award.
Charan Gurley, director of admissions, was presented with the Joan K. Murphy Outstanding Staff Member of the Year Award.