Home Law School News Drake Law School hosts 81st annual Supreme Court Celebration

Drake Law School hosts 81st annual Supreme Court Celebration

Ag Law Journal Members
Members of the Drake Journal of Agricultural Law attend the journal’s annual banquet as part of the Supreme Court Celebration.

Drake Law School hosted the 81st annual Supreme Court Celebration March 22-24. The event celebrates the tradition of academic excellence, leadership, and service at the Law School and honors Drake’s symbiotic relationship with the Iowa Supreme Court.

The event kicked off March 22 with a breakfast and small group Q&A sessions between Drake Law first-year students and justices of the Iowa Supreme Court.

Later that morning, the justices heard oral arguments for the case Marlon Mormann v. Iowa Workforce Development in the Neal and Bea Smith Law Center courtroom. The arguments were part of a live session of the Iowa Supreme Court.

Several Drake Law alumni served as attorneys in the case, including Jill Zwagerman, JO ’99, LW ’04, Nathaniel Boulton, LW ’05, BN ’05, and Lori Bullock, LW ’14.

Throughout the three-day event, various receptions honored the Drake Journal of Agricultural Law, Drake Law Review, Student Bar Association (SBA), and Moot Court. Students celebrated the past year’s accomplishments and recognized award recipients.

Supreme Court Justices and Students
Justices of the Iowa Supreme Court pose with students Robert Howard, Victoria Haag, and Elizabeth Johnson following the final round of the Supreme Court Competition.

Nyemaster Goode, PC, sponsored the two journal banquets and the Moot Court Luncheon. Jimmy Johns sponsored the SBA Luncheon.

On March 24, Drake Law students Victoria Haag, Robert Howard, and Elizabeth Johnson presented arguments before the Iowa Supreme Court justices during the final round of the annual Supreme Court Competition.

Held in the Iowa Judicial Branch Building, the event provides students the opportunity to hone their advocacy skills.

The justices selected Victoria Haag as the winner for Best Oralist.

The Supreme Court Celebration concluded with the banquet and awards ceremony. More than 350 alumni, faculty, staff, students, justices of the Iowa Supreme Court, and other dignitaries attended the event in Olmsted Center. The Iowa State Bar Association sponsored a reception prior to the banquet.

Hilarie Bass at the Supreme Court Banquet
American Bar Association President Hilarie Bass delivers the keynote address during the Supreme Court Celebration Banquet and Awards Ceremony.

During the banquet, Hilarie Bass, president of the American Bar Association, served as the keynote speaker.

In addition, Karen Shaff, LW’79, was recognized as the 2018 Alumna of the Year; Kristina Stanger, LW’05, was recognized as the 2018 Recent Alumna of the Year; and Robert Oberbillig, LA’56, LW’58, received the first-ever Distinguished Public Service Award.

David McCord, associate dean and professor of law, and John Edwards, associate dean for information resources and technology, director of the Law Library, and professor of law, both unveiled their portraits. The portraits will be displayed in the second floor gallery in Cartwright Hall.

The following student and faculty award winners were also recognized:

  • Shane Sweeney Supportive Spouse Award – Alan Corey
  • Leland Forrest Outstanding Professor Award – Andrew Jurs, professor of law
  • Stevens Faculty Scholar Award – Jonathan Rosenbloom, Dwight D. Opperman Distinguished Professor of Law
  • Rodney L. Hudson Appellate Advocacy Award – Victoria Haag
  • Jeffrey and Elizabeth Goodman Distinguished Advocate Award – Stephen Babe and Nibriti Dhungana
  • International Academy of Trial Lawyers – Katherine Dick
  • Robert J. Kromminga Award – Micah Johnson
  • Timothy N. Carlucci Award – Chas Cahill and Samantha Nordstrom
  • Ferguson Prize Gold Award – Gabriel Walsh
  • Ferguson Prize Silver Award – Anna Jordan
  • Martin Tollefson Award – Chas Cahill
  • Justice David and Madonna Harris Award – Julia Steggerda-Corey
  • M. Waggoner Peer Mentoring Award – Mackenzi Nash and Jennifer Pithan
  • Drake University Law School Award for Equity and Inclusion – Jasmine Meikle and Brinet Rutherford
  • Marsha Ternus Outstanding Child Advocate Award – Wendy Rima
  • Merseal Award for Social Justice – Jonathan Steele
  • Iowa County Attorneys Association Prosecution Excellence Award – Kali Adams and Nicholas Rauch
  • American Board of Trial Advocates Scholarship – Henry Widen
  • Linda S. Weindruch Scholarship – Dillon Malone
  • Iowa State Bar Assocation Award – Victoria Millet

For a complete list of award winners from all events, visit the Supreme Court Celebration webpage.

See photos from the Supreme Court Celebration on Drake Law School’s Flickr page.