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Justice Sandra Day O'Connor Honors Program benefits exceptional students
Justice Sandra Day O'Connor

Merit-based scholarships and honors program highlight Supreme Court justices' visits

Revised-March 6, 2017: New England Law | Boston's Justice Sandra Day O'Connor Honors Program provides valuable networking and advising opportunities for the law school’s most promising students. The program builds on strong ties between New England Law and Justice O'Connor, who has visited New England Law on several occasions and shared insights and encouragement with students, faculty, and members of the community. The law school has created merit-based scholarships in her name.

"The Justice Sandra Day O'Connor Honors Program at New England Law celebrates two legal 'firsts,'" said Judith Greenberg, associate dean and professor of law. "New England Law was founded in 1908 as Portia Law School—the nation's only law school exclusively for women—and Justice O'Connor made history as the first female justice of the United States Supreme Court."

New England Law has been co-educational since 1938, and Justice O'Connor served on the US Supreme Court from 1981 until her retirement in 2006.

Recipients of Justice Sandra Day O'Connor Merit Scholarships, which provide full tuition to incoming students who show exceptional academic promise, are eligible for the Honors Program. The program also provides opportunities to participate in discussions led by prominent local practitioners or judges, as well as meetings with faculty members. The Honors Program is facilitated by a full-time member of the law school faculty who serves as special Honors Program advisor.

Upon graduation and successful completion of the Honors Program, members receive an Honors notation on their transcript. All incoming students are considered for the program without further application, and these full-tuition scholarships are renewable annually, provided that the recipient meets specified academic requirements.

Justice O'Connor is among several Supreme Court justices who have shared their experience and wisdom with students and other members of the New England Law community. Justice O'Connor first visited in 1991 while still a sitting Supreme Court justice. She was guest of honor at the law school's Centennial Convocation and Celebration in 2008 and at a 2012 event that honored Dean John O'Brien for his longstanding service to the American Bar Association.

Chief Justice of the United States John G. Roberts, Jr., was guest of honor at New England Law's annual Law Day celebration in February 2016. New England Law has also had the honor of welcoming U.S. Supreme Court Justices Harry Blackmun, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Anthony M. Kennedy, Antonin Scalia, and Clarence Thomas.