Payne Awarded ABI's 2015 Medal of Excellence

Photograph: Professor Andrea Boyack and Brian PayneBrian Payne,  '15, was awarded the 2015 American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI) Medal of Excellence for his outstanding performance in bankruptcy coursework. In addition to the medal, Payne received a Certificate of Excellence in Bankruptcy and a complimentary one-year ABI membership. 

The ABI Medal of Excellence program was developed by Christopher F. Graham of the New York law firm of McKenna Long & Aldridge and was inaugurated in 1997. The program provides that each participating school can nominate the student with the highest grade in a bankruptcy course or other indicia of bankruptcy scholarship.

Washburn Law's bankruptcy professor, Andrea Boyack, nominated Payne for the award. "Brian is an impressive student and will be a credit to the profession as a lawyer. He has a quick, keen intellect, great legal instincts, and a stellar work ethic,” said Boyack.

Payne, originally from Gilbert, Ariz., received his undergraduate degree in finance from Arizona State University. He was attracted to Washburn Law because of the school's reputation for training practice-ready lawyers. Payne chose to enroll at Washburn Law to further develop his passion for the intersection of business and law, and he quickly discovered that bankruptcy law was a natural fit for his interests.

"One of the most profound realizations for me in my bankruptcy studies was how bankruptcy reflects on deeper societal values," Payne said. "I catch myself recognizing bankruptcy issues in everyday life, whether it be counseling a client in the Washburn Law Clinic, understanding a complicated issue in a business tax class, or reading about the foreclosure crisis in the newspaper. Bankruptcy law really shows up in unexpected places, and it says a lot about the priorities and values that are given the most importance under our system of law." 

After graduating from Washburn Law on May 16, 2015, Payne plans to pursue a career that combines his love for business and the law.