Daniel Webster Scholar Program (DWS)

Daniel Webster Scholars

First in the Nation

UNH Law broke new ground in client-ready legal education with the Daniel Webster Scholar (DWS) Honors Program, a first-of-its-kind program in the country allowing students to graduate without the need to take the traditional two-day bar exam. Successful Webster Scholars pass a variant of the New Hampshire Bar exam during their last two years of law school and are sworn into the New Hampshire bar the day before graduation. They are also eligible to sit for the bar exam in any jurisdiction outside New Hampshire for which they would qualify having graduated from an ABA-accredited law school. Alumni of the program have been admitted to more than a dozen other bars throughout the country.

Legal Education’s Future

The DWS program was the subject of a two-year independent study by the Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers Initiative of the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System (IAALS) at the University of Denver. The on-site research was conducted by William Sullivan and Lloyd Bond, the lead author and psychometrician for Educating Lawyers, also known as The Carnegie Report. The 2015 report proclaimed that Daniel Webster Scholars are “Ahead of the Curve.” The study found that DWS students were outperforming their colleagues in the field who had been licensed to practice law for up to two years.

Also in 2015, the DWS program was featured by several national media outlets, including the Wall Street Journal and The New York Times. The program was also one of only three recipients of the E. Smythe Gambrell Professionalism Award from the American Bar Association (ABA) in 2015, with the ABA recognizing it as “an exemplary and extraordinarily innovative approach.” The award honors “excellence and innovation in professionalism programs by law schools, bar associations, professionalism commissions and other law-related organizations.”

Students are accepted into the program prior to their second year of law school and discover first-hand what it takes to succeed in today’s legal marketplace. They hone their skills in both simulated and real settings - counseling clients, working with practicing lawyers, taking depositions, appearing before judges, negotiating, mediating, drafting business documents - while creating portfolios of written and oral work for bar examiners to assess every semester.

Years in the making, DWS is a collaboration between UNH Law, the New Hampshire Supreme Court, the New Hampshire Board of Bar Examiners and the New Hampshire Bar Association. The program remains without parallel at any other law school and has drawn praise from judges, lawyers, and legal education scholars around the country.

Courses include:

  • DWS Advanced Pretrial Advocacy
  • DWS Business Transactions
  • DWS Capstone
  • DWS Miniseries
  • DWS Negotiations & ADR
  • DWS Pretrial Advocacy
  • DWS Trial Advocacy

DWS in the News

DWS is a national model to train new lawyers 

DWS and legal residency program praised - New York Times

Daniel Webster Scholars are "Ahead of the Curve"

DWS Emphasizes Practical Skills - Wall Street Journal

DWS Director John Garvey Recognized for Distinguished Service to the Legal Profession

"DWS has catapulted me to a level I thought I'd be at after practicing law for many years. Because of the training I received in the DWS program, I am now able to make quick and practical decisions when faced with client issues. I know how to manage expectations and keep clients satisfied so they will come back to me with other legal problems." - Eman Pahlevani, JD 2013

Contact Information

John Burwell Garvey

Professor of Law
Director, Daniel Webster Scholar Honors Program
University of New Hampshire School of Law
2 White Street
Concord, NH 03301
Telephone: (603) 513-5214
Fax: (603) 513-5238

Penny Aube

Program Coordinator, Daniel Webster Scholar Honors Program
Faculty Assistant
University of New Hampshire School of Law
2 White Street
Concord, NH 03301
Telephone: (603) 513-5218
Fax: (603) 513-5238

View Daniel Webster Scholar Program Brochure