Monday, November 3, 2014

What are South Texas Book Awards?

by Barbara Szalkowski, Senior Catalog Librarian

Interesting question of the day: "Do you have, somewhere in the library and available to students, the book awards showing the highest grades from every past class?"
Although I have been here at South Texas for almost 30 years, I had never heard the term "book award" before. So, I searched Google and learned that a "book award" is bestowed by a law school on each law school student who earns the highest grade in a particular class. Some law schools name their awards after a distinguished alumnus and other schools have allowed donors to sponsor the awards and name them after the donor. 
I asked a colleague if she had ever heard of such an award here at South Texas. She said, at one time, South Texas did have "Am Jur" awards -- presumably the awards were sponsored by Lawyers Cooperative, the publisher of American Jurisprudence (aka "AmJur"). She suggested perhaps the College Archives might have a list of these awards. No such luck in the Archives, so I contacted the Registrar and asked if she was familiar with the term "Am Jur"-ing a course, and, if so, did South Texas still award them? She said that we do, but now they're sponsored by and named after the Center for Computer Assisted Legal Instruction (CALI).

A list of CALI Awards for South Texas for each semester 2007-present is available from the CALI website. Who knew?