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Academic Honors Program

The School of Law Academic Honors Program provides an intellectually challenging academic experience to select entering students and to those who have performed near the top of their law school class.

Eligible students will be notified by the Office of Admissions and invited to participate in the program. Students must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.500 or higher at the end of the second- and fourth-semesters to remain in the program.

In addition, students who were not originally eligible for the program but whose cumulative GPA is 3.500 or higher will be eligible to join.

To learn more, contact the Office of Admissions at 618-536-7711.


Along with all SIU Law students, those in the Academic Honors Program also may:


 Samantha EarlsSamantha Earls

Informational Packet on the Rights of Family Members of Illinois Long-Term Care Facilities

This project provides an overview of several key rights belonging to family members of residents of Illinois long-term care facilities. It also discusses some resident rights in an effort to equip family members to advocate for the rights of their loved ones. This project is formatted both in a one-sheet poster and a more detailed, nine-page informational packet.

Schuyler FrashierSchuyler Frashier

Immigrant Students: Navigating Financial Aid

This project resulted in the creation of a brochure that high school guidance counselors can give to immigrant students who do not qualify for federal financial aid, but wish to continue their education. Information regarding options for financial aid for undocumented students is explained and additional sources are provided. The brochure also provides information for students who are documented, but are ineligible for federal financial aid.

Adam JelovicAdam Jelovic

Law School and Money: A Needed Conversation

Law School and Money is about managing the financial aspects of law school and what different decisions will impact in the future. Rather than showing a single method or theory, the project is designed to start the conversation about how having better financial habits now that will help law students in the future. The goal is to have law students develop better habits on their own in order to make a lasting impact.

James JonesJames Jones

The Additional Costs of a Criminal Conviction

This project resulted in the creation of a brochure that lists and categorizes the collateral consequences of a criminal conviction in Missouri. The brochure will be helpful to both criminal defense and prosecuting attorneys when explaining the long term impacts of a plea, suspended imposition of sentence, or conviction to a criminal defendant.

Justin KayJustin Kay

No More Surprises:  An Exploration of Federal and Illinois "Surprise Medical Bill" Consumer Protection Statutes

With the recent passage of the No Surprises Act, a landmark federal consumer protection statute, health care patients across the nation have new rights.  The complex new federal law codifies patient rights against surprise medical bills in some situations, and requires that hospitals and insurance companies following specific procedures.  Because Illinois has similar, but not parallel consumer protection laws, it is imperative that patients become readily familiar with what rights they have under the law.


Nathan LevyNathan Levy

Take Control of Your Future Care: Illinois Power of Attorney for Health Care

This project is focused on promoting education and awareness in Illinois communities regarding the Illinois Power of Attorney for Health Care. Specifically, the project consists of a pamphlet and guide that can be used in community centers, care facilities, and hospitals to help individuals understand the Illinois Power of Attorney for Health Care and aid in the thought process required for completing one.

Justine NewmanJustine Newman

Undependable Data Prolonging the Overdose Crisis

This project resulted in the creation of a research report identifying gaps in opioid overdose reporting. I identified three areas for improvement: (1) autopsies, (2) postmortem toxicology testing, and (3) death certificate reporting. I proposed potential legislative and public health interventions to mitigate these issues.

Abbi PenkAbbi Penk

Intellectual Property and the Benefits to Business

This project resulted in a presentation that explains the basics and differences of four types of intellectual property (copyrights, patents, trademarks, and trade secrets). Trademarks are explained in greater detail by discussing the requirements of a valid trademark, the federal trademark registration process, and other common issues trademark owners experience. Finally, the presentation describes how trademarks can be beneficial and valuable to a business.

Hugh TonerHugh Toner

Relevance, Potential to Show "Actual Innocence," and 725 ILCS 5/116.3

Many defendants were convicted years ago based on evidence (like a blood sample) that was tested using forensic methods that were not especially precise. Today there have been substantial advancements in modern DNA testing that make it much more accurate, affordable, and accessible. This project looks at the legal requirements in Illinois for a criminal defendant to request new, more accurate DNA testing of old evidence that was used to convict the defendant.