UNH Law’s Daniel Webster Scholar Program Receives National Recognition

UNH Law’s Daniel Webster Scholar Program Receives National Recognition

Wednesday, August 5, 2015
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John Garvey, second from right, is presented with the Gambrell Professionalism Award from the American Bar Association last month.

The University of New Hampshire School of Law’s Daniel Webster Scholar Honors Program is one of three recipients of this year’s E. Smyth Gambrell Professionalism Award from the American Bar Association. The national award was presented at the ABA annual meeting in Chicago July 31, 2015.

According to the judges, the program “represents an exemplary and extraordinarily innovative approach to preparing qualified students for a life in the law by immersingthem in experiential learning and exposing them to exceptional professional development resources and role models….structurally sound and demonstrably sustainable, the Daniel Webster Scholars Honors Program follows a practical and extremely thoughtful approach to developing client-ready lawyers. In serving the students’ interests as well as the state of New Hampshire’s, the program offers a proven template for attacking fundamental challenges facing legal education today by focusing intently on experiential learning.”

“The New Hampshire Supreme Court is very proud to have collaborated with UNH School of Law, the New Hampshire Bar Association and the New Hampshire Board of Bar Examiners to create and sustain this cutting-edge program of legal education,” said N.H. Supreme Court Chief Justice Linda Dalianis. “We know that graduates of the program are better prepared to practice law and to represent the interests of their clients by virtue of having endured the rigors of this intensive, two-year bar examination.”

Earlier this year, the Daniel Webster Scholar program was the focus of a national study that concluded the program “is ahead of the curve in graduating new lawyers…and other (law schools) can learn from its success,” according to a 30-page report issued by the University of Denver’s independent think tank, the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System. 

“As a 1978 graduate of UNH Law (formerly known as the Franklin Pierce Law Center), I am especially gratified that the American Bar Association is, with this most prestigious award, recognizing the school's long-time commitment to graduate ‘practice-ready’ lawyers,” said Associate N.H. Supreme Court Justice Carol Ann Conboy. “The Daniel Webster Scholars program is integral to the school's effort to prepare today's lawyers for the challenges of a legal environment that demands excellence from day one.”

The only bar-alternative program of its kind in the U.S. provides students with a combination of training and assessment over a two-year period, and they are evaluated for admission to the bar based on their performance over the course of the two years, an alternative to the traditional two-day bar exam.

“It is a great honor to have the program recognized as a national model by the ABA,” said John Garvey, founding director of the program. “We know the program works and I am so proud of what we’ve collectively been able to accomplish in New Hampshire.”

Contact: Erika Mantz
UNH Media Relations
603-862-1567; Erika.Mantz@unh.edu