20 Students Sworn In to Groundbreaking Daniel Webster Scholar Honors Program
On October 7, the fifth class of the groundbreaking Daniel Webster Scholar Honors Program (Webster Scholars) was sworn in at the New Hampshire Supreme Court. Twenty second-year law students from the University of New Hampshire School of Law affirmed they would “work diligently” so they can be “fully prepared to represent clients at the moment of graduation from law school.”
The Webster Scholars program is a joint venture of the New Hampshire Supreme Court, the New Hampshire Bar Association, the New Hampshire Bar Examiners and University of New Hampshire School of Law. It was created in response to the recognition that many students graduate law school with a book knowledge, but not a working knowledge, of law. In fact, many law firms take additional months to actively train new associates who have recently graduated from law school.
By contrast, Webster Scholars consistently practice the knowledge of the law they learn in the classroom. Their work includes simulated client interactions, courtroom exercise, and clinical experience. Many augment these with externships, too. Students' progress is assessed through detailed rubrics and portfolio evaluation and regular meetings with members of the New Hampshire Board of Bar Examiners. If the Scholars meet all requirements and pass the MPRE (Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination), they will be admitted into the New Hampshire Bar upon graduation.
The program’s success can be evaluated by statistics such as the near-100% employment rate of Scholars at graduation, and the favorable reports from Scholar employers.
Under the leadership of Director and Professor John Burwell Garvey, the program has garnered national attention. Several states are currently considering similar initiatives.
The new class of Webster Scholars is diverse, ranging in age from 24 to 36 and hailing from 11 states and Canada. They are Melissa Atherton, Robert Berry, Joseph Citro, Margaux Dunn, Kelly Farrell, Jonathan Foskett, John Fuentes, Paul Groce, Rachel Hawkinson, Matthew Kinnear, Emily Laflamme, Jennifer Makahusz, Eman Pahlevani, Joshua Puryear, Edward Sisson, Holly Stevens, Ramey Sylvester, Jeff Warley, Donald Weeks, and Maddalena Zefferino.
The University of New Hampshire School of Law is a global leader in innovative legal education. Its internationally renowned intellectual property program, now housed in the Franklin Pierce Center for Intellectual Property, boasts one of the largest full-time faculties in the field, a broad range of curricular offerings, and the only academic intellectual property library in the nation. Through its Social Justice Institute, wide range of clinics, externships and unique Daniel Webster Scholar Honors Program, UNH School of Law is a pioneer in practice-based education. It is affiliated with the University of New Hampshire, a land, sea, and space-grant university enrolling more than 12,200 undergraduate and 2,200 graduate students.