Commencement Day Awards

Each year at Commencement, the School of Law recognizes graduating J.D. and LL.M. students who have excelled in their overall scholarship or in community service.

These awards recognize student achievement in a wide range of areas including:

  • academic excellence in particulars areas of study;
  • outstanding advocacy skills;
  • leadership both within and outside the law school;
  • and exceptional commitment to the mission of a particular community or student group.

While most awards are nominated by faculty and deans based on academics or community service, a few are self- nominated.

2022 Award Recipients Award Descriptions

Congratulations to our 2022 award recipients:

Our Top Honors

Max Koren Award

  • Shakierah S. Smith

John N. Bennett Achievement Award

  • Kristen M. Stone

Dale S. Margulis Award

  • Heather L. Bashaw

Bachelor of Arts in Law Achievement Award

  • Michael A. Forero

Other Awards and Prizes

Carlos C. Alden Award

  • Patrick F. Callahan

Award for Excellence in the Study of Health Law

  • Deborah Amponsah
  • Heather L. Bashaw

Award for Excellence in the Study of Intellectual Property Law

  • Gabriella R. Alfano
  • Steven J. Brachmann

Award for Excellence in the Study of Labor and Employment Law

  • Brooke L. Leddon

Clinical Legal Education Association Outstanding Clinic Student Award

  • Daniel J. Piersa

Clinical Legal Education Association Outstanding Externship Student Award

  • Alva M. Swing

Robert J. Connelly Trial Technique Awards


  • Sarah A. Bailey (2L)
  • Adelyn G. Burns (2L)
  • Kerry A. Connor (2L)
  • Rachel M. Farr
  • Cassidy Palumbo (2L)
  • Chanel Powell (2L)

Robert J. Connelly Trial Technique Awards

2020-21 (Received as 2L)

  • Mitchell C. Boughton
  • Brian C. Smith

Professor Louis DelCotto Award

  • Karthik N. Sekharan

Justice M. Dolores Denman Award

  • Heather A. Kuhn

Monique E. Emdin Memorial Award

  • Shakierah S. Smith

Maurice Frey Award

  • Ashley E. Love

William R. Greiner “Committed Humility” Award

  • Madison T. Nash
  • Sharmila Porter

Justice Philip Halpern Award

  • Kristen M. Stone

Professor Thomas E. Headrick “Trees and Forest” Award

  • Jeremy A. Torres

Judge Matthew J. Jasen Appellate Practice Award

  • Canio J. Marasco

Milton Kaplan Award in Law and Social Development

  • Laura R. Conboy

James M. Kieffer Trial Excellence Award

  • Rachel M. Farr

David Kochery Award

  • Jennifer E. Bigelow-Carlson

The Lavender Gavel Award

  • Elias Fox Schmidt

Professor Virginia Leary Award

  • Patrick Jeffry Kanzler
  • Heather Ann Kuhn
  • Rachael Marie Anne Sparacino

Minority Bar Foundation’s Legal Commencement Award

  • Allison R. Contrera

Moot Evidence Award

  • Kristen M. Stone

Albert R. Mugel Award

  • Lucy E. Pannes

Ryan J. Mullins Award

  • Abigail D. Whipple

The Order of Barristers

  • Heather L. Bashaw
  • Patrick F. Callahan
  • Marc A. Cangé
  • Shane A. Greene
  • Alexis J. Logsdon
  • Canio J. Marasco

The Order of the Coif

  • Patrick F. Callahan
  • Caroline M. Cercone
  • Joseph J. Donaldson
  • Roxanna Q. Herreid
  • Ashley E. Love
  • Chelsea C. Reinhardt
  • Louis Q. Reynolds
  • Elias Fox Schmidt
  • Tyler J. Skretny
  • Shakierah S. Smith
  • Kristen M. Stone
  • Delaney Voorheis
  • Abigail D. Whipple

Harry A. Rachlin Prize in Real Property Law and Real Estate Transactions

  • Deborah Amponsah
  • Jessica M. Senske

Judge William J. Regan Award

  • Caroline M. Cercone

UB Law Alumni Association’s GOLD Group Award

  • Deborah Amponsah

Cornelius W. Wickersham, Jr. Award

  • Samantha B. Mahoney