Class of 2020 standouts honored with graduation awards



The ceremony may be postponed, but members of Maryland Carey Law’s Class of 2020 are now officially graduatesAlong with conferring that status, Dean Donald B. Tobin announced the winners of this year’s graduation awards. 

Gina R. Bohannon is the winner of the Roger Howell Achievement Awardpresented annually to an outstanding member of the graduating class who has contributed significantly to the student activities program and whose leadership, scholarship, and moral character are representative of the high ideals of the legal profession. Bohannon is ranked 1st in the class and served as editor-in-chief of the Maryland Law Review. 

Michael Shier is the winner of the Sam Allen Memorial Prizeawarded annually to a member of the graduating class deemed to have demonstrated outstanding qualities of both leadership and scholarship. Shier is the first evening student to receive a certificate in the law school’s Dispute Resolution Program. He also served as a Student Bar Association representative for five semesters and articles editor for the Journal of Business and Technology Law. 

Stuart W. Davis and Bianca R. Spinosa are the joint winners of the Law School Alumni Association AwardThe prize is awarded to the graduating student deemed by the faculty to have contributed most largely to the school through his or her qualities of character and leadership. Davis was editor-in-chief for the Journal of International Law and president of the International Moot Court Board. Spinosa won Best Oralist at the 2019 Myerowitz competition and was a Rose Zetzer Fellow. 

Laura J. Bacon and Grace C. O’Malley are the joint winners of the Larry B. Shoda Awardgiven annually to a member of the graduating class who has achieved scholastic excellence and demonstrated the special commitment required of evening students. Bacon was managing editor of the Journal of Race, Religion, Gender, and Class and served as class president in her second and fourth years. O’Malley is a member of Order of the Coif and served as notes and comments editor for the Maryland Law Review. 

Chukwukpee Nzegwu is the recipient of the Elizabeth Maxwell Carroll Chesnut Prizegiven to a member of the graduating class for good scholarship in a broad sense, as determined by the Dean of the School of Law based on recommendations from members of the faculty. Nzegwu was a member of the National Trial Team and traveled to Malaysia as a Fedder Scholar. 

Kaitlyn Taylor Holzer is the recipient of the Dean’s Leadership Award, given to the student  who has exhibited outstanding leadership and service to the school and its students. Holzer, who graduated with a certificate in Cybersecurity and Crisis Management Law was elected twice to serve as Maryland Carey Law’s Student Bar Association president. She is also the recipient of this year’s UMB Presidential Core Values Award for leadership. 

Kathleen Marie Petrie and Alexandra S. Pritchard are the joint recipients of the Hoffberger Clinical Law Prize, awarded annually to an outstanding member of the graduating class who has excelled as a student lawyer in the Clinical Law Program. Petrie and Pritchard worked in Maryland Carey Law’s Medical-Legal Partnership Clinic. They were nominated as a team because of their contributions and service to clients, interdisciplinary collaboration, education of the community, mentorship of fellow law students, and support of the Clinical Law Program. 

Several other recognitions were bestowed by the dean in the categories of Dean’s AwardsAdvocacy and Clinic AwardsJournal AwardsService AwardsAwards for Academic ExcellenceOrder of the Coif, and Academic Honors. Visit the Class of 2020 yearbook for a complete listing. 

Congratulations to the Class of 2020,” said Tobin, who filmed personalized videos for many of the award recipients. “I am deeply proud of your accomplishments and the fierce dedication you showed as you completed your last semester of law school during a pandemic. We look forward to when it is safe to assemble so that we can celebrate this great class properly. 


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