Graduate Awards

As part of a long-standing tradition, the University of Arkansas School of Law presents seventeen graduate awards, and one faculty award, at a ceremony held as part of May’s graduation festivities. The awards were endowed, or are funded by, benefactors with important ties to the School of Law and each was created honor members of the law school community who have excelled in a particular area of endeavor.

The descriptions below indicate the 2017 recipient(s) of that award.

American Law Institute CLE Scholarship & Leadership Award

Anna Nolan-Wheatley Regnier

Awarded to the student who best represents a combination of scholarship and leadership, the qualities represented by the American Law Institute. This award is provided through the American Law Institute Continuing Legal Education Group, which has been a provider of continuing legal education to lawyers across the country since 1947.

American Bankruptcy Institute — Medal of Excellence

James Ryburn Baxter

Awarded to the top student in bankruptcy studies.

Bard Rogan Natural Resources Award

Jonathan Cigainero

Awarded for excellence in the study of oil and gas law, public lands law, water law, and other geothermal regulation.

Bassett Law Firm Trial Advocacy Prize

Bailey Nicole Knapp and Brett Allen Roberts

Awarded for exceptional achievement in trial advocacy competitions.

Bogle-Sharp Award

Mary Elise Holman

Awarded to the student voted by their peers as most likely to succeed in the practice of law.

Established in memory of Arkansas Bar Association President William Wilson Sharp and Arkansas Lieutenant Governor G. Otis Bogle, law partners in Brinkley.

Adrian R. Frank

Awarded for excellence in clinical fieldwork.

Craig Sterne Memorial Award — Estate Planning and Taxation

Anna Nolan-Wheatley Regnier and Kristen Terre Webster

Awarded for outstanding work in the studies of estate planning and taxation.

Davis, Clark, Butt, Carithers & Taylor PLC Appellate Advocacy Prize

James Ryburn Baxter and Kyle D. Kennedy

Awarded for exceptional achievement in appellate advocacy.

James H. McKenzie Award Professional Responsibility & Ethics

Mary Elise Holman

Awarded for outstanding performance in the area of professional responsibility and ethics.

Joe C. Barrett Commercial Law Award

Ronald A. Johnson

Awarded for excellence in commercial transaction course work.

This award is provided through the Arkansas Bar Foundation and was endowed through a testamentary gift made by Joe C. Barrett (LL.B. ’53). Barrett practiced Law in Jonesboro and was senior partner in Barrett, Wheatley, Smith and Deacon.

M. Jeff Starling Award — Labor & Employment

Kyle D. Kennedy

Awarded for excellence in labor and employment law.

M. Jeff Starling The award is funded through the Arkansas Bar Foundation in honor of M. Jeff Starling. Starling, who died in 1990, was a prominent labor lawyer in Pine Bluff, where he specialized in labor elections and negotiations. He was a member and past president of the Labor Law Section of the Arkansas Bar Association. His widow, Jane Starling died in October 2015.

Rollin Tyler Barnes

Awarded for outstanding work in medical legal studies.

Outstanding Contribution to the Law School Community Award

Emily Kate O’Neal

Awarded for outstanding positive contributions and service to the School of Law community.

Outstanding Contribution to the Law School Publications Award

Anna Nolan-Wheatley Regnier

Awarded for outstanding contributions to law school publications.

T.C. and Rosemary Carlson Memorial Award — Constitutional Law

Khuong Ba Nguyen

Awarded to the graduate who demonstrates excellence in the study of constitutional law.

This award is provided though the friends and family of T.C. Carlson. Carlson was a University of Arkansas administrator from 1915-58, serving as registrar, vice president for finance and treasurer. After retiring from the university, he went back to school and received a law degree at age 70 (1963). Friends and family contributed the funds to endow the award.

W.J. Arnold Memorial Award for Most Promising Trial Lawyer

Corey Evan Anderson

Awarded to graduates who demonstrate the most potential for becoming trial lawyers with emphasis on performance in moot court competition.

This award is funded by the Independence County Bar Association of Batesville as a memorial to W. J. “Bill” Arnold. Circa 1969.

W.B. Putman American Inn of Court Pupil Award

Corey Evan Anderson, Taylor Elizabeth Bish, Misty Aaron Grady and Caroline Wells Kelley

Awarded to graduates who demonstrate professional excellence in the American Inn of Court Program. The number of awardees changes from year to year depending on participation and distinction.

The W.B. Putman Inn of Court is the local chapter of the American Inns of Court, an organization founded to promote civility in the profession. Every year the local Inn sponsors a group of 3L students as “pupils” in the Inn. The students attend the monthly meetings (during the academic year) and assist with pupilage groups who organize and present a Continuing Legal Education program at each meeting. At the end of the year, the Inn designates students for Pupil Awards.

Lewis E. Epley, Jr. Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching

Professor Stephen Clowney

Awarded annually to the faculty member voted professor of the year by the graduating class.

This award is endowed by Lewis Epley, (LL.B. ‘61).

Robert F. Fussell Pro Bono Award

Celina Walker

Awarded to the student who gives the most hours to pro bono service, exemplifying Judge Fussell’s distinguished career in public service and his dedication to pro bono work.