The Law Alumni Board selects the Knous and Distinguished Alumni Award recipients. The Dean Edward C. King Making A Difference and Richard Schaden Adopted Alumnus Awards are awarded periodically and honorees are selected by the Dean.

The William Lee Knous Award was established in memory of former governor, federal judge, distinguished statesman and alumnus, William Lee Knous (1911). It is Colorado Law’s highest alumni honor and is given to an alumnus or alumna in recognition of outstanding achievement and sustained service to Colorado Law.

Each year, the Law Alumni Board selects distinguished alumni to honor at the Law Alumni Awards Banquet. There are nine categories of achievement: Corporate Counsel, Executive in Industry, Judiciary, Education, Private Practice, Public Sector, Solo/Small Firm Practitioner, Recent Alumnus, and Special Recognition. If you would like to submit the name of a distinguished alumnus or alumna, please contact Georgette Vigil, Senior Director of Alumni Engagement and Outreach.

Dean’s Choice, Dean Edward C. King Making a Difference Award
This award recognizes alumni who demonstrate the sort of passion and commitment to the legal profession and the people it serves as did Edward C. King, Dean of Colorado Law from 1940-1962. Dean King was known as a pragmatic person with the intellectual courage to do right, even when that was challenging.

Dean’s Choice – Richard Schaden Adopted Alumnus Award
This award recognizes an individual who is a Colorado Law advocate, even while not being a Colorado Law alumni, and who has become part of our community.

Honorary Order of the Coif
The English Order of the Coif, an ancient and honored institution of the Common Law, was an association of distinguished lawyers from whose members the Judges of the Court of Common Pleas were appointed and who for centuries had the exclusive right to be barristers in that Court. Later, judges of the King’s Bench and the Exchequer were appointed from its members. The order took its name from the coif, or cap, which all members wore. The American Order was formed in 1911 for the purpose of promoting scholarship among law students.

The University of Colorado Law School, one of the 81 member law schools, became a member in 1942. Under the Order’s constitution, only the top 10% of the school’s graduating class is eligible for membership. At each year’s commencement, Colorado Law presents an Honorary Order of the Coif to a member of the legal community.