Students Honored with Awards for Writing, Leadership, Academics

June 22, 2021

At the end of each academic year, UNC School of Law presents awards to students recognizing writing, leadership and practice interest.

This year, six 3Ls received the Bane Writing Award, the Millard S. Breckenridge Prize in Law, the Coates Rule of Law Essay Award, and the Winston Crisp Award for Student Leadership. Five 1Ls received the Jerry B. and Callie Irene Stone Constitutional Law Award.

Bane Writing Award

Caitlin S. Bell-Butterfield ’21
Rachel E. Grossman ’21

The Bane Writing Award recognizes the importance Carolina Law places on writing. Faculty members nominate papers that they feel are exceptional. It is an honor based solely on the merit of faculty-nominated work, regardless of the student’s GPA, that reflects passion for a particular topic and the ability to translate that passion into exceptional written work.

Written work is eligible for nomination if it was part of a faculty-evaluated course for credit, including courses, seminars, and independent studies. Winners receive a monetary prize.

This year, two papers were named co-winners. They were submitted by Professors Joan Krause and Melissa Jacoby.

Caitlin S. Bell-Butterfield 3L won for her paper titled “North Carolina’s ‘Midwife Problem’: The History and Current Legal Status of Home Birth Midwifery in North Carolina.”

Rachel E. Grossman 3L also won for her paper titled “For-Profit Prison Banking: JPay, Money Transmission, and the Commercialized Carceral Economy.”

Millard S. Breckenridge Prize in Law

Andrew M. Benton ’21
Anastasia I. Urian ’21

Andrew M. Benton 3L and Anastasia I. Urian 3L are the two recipients of this year’s Millard S. Breckenridge Prize in Law. Named for a former Carolina Law faculty member, the award is presented to a graduating 3L who has demonstrated excellence in the study of tax law. This honor is accompanied by a monetary award and is chosen by the tax law faculty. It is awarded to a student with outstanding overall performance in tax law courses.

“Anastasia exemplifies a top tax law student,” says Leigh Osofsky, William D. Spry III Distinguished Professor of Law and associate dean for faculty development. “She understands complex tax law at a deep level, and also engages with it as a mature tax lawyer would, skillfully using the Code and Regulations to analyze difficult problems.”

Benton was a student of tax law expert Patricia Bryan. “Andrew was an excellent law student,” says Bryan, who is the Henry P. Brandis Distinguished Professor of Law. “He performed at the highest level in my tax classes, demonstrating an admirable work ethic, the ability to grasp complicated rules, and the intelligence to apply them to unfamiliar transactions.  I have no doubt that he will be a first-rate tax lawyer.”

Dylan R. Magruder ’21

Coates Rule of Law Essay Award

The Coates Rule of Law Essay Award is given to the student that writes the best essay on the rule of law. The winner receives a monetary prize.

This year’s recipient is Dylan R. Magruder 3L for his essay “The New Colonizers: Contested and Contingent Speech Values with Global Application.” Magruder was nominated by Professor David Ardia.

Winston Crisp Award for Student Leadership

The Winston Crisp Award for Student Leadership was initiated by the Student Bar Association during the 2005-2006 school year to recognize excellence in student leadership. Winston Crisp served the law school as associate dean of student services for 13 years. He demonstrated extraordinary leadership ability throughout his time at Carolina Law, both as a student and as an administrator. The Crisp Award seeks to recognize students who exemplify the same outstanding leadership. The winner receives a monetary prize.

Laida Alarcon ’21

This year’s recipient is Laida Alarcon 3L, who transferred to Carolina Law at the start of her second year of law school.

“Laida has truly made a difference and has consistently strived to improve the law school community,” says Trey Ellis, 2L Class President at UNC School of Law. “From her registration of the new Transfer Student Organization to her institution of the Faculty Story Lecture Series, Laida has served as an amazing leader during her time at the law school. Her passion, investment, and commitment to her community are what make her an outstanding leader. The Student Bar Association could not be more delighted to present Laida with the Winston Crisp Award, as she has truly exemplified these qualities of remarkable leadership.”

Jerry B. and Callie Irene Stone Constitutional Law Award

This award is given to 1Ls who excel in Constitutional Law, and includes a monetary prize. The faculty members who teach Constitutional Law selected students from their spring classes.

Olivia Clark 1L and Aurora Jaques 1L were nominated by Professor Michael Gerhardt. Elizabeth Poole 1L was nominated by Professor William Marshall. Samantha Tidwell 1L was nominated by Professor Eric Muller. Noelle Wilson 1L was nominated by Professor Gene Nichol.