Student prizes are awarded every year according to various criteria to recognize exemplary academic achievements, moot court performances, legal writing, written and oral advocacy skills, and other qualities valued by the legal profession. These awards are very popular among our students, and competition for them is keen. We invite prospective donors to peruse the roster of existing prizes, which begins immediately below, and consider establishing an endowment fund to recognize an achievement or skill they would like to recognize and encourage.
American Bankruptcy Law Journal Prize
The American Bankruptcy Law Journal awards a one-year subscription to the student who earns the highest grade in any bankruptcy course.
American Bankruptcy Medal of Excellence
The American Bankruptcy Institute annually awards a medal to a student who demonstrates excellence in bankruptcy law.
American Bar Association Prize
The Section of Urban, State, and Local Government annually awards a personalized certificate to the two graduating students who excel in the areas of land use and local government.
Peter Belfer Memorial Prize
A gift of Jean Belfer in memory of Peter Belfer, J.D. 1970, to encourage study of federal securities law. The Belfer Memorial Prize is awarded annually to the student who, in the judgment of the Dean of Cornell Law School, demonstrates greatest proficiency and insight in federal securities regulation and related laws.
Boardman Third-Year Law Prize
A gift of Judge Douglas Boardman, the first Dean of Cornell Law School. The Boardman Prize is awarded annually to the student who has, in the judgment of the faculty, done the best work through the end of the second year.
Nathan Burkan Memorial Competition
Two prizes are awarded to the students who prepare the best papers on copyright law. The Dean of Cornell Law School, or the person the Dean delegates, makes this judgment.
CALI Excellence for the Future Award
The Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Information awards a personalized certificate to the student with the highest grade in selected courses.
Arthur S. Chatman Labor Law Prize
Given in memory of Arthur S. Chatman, A.B. 1952, LL.B. 1957 to a third-year student who demonstrates general academic excellence, particularly in the field of labor law, or has written a paper on labor law.
Daniel P. Chernoff Prize
Established from the estate of Daniel P. Chernoff, B.E.E. 1956 LL.B. 1959. The Chernoff Prize is awarded annually to a second- or third-year student who, in the judgment of the Dean of Cornell Law School, demonstrates general academic excellence in intellectual property and patent law, and demonstrates interest in the broader university community.
Cornell Law Library Prize for Exemplary Student Research
First and second prizes are awarded annually to the students whose academic research papers best demonstrate sophistication, originality, or unusual depth or breadth in the use of research materials, exceptional innovation in research strategy, and skillful synthesis of research results into a comprehensive scholarly analysis. Judged by Law Library faculty, funding for the prize is provided by an endowment given to the Law Library by Barbara Cantwell in honor of her late husband, Robert Cantwell, a 1956 graduate of Cornell Law School.
Two prizes are the gift of William Metcalf, Jr., LL.B. 1901, in memory of Alexander Hugh Ross Fraser, former librarian of Cornell Law School. Fraser Prizes are awarded early each fall to third-year students whose law study has been taken entirely at Cornell University and who have most fully evince high qualities of mind and character by superior achievements in scholarship and by attributes that earn the commendation of teachers and fellow students. The awards are made on recommendation of the third-year class by vote, from a list of candidates submitted by the faculty as eligible by reason of superior scholarship. The holders of the Boardman Prize and the Kerr Prize are not eligible.
Freeman Award for Civil-Human Rights
Established from the estate of Professor Emeritus Harrop A. Freeman, J.D. 1930, J.S.D. 1945. A Freeman Award is made annually to the law students who, in the opinion of a committee appointed by the Dean of Cornell Law School, have made the greatest contributions during their respective law school careers to civil and/or human rights. Freeman Awards are made each spring to third-year students from nominations submitted by members of the Cornell community.
Morris P. Glushien Prize
Established in honor of Morris P. Glushien, A.B. 1929, LL.B. 1931, former editor of Cornell Law Quarterly, member of the Law School faculty, associate general counsel of the National Labor Relations Board, and general counsel of the International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union. The Glushien Prize is awarded annually for the best student note or comment concerning current social problems published in the Cornell Law Review, Cornell International Law Journal, or any other Cornell student law journal.
Stanley E. Gould Prize for Public Interest Law
A gift of Stanley E. Gould, J.D. 1954. The Gould Prize is awarded each spring to a third-year student who, in the judgment of the Dean of Cornell Law School, has shown an outstanding dedication to serving public interest law and public interest groups.
Harry G. Henn Prize in Corporations
Endowed in memory of Harry G. Henn, LL.B. 1943, the Edward Cornell Professor of Law, and faculty member from 1953 to 1985. The Henn Prize is awarded to the student with the highest grade in the upperclass corporations course. The prize is the gift of Ellen K. Jacobs, A.B. 1961, and Arnold S. Jacobs, B.M.E. 1961, M.B.A. 1963, J.D. 1964.
Seymour Herzog Memorial Prize
Endowed in honor of the late Seymour Herzog, LL.B. 1936. The Herzog Prize is awarded each year to a third-year student who demonstrates excellence in the law and commitment to public interest law, combined with a love of sports.
International Academy of Trial Lawyers Award
Given annually to the student who makes the most outstanding record in the course in trial and appellate practice. The recipient’s name is inscribed on a plaque honoring the student.
Louis Kaiser Prize
Two prizes, given by Louis Kaiser, LL.B. 1921. The Kaiser Prize is awarded after the fall and spring moot court competitions to the upperclass team submitting the best brief.
Marc E. and Lori A. Kasowitz Prize for Excellence in Legal Writing and Oral Advocacy
The Kasowitz Prize is awarded annually to students who, in the judgment of the Dean of Cornell Law School and based on comments from faculty, perform with the greatest distinction in writing and oral advocacy skills. This endowed prize is a gift from Lori A. and Marc E. Kasowitz, J.D. 1977, to help ensure that outstanding students are recognized.
