24 Students Selected to Join Prestigious Daniel Webster Scholar Honors Program
The University of New Hampshire School of Law’s pioneering Daniel Webster Scholar Honors Program announces its class of 2015: 24 students from 9 U.S. states and China who will spend two years in a comprehensive, practice-based, teaching and bar licensing honors program.
The program, which has earned praise for its innovative, client-ready approach, gives students extensive experience during their last two years in law school. Daniel Webster Scholars counsel clients, work with practicing lawyers, take depositions, appear before judges, create basic business documents and learn to negotiate, mediate and arbitrate. They create portfolios of written work and videos of oral performances that are viewed by their bar examiners after each semester.
The students, who range in age from 22 to 41, are: Owen Graham, Daniel Hakansson, Katelyn Henmueller, Cristin Hepp, Juli Hincks, Matthew Holland, Meaghan Jepsen, Ryan Kuehne, Benjamin Lajoie, Christopher Leming, Xiaomin Li, Sean List, Patrick Lorman, Kyle McDonald, Anthony Muir, Elizabeth Ranks, David Rose, Elizabeth Seitz, Shea Sennett, Kimberly Shaughnessy, Michael Strauss, Chad Wellins, Lindsay Whitelaw and Zachary Wolf.
"With this class, we continue our commitment to a program that not only teaches students how to reason and analyze, but also develops the practical skills they need to best serve their clients, whether in the private sector or public service."
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 2005 in response to the recognition that many students graduate law school with a book knowledge, but not a working knowledge, of law. Graduating students are certified by the New Hampshire state bar as having passed the New Hampshire bar exam without sitting for the traditional exam. In essence, the honors program offers a two-year instead of a two-day bar examination.
“The students in this program receive an amazing, unique, experiential legal education,” said Professor John Garvey, director of the Daniel Webster Scholar Honors Program. “Through the leadership of Chief Justice Dalianis, the Supreme Court was willing to innovate and to lead the country in developing a program that prepares law students who are better ready to represent the clients they will serve.”
Webster Scholars practice throughout the country. In addition to being admitted to practice in New Hampshire, Webster Scholars are eligible to sit for the bar exam in any jurisdiction for which they would otherwise qualify based upon their graduation from an ABA accredited law school.
Student Shea Sennett also was drawn to the program because of its client-ready focus.
“After law school, I plan on working in a non-profit or government setting to help those who need it the most,” he said. “The Daniel Webster Scholar Honors Program will better prepare me to serve and make a greater impact on those who need this help.”
For student Juli Hincks, the path to law school – and to the Daniel Webster Scholar program – was an interesting one.
After graduating from Dartmouth College and spending a decade as a librarian and several years in higher education development and fundraising, she decided to pursue a longtime dream of going to school for social work. While enrolled in the University of New Hampshire’s part-time social work program, she learned two important things: 1. She had a real passion for policy and “making some waves,” and 2. UNH and the UNH School of Law offered a dual-degree JD/MSW program that would allow her to earn a master’s in social work and a law degree in less time than it would take to earn them separately.
The Daniel Webster Scholar program will allow Hincks to polish the skills she learns in both degree programs and begin using them immediately.
“These are experiences that not just every law student gets,” Hincks said. “To have a program set up where that’s incorporated, that’s amazing. There was never a question in my mind that I would apply.”