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News|College of Law

2014 Honors Banquet


March 14, 2014 —

The University of Wyoming College of Law will be hosting the annual Honor’s Banquet on April 5th, 2014, at 6:00 pm at the Hilton Garden Inn in Laramie. At the Honor’s Banquet we recognize all of the named scholarship recipients in the current law school classes, including the announcement of the prestigious Brimmer Scholarship and the inductees of the Order of the Coif.

The Honor’s Banquet is also the time when honor our distinguished alumni. Among the evening’s honorees are this year’s recipients of the UW College of Law Distinguished Alumni Award, the Thurman Arnold Distinguished Supporter of the Law School Award, and the Honorary Order of the Coif Inductee.

The UW College of Law Distinguished Alumni Award is presented to alumni who have distinguished themselves in their legal careers. Because we have many amazing alumni who have done wonderful things in their legal careers, being selected for this award is a high honor.  This year, the College of Law will honor Justice Barton R. Voigt and the Honorable John J. (J.J.) Hickey, posthumously with the Distinguished Alumni Award.

Barton R. Voigt was raised in Thermopolis, Wyo. He attended the University of Wyoming for all three of his degrees, earning a B.A. in American History in 1971, an M.A. in History on 1973, and his J.D. in 1979. After the completion of his law degree, Voigt practiced law in his hometown of Thermopolis for 10 years before serving as the Hot Springs County Attorney for two terms. He briefly served as the County Court Judge in Gillette, Wyo., before his appointment as a District Court Judge in Douglas, Wyo. In 2001, he was appointed to the Wyoming Supreme Court and served for 12 years in that role before his retirement in 2013.

John Joseph Hickey was born in Rawlins, Wyo., August 22, 1911. He attended the University of Wyoming and received his Juris Doctor in 1934. He returned to Rawlins where he practiced law and served as the city treasurer before enlisting in the United States Army, serving during WWII from 1942 – 1946. Upon completion of his military career, Hickey was appointed as the Wyoming District Attorney in 1949 by President Harry S. Truman. In 1959 he was elected as Governor by the residents of Wyoming. He then served in that role from 1959 to 1961. In 1961 he served as a United States Senator for the State of Wyoming. In 1966, he was appointed to the bench of the United States Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, a position that he held until his death in 1970.

In 2012, recognizing that some of the greatest supporters of the UW law school were not graduates of the institution, the College of Law created the Thurman Arnold Distinguished Supporter of the Law School Award. This Award dually honors the memory of Thurman Arnold for his unfailing contributions and support to the College of Law, and provides the College of Law with the opportunity to annually recognize a distinguished supporter of the law school that has followed Thurman Arnold’s example with equal assistance and fervor. The Thurman Arnold Distinguished Support Award is awarded annually to a non-alumnus that went above and beyond the norm to promote and develop the UW College of Law. This year’s recipient is Houston G. Williams, posthumously.

Williams was born in Estancia, New Mex., in 1922. He attended the University of Colorado earning a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering before serving in WWII as a captain in the Corps of Engineers for three and a half years. He attending the University of Colorado School of Law and received his Juris Doctor in 1950, graduating with honors. He joined the law firm of W.J. Wehrli and Associates in Casper, Wyo., where he became a partner. Upon the retirement of W. J. Wehrli, the firm was renamed Williams, Porter, Day and Neville. Williams also served as Wyoming Special Assistant Attorney General in federal and Indian water litigation. Throughout his 45 year career, Williams earned a reputation as an expert in many different areas of the law, and a role model for fellow attorneys. He was selected as the Thurman Arnold Award recipient in honor of his fierce loyalty and pride in the Wyoming State Bar, Wyoming Judiciary and the UW College of Law. He was unfailingly kind and generous to UW graduates, hiring, training and mentoring generations of Wyoming attorney’s.

During the Honor’s Banquet, we will award honorary Order of the Coif inductees.  The Order of the Coif is a national honorary society that recognizes excellence in legal education. Membership is limited to students who graduated in the top 10% of their class, and to honorary members selected by schools with a Coif chapter. Fewer than half of the accredited law schools in the United States have been awarded Coif membership. Wyoming became a member in 1985. Each year, the College of Law faculty selects an alumni who graduated prior to 1985 for induction into the society. This year, the honorary recipient is Robert P. Schuster.

Schuster was born in 1945 in St. Louis, Mo., and was raised in Casper, Wyo.. Schuster graduated with a bachelor’s degree in American Studies from Yale University in 1967. He earned his Juris Doctor from the UW College of Law in 1970, graduating with honors. During his time in law school, he worked on many Wyoming land issues and published two articles in the Land and Water Law Review (now the Wyoming Law Review). Upon graduation, Shuster was honored as an Urban Law Fellow by the Ford Foundation and then went on to receive an LL.M. from the Harvard Law School. He then returned to Wyoming to practice law, beginning his legal career as a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in Natrona County. He opened his own law firm, focusing on oil and gas law before co-founding the firm of Spence, Moriarity & Schuster, LLC. After nearly 25 years as a senior partner in the firm, Schuster once again opened a solo firm in 2002 in Jackson, Wyo., where he currently practices.

The College of Law Honors Banquet is an open event and we strongly encourage anyone who wishes to attend the Banquet to do so. Guests must register for the event and the cost of dinner is $25 or $12.50 for students. To RSVP to the event and make a dinner payment online, please Register Here.


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