Distinguished Visitor Program & Application

Pursuant to its historic purpose of promoting excellence in legal scholarship, The Order of
the Coif sponsors a program that enables chapters to bring distinguished members of the legal profession to their campuses. Each year the Executive Committee will invite one or more distinguished judges, academics, or practitioners to visit several law schools that have established Coif chapters. The Distinguished Visitor spends two days at each of the institutions he or she visits, participating in classroom lectures and seminars, meeting informally with faculty and student groups, and giving one address open to the entire academic community. The purpose of the program is to contribute to the intellectual life of the campus by fostering an exchange of ideas with individuals whose experiences and ideas may be expected to stimulate discussion about important issues confronting the legal profession.

The Distinguished Visitor Program replaced the Lecture Series in 2004.


The Executive Committee takes great pleasure in announcing that Professor Melissa Murray is the Order of the Coif Distinguished Visitor for 2022.

Melissa Murray is the Frederick I. and Grace Stokes Professor of Law at NYU School of Law, where she teaches constitutional law, family law, criminal law, and reproductive rights and justice. Murray’s writing has appeared in a range of legal and lay publications, including the Harvard Law Review, the Yale Law Journal, the New York Times, The Atlantic, and The Nation. She is a legal analyst for MSNBC, and is a co-host of Strict Scrutiny, a podcast about the Supreme Court and legal culture.  Prior to joining the NYU Law faculty, Murray was the Alexander F. and May T. Morrison Professor of Law at the University of California, Berkeley, where she received the law school’s Rutter Award for Teaching Distinction, and, from March 2016 to June 2017, served as Interim Dean.  Murray is an honors graduate of the University of Virginia, where she was a Jefferson Scholar and an Echols Scholar, and Yale Law School, where she was notes development editor of the Yale Law Journal.  Following law school, Murray clerked for Sonia Sotomayor, then a judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and Stefan Underhill of the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut. She is a member of the American Law Institute and serves on the board of directors of the National Women’s Law Center, the Brennan Center for Justice, and the American Constitution Society.


Any school with a chapter of The Order of the Coif may host a distinguished visitor Priority will be given to those institutions that do not have extensive resources on which to draw for similar programs or that for other reasons may have difficulty in doing so and which have not recently hosted a distinguished visitor.


The national office of the Order provides an honorarium for the Coif Distinguished Visitor and pays for his or her transportation to the host school. The host school is responsible for the expense of his or her meals, lodging, and local transportation. In addition, the host school undertakes to provide publicity for the Visitor’s lecture sufficient to bring it to the attention of all segments of the campus, the local professional community, including bench, bar, and law students.


The national office of the Order issues invitations to the Distinguished Visitor and posts information about the visitors on this website.


1. The Distinguished Visitors for the following academic year will be selected and chapters notified during the summer.

2. Applications to host a Coif Lecture should be submitted by November 1, 2021. The national office, in consultation with the Visitor, will then arrange a series of visits from among the schools that have expressed an interest. Applicant schools should not communicate directly with the Distinguished Visitor. Designated host schools will be notified of their selection in no later than November 19, 2021.

3. Applications for designation as host school for a Coif Distinguished Visitor must be in writing and contain:

Name(s) of proposed host school(s);
Proposed dates (see below);
Statement of any special reasons this application should be granted (e.g., special
anniversary of the school, etc.)

Since the visits must be arranged for a time compatible with the Visitors other obligations, it is desirable to suggest as many dates as possible that would be consistent with the school’s schedule.


Host School: _____________________________________________________________________

Joint Host: ______________________________________________________________________

Name of Distinguished Visitor Sought: ________________________________________________

Proposed Dates (Include as many potential dates as possible for maximum flexibility)







Special Reason this Application Should Be Granted:

Dean’s Statement: I am acquainted with the obligations of a school undertaking the sponsorship
of an Order of the Coif Distinguished Visitor and state that the applicant school is willing and able to
discharge these obligations.


School ___________________________________________________

Date _____________________________________________________


DEADLINE:  November 1, 2021


Laura N. Gasaway
National Secretary-Treasurer, The Order of the Coif

And forward Dean’s statement, signature and date by regular mail to:

Sandra R. Jones
6530 Kimesville Road
Liberty, NC  27298