Rita Jackman and Jessica Walker Win Alumni Distinguished Student Award
August 9, 2012 – Cooley Law School senior students Rita Jackman and Jessica Walker were honored with Cooley's Alumni Distinguished Student Award at the school's July 20 Honors Convocation in Lansing, Mich. Awarded three times a year since 1980, this award honors those graduating students who have displayed high standards throughout their law school careers.
Past Alumni Association President Sharon Ellis (North Class, 1980) presented Jackman and Walker each with a gift of a frame to use with their upcoming diploma. Both outstanding women were nominated by their classmates and selected by the Alumni Association Executive Committee on their stellar academic record and service and student involvement while at Cooley.
Jackman and Walker were thrilled with the award.
Jackman said, "Being a recipient of such a prestigious award reminds me of how thankful and lucky I am to soon call myself an alumni of the best law school in the country. I could not be more proud of myself, and the school that truly sets an example of what it means to uphold high ethical standards while giving those who deserve it an opportunity to fulfill their dreams."
Walker agreed. "Being recognized by the Alumni Association is such an incredible honor. I value the education and experience that Thomas M. Cooley Law School has given me, and getting this award for the Washington Class is something I will cherish for the rest of my career.”
Pamela Heos, director of Alumni and Donor Relations, praised the students and their work.
"The Alumni Association and the Office of Alumni Relations sincerely congratulates Rita and Jessica on their fine accomplishments. Both women are most deserving and we are pleased to have awarded two recipients this term. We know they will proudly display their Cooley diplomas in these elegant frames throughout their legal careers," Heos said.
Jackman, of Cape Coral, Fla., was also presented with the Leadership Achievement Award, the Alumni Distinguished Student Award, and Robert E. Krinock Memorial Award, the highest honor bestowed by the Student Bar Association, at the school's recent Honors Convocation in Lansing.
Additionally, she was recognized for her work in the school's Peer Mediation Program and for her other service at Cooley. Jackman has participated in the school's Service to Soldiers program, served as president of the Student Bar Association (SBA), as a member of the ABA Board, as a graduation marshal, a school ambassador, as editor of the Cooley Law Journal, and as a member of the Honor Council. She started the SBA – Professional Development and Alumni Relations Committee, which launched a business card program to assist Cooley students with professional networking.
Jackman, who is scheduled to graduate in September, will also serve as the valedictory speaker at the commencement ceremony. Each class elects a fellow graduate to give this speech.
Jackman is a graduate of Florida International University in Miami, Fla., where she majored in psychology and political science, and played soccer and softball.
Walker, of Glendora, N.J., was also recognized for service as a Senior Associate Editor for the Cooley Journal of Practical and Clinical Law, won the Top Associate Editor Award for the Journal, and served as a Senior Associate Editor for the Thomas M. Cooley Law Review.
She was a general body member of the Moot Court organization at Cooley and a quarter finalist in the Moot Court Competition, won Certificates of Merit in Secured Transactions and Criminal Procedure, and made the Dean's List and Honor Roll each term. She was also a member of the Italian Law Society.
Walker, who is scheduled to graduate from Cooley in September, is also a graduate of La Salle University in Philadelphia, Penn., and of Paul VI High School, in Haddonfield, N.J.
About Cooley Law School: Founded in 1972, the Thomas M. Cooley Law School is a private, nonprofit, independent law school accredited by the American Bar Association and the Higher Learning Commission. Cooley has provided its more than 16,000 graduates with the practical skills necessary for a seamless transition from academia to the real world. Cooley offers its Juris Doctor program, Joint Degree programs, and Master of Laws programs three times a year with enrollment in January, May and September. Cooley Law School has campuses across Michigan in Lansing, Auburn Hills, Grand Rapids and Ann Arbor, and its new campus in Tampa Bay, Florida.