School of Law Honors Graduating Award Winners

From left: Danielle O'Shields Essary, First in Class; Sarah Smith, Second in Class; Bailey Geller, Third in Class
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From left: Danielle O'Shields Essary, First in Class; Sarah Smith, Second in Class; Bailey Geller, Third in Class

The U of A School of Law announces the class of 2023 graduation award winners. The awards recognize academic excellence, student elected awards and pro bono service.

The School of Law bestows three prestigious awards based on overall class rank. Danielle O'Shields Essary received the outstanding academic achievement award for graduating first in her class. Sarah Smith, the student ranked second in her class, received the high academic achievement award. Bailey Geller, who held the third-highest grade point average in the Class of 2023, received the academic achievement award.

"We are proud of our high achieving award winners. It's noteworthy that all the top awards this year went to women," said Cynthia Nance, dean of the law school. "Danielle, Sarah and Bailey have truly distinguished themselves during their time at the law school." The identities of those at the top of the class are confidential until they are announced at the school's Commencement Ceremony.

The recipients of the 2023 Graduate and Pro Bono awards were also recognized during the ceremony. These include:

  • Abigail Barr, W.B. Putman American Inn of Court Pupil Award
  • Josie Bates, Student-Elected Commencement Speaker; Pro Bono Gold Medallion
  • Christopher Brown, Pro Bono Silver Medallion
  • John Boyter, Joe C. Barrett Commercial Law Award
  • Nicholas Ciggelakis, W.B. Putman American Inn of Court Pupil Award
  • Maria Cueva, W.B. Putman American Inn of Court Pupil Award; Pro Bono Silver Medallion
  • Jacob DuBose, Pro Bono Silver Medallion
  • Danielle O'Shields Essary, Bogle Sharp Award; Craig Sterne Memorial Award – Estate Planning and Taxation; W.B. Putman American Inn of Court Pupil Award
  • Elizabeth Green, W.B. Putman American Inn of Court Pupil Award; Pro Bono Gold Medallion
  • Bailey Geller, Erron and Libby Smith Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Law School Publications; American Law Institute Continuing Legal Education Scholarship and Leadership Award; W.B. Putman American Inn of Court Pupil Award
  • Edgar Hernandez, W.B. Putman American Inn of Court Pupil Award
  • Jonathan Hutter, T.C. and Rosemary Carlson Memorial Award – Constitutional Law
  • Hannah Lange, Medico Legal Prize
  • Savannah Luna, Pro Bono Gold Medallion
  • Marquela McClellan, Pro Bono Gold Medallion
  • Sydney McConnell, M. Jeff Starling Jr. Award – Labor and Employment Law
  • Rose McGarrity, W.B. Putman American Inn of Court Pupil Award
  • Abigail Meharg, Pro Bono Silver Medallion
  • Alexander Millsap, Bard Rogan Natural Resources Law Award
  • Jace Motley, W.J. Arnold Memorial Award
  • Laura Purvis, Medico Legal Prize
  • Imogen Ryan, Robert F. Fussell Pro Bono Award; Pro Bono Gold Medallion
  • Pierce Teeuwen, Legal Aid of Arkansas Student of the Year; Pro Bono Gold Medallion
  • Bennett Waddell, James H. McKenzie Award – Professional Responsibility and Ethics
  • Kristina Ranney Wallace, Pro Bono Gold Medallion
  • Sydney Weiskopf, Fussell Community Engagement Award; Pro Bono Gold Medallion; W.B. Putman American Inn of Court Pupil Award
  • James Woodward, Outstanding Contribution to the Law School Community Award

About the University of Arkansas School of Law: The law school offers a competitive J.D. and is home to the nation's first LL.M. program in agriculture and food law. Led by nationally recognized faculty, the school offers students pro bono work, live client clinics, public service fellowships, competitions, and much more. Students also benefit from our location in one of the fastest growing, most livable, and economically vibrant regions in the U.S., and from our corporate externship partnerships with Fortune 500 companies. Our alumni have gone on to become judges, senators, and governors, and we serve communities throughout our state and nation through programs such as the Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative. Our longstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion is exemplified by the Six Pioneers, the first Black students to attend law school in the South. Follow us at @uarklaw.

Contacts

Erin Feller, interim director
Law School Development
479-575-3468, feller@uark.edu

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