John Garvey, founding director of the nationally recognized Daniel Webster Scholar Honors Program at the University of New Hampshire School of Law, is the recipient of the New Hampshire Bar Association’s 2015 Distinguished Service to the Legal Profession Award.
“Throughout his career and by his leadership of the innovative Daniel Webster Scholar Honors Program, John Garvey has quietly, humbly and effectively served the legal profession,” says Lisa Wellman-Ally, outgoing bar president. “His hard work, infectious energy and collaborative spirit has led New Hampshire to the forefront of the evolution of legal education, contributing to a stronger future for the state’s lawyers and legal community.”
Garvey is also a professor of law at the school. Earlier this year, the Daniel Webster Scholar Honors Program was the focus of a national study conducted by the University of Denver’s independent think tank, the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System, which concluded the program “is ahead of the curve in graduating new lawyers … and other (law schools) can learn from its success.”
The only bar-alternative program of its kind in the United States, the Daniel Webster Scholar Honors Program 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. During their second year, students are immersed in experience-based learning settings.
The Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System study noted, “The success of the program lies in the fact that … students are actually better prepared for the practice of law.” Garvey is credited with much of the program’s success.
“John Garvey takes law education to a new level of excellence,” says Jordan Budd, interim dean of UNH Law. “When our Daniel Webster Scholars graduate, they often begin practicing law right away, and the feedback we have from law firms across the country is, ‘Send us more.’”
In July, the Daniel Webster Scholar Honors Program program will receive the American Bar Association’s prestigious Gambrell Professionalism Award, an honor that reflects well not only on the program, says Budd, but on Garvey, too.