John J. Kelly Memorial Prize
Established by the children of John J. Kelly J.D. 1947, A.B. 1942 (Arts) in honor of their father’s life and career. The terms of the Kelly Memorial Prize stipulate, “Payout from the Fund will be awarded, in memory of John J. Kelly, to a graduating Law School student who, in the judgment of the Dean of the Law School, best exemplifies qualities of scholarship, fair play and good humor.”
Ida Cornell Kerr and William Ogden Kerr Memorial Prize
Established in memory of Ida Cornell Kerr and William Ogden Kerr by Jane M. G. Foster, LL.B. 1918. The income from an endowment fund provides the prize, which the Dean of Cornell Law School awards to a third-year law student who demonstrates general academic excellence.
David Marcus Memorial Prize
Established by David Marcus, J.D. 1945, former co-editor of Cornell Law Review. The Marcus Memorial Prize is awarded annually to the student who, in the judgment of the Dean of Cornell Law School, writes the outstanding comment in Cornell Law Review.
Robert S. Pasley Memorial Prize Fund
Established in honor of Robert S. Pasley, LL.B. 1936, the Frank B. Ingersoll Professor of Law and a member of the Law School faculty from 1954 to 1976. The Pasley Memorial Prize is awarded annually to the student who, in the judgment of the Dean of Cornell Law School, best exemplifies Professor Pasley’s scholarship interest in both the law and the arts, classics, or humanities.
Herbert R. Reif Prize
A gift of Arthur H. Dean, LL.B. 1923. The Reif Prize is awarded annually from the income of an endowment fund established in honor of Herbert R. Reif, LL.B. 1923, to the student who, in the judgment of the faculty, writes the note or comment for Cornell Law Review that best exemplifies the skillful and lucid use of the English language in writing about the law. Charles F. Rechlin, A.B. 1968, J.D. 1971, enhanced this fund in 2016. Like Arthur Dean, Mr. Rechlin served for many years as a partner of Sullivan & Cromwell and shared his passion for clear and cogent legal writing.
The Esther and Irving Rosenbloom Prize Fund
A gift of Evelyn B. Kenvin and Arthur H. Rosenbloom, J.D. 1959, in memory of Mr. Rosenbloom’s parents. The prize recognizes excellence in the area of law and finance including, but not limited to, damage quantification in securities cases, valuations of closely held corporations for estate and gift tax purposes, and other corporate finance-related issues. The Rosenbloom Prize is awarded to a student who, in the judgment of a faculty member or a faculty advisor to Cornell Law Review, or at the discretion of the Dean of Cornell Law School in conjunction with the donor, has written the best class paper or Law Review note in law and finance.
Helen Belding Smith and Henry P. Smith III Moot Court Fund
Established by gifts from Helen Belding Smith and the estate of Henry P. Smith III, J.D. 1936. The income from this endowment fund sustains annual moot court competitions.
The Student Legal Ethics Award
The Committee on Legal Education and Admission to the Bar of the New York Bar Association offers the annual Student Legal Ethics Award to the student who demonstrates, in a law review note, a seminar paper or independently-written paper, or through work in a clinical program or in some other significant way, an exemplary understanding of the issues concerning the professional responsibility of lawyers. Any Cornell law student is eligible through self-nomination or through nomination by a faculty member or another member of the Law School community. The prize carries an honorarium and publication of the winning paper in a collection published by the bar.
The Honorable G. Joseph Tauro Dean's Prize
The Tauro Prize was
established through the generous gifts of Mrs. Helen M. Tauro in memory of her husband, the Honorable G. Joseph Tauro, chief justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court and Superior Court. The Tauro Prize is awarded to a law student on the basis of general academic excellence.
Myron C. Taylor Scholar
This honor recognizes students whose cumulative MPR places them in the top 30 percent of their class at the completion of their second year of law school. Students are notified of this honor by a letter from the Dean of Students.
Tomaino Family Prize
Established by Michael T. Tomaino Sr., LLB ’62 and Michael Thomas Tomaino Jr., JD., JD ’89, the Tomaino Family Prize is awarded to the graduating 3L student who, in the judgment of the Dean, best exemplifies: (1) The ability to exchange differing points of view in a collegial, respectful manner; (2) An appreciation of professional ethics and responsibility; and (3) Good judgment and common sense.
Toohey Family Prize
Established by Margaret M. Toohey, J.D. 2016, in honor of her father Brian F. Toohey, J.D. 1969, who served as Editor in Chief of the Cornell Law Review. The prize is awarded annually, at the discretion of the dean, to a third-year student who is both first generation and exemplifies the school’s mission of inculcating “well trained, large minded, morally based lawyers in the best sense.”
Transactional Lawyering Competition Prize
This prize recognizes the winners of the Law School’s annual Transactional Lawyering Competition. The two-person teams judged to be Best Seller’s Counsel and Best Buyer’s Counsel, respectively, receive an award. This prize fund is a gift from an anonymous donor.
Fredric H. Weisberg Prize
Established in memory of Fredric H. Weisberg, J.D. 1967, by Marc S. Goldberg, LL.B. 1967, the Philip Morris Matching Gift Program, and other Law School classmates and friends of Mr. Weisberg. The Weisberg Prize is awarded annually and at the discretion of the Dean of Cornell Law School for the student who performed with the greatest distinction in Constitutional Law.
West Publishing Company Awards
At the conclusion of each year, the West Publishing Company presents the Outstanding Scholastic Achievement Award to four first-year students with excellent overall scholastic achievement.