Levin College of Law Chapter
—The Order of the Coif

The Order of the Coif is an honorary scholastic society that invites law students in the top ten percent of their graduating class to join it every year.

The twenty-nine (29) graduates selected to join on August 28, 2018, bring the number of Fredric G. Levin College of Law Alumni who have been inducted into the Florida Chapter—The Order of the Coif since 1955 to 2,012.

Selection to the Levin College of Law’s Chapter of The Order of the Coif reflects the demonstration of outstanding effort and ability throughout a law school career. 

I always look forward to sending out selection letters during the Fall Semester. The letters for the 2018 selections should be in the mail the week of September 17, 2018.

—Prof. Pedro A. Malavet, Chapter President

Please Let Us Know How to Contact You

Please do not leave Gainesville without updating your mailing address and other contact information with the Office of Student Affairs.

Faculty Notice to Students Regarding Membership

(Approved on September 19, 2007 and amended by a change to the Interpretation of Section 5.1 the Coif Constitution approved by member chapters on November 12, 2013, effective prospectively on selections for 2014 and thereafter.)

The Order of the Coif is an honorary scholastic society the purpose of which is to encourage excellence in legal education by fostering a spirit of careful study, recognizing those who as law students attained a high grade of scholarship, and honoring those who as lawyers, judges and teachers attained high distinction for their scholarly or professional accomplishments.

An invitation to become a member of the University of Florida Chapter of The Order of the Coif marks the completion of a distinguished career as a student at the Levin College of Law.

History and Applicable Rules

The Order of the Coif traces its roots to the centuries-old English practice of designating serjeants-at-law who were also known as serjeants-of-the-coif because of the headdress they wore. “What gave significance to The Order was the fact that for centuries only its members were appointed judges of the Court of Common Pleas or, later, of King’s Bench.” This practice effectively ended in 1877.

The modern Order of the Coif in the United States traces its roots to the creation of an honorary society at the University of Illinois College of Law in 1902.

The University of Florida Fredric G. Levin College of Law has been a member of the national society since 1955. The professors at the College of Law who are allowed to vote at faculty meetings and are members of The Order of the Coif constitute the voting membership of the chapter and are thus responsible for selecting new members from our graduating classes.

Each chapter is bound by The Order of the Coif Constitution of February 25, 1976, as amended. Selection of members is governed by section 5.1 of the Constitution, which reads as follows:

  • SECTION 5.1. Eligibility of Law Students.
    a) For each academic year, measured from July 1 to June 30, or any other twelve-month period designated by a member school, a Chapter may elect to membership in The Order any graduating senior (1) who has completed at least 75 percent of his or her law studies in graded courses and (2) whose grade record ranks in the top 10 percent of all the graduating seniors of the school. “Graded courses” are those for which academic accomplishment is recorded on the basis of educational measurement involving four or more discriminators.
  • b) A Chapter need not elect the maximum eligible under subsection (a). The criterion should be the election of those eligible who, in the opinion of the voting members of the Chapter, are deemed truly worthy of the honor. Accordingly, in addition to scholastic standing, a Chapter may take into consideration law school activities contributing measurably to the total legal education of the candidate. The Chapter may set forth rules listing additional factors, or may make selections on an individualized basis. A Chapter may decline to elect an eligible student whose character is unfitting for membership in The Order.

“Strictly Enforced.” Please note that both the 75 percent graded course and the top 10 percent class rank requirements must be strictly enforced.

“Graded Course.”
Generally, determination of what is a “graded course” must be made at the time of selection, in accordance with the grading policies of the University of Florida Levin College of Law. Therefore, any course that is treated as a pass/fail or s/u  course for purposes of computing your graduation GPA must be treated as a non-graded course.

Transfer Students' Credits. Historically, all transfer credits had to be considered as coming from “non-graded courses” because those credits are not counted in the Graduation GPA at the Levin College of Law. However, the member chapters have approved a new interpretation of Section 5.1 under which, when determining compliance with the 75 percent graded course requirement for Coif membership, a student who transferred into the Levin College of Law from another law school will have the transferred credits considered as having been earned in a “graded course” if, at the time the course was taken, a grade was received. Graduation GPA and class rank will continue to be determined as provided in the grading policies of the University of Florida Levin College of Law. This change is effective prospectively on selections for 2014 and thereafter.

For more information on the history of The Order, please refer to Frank R. Strong, Order of the Coif, English Antecedents and American Adaptation, 63 Amer. Bar Assoc. J. 1725 (December 1977), or visit the society’s website at http://www.orderofthecoif.org.

Selection Process

  • At the start of the Fall Semester, the Office of Student Affairs certifies the list of those students who have graduated between July 1, and June 30 of the previous academic year who are eligible for membership.
    • Although our academic year at the Levin College of Law starts in the fall, the Coif Constitution requires us to start with the summer graduation for the previous academic year and then include the next academic year's fall and spring graduates when identifying the aggregate size the fiscal year’s graduating class and membership eligibility.
  • Dean Inman and Dean Rosenbury refer the list to the Faculty Chapter.
  • The Faculty Chapter votes to admit those who meet the membership requirements, usually right after the first faculty meeting of the Fall Semester.
  • Selection becomes effective upon the faculty chapter vote.
  • Letters of selection are sent out soon after the faculty vote —to the student's mailing address registered with the Office of Student Affairs— asking each selectee how they wish their name to appear on the certificate and on the national Order’s rolls.
  • As per our chapter policy, the Chapter President will forward the names of all selectees to the national Order in December or January.
  • There are no annual dues for membership in The Order of the Coif.  However, an initial sum of $45.00 is needed to cover an initiation fee of $35.00 that we must pay to the national Order of the Coif, which is required to confirm a graduate's election as a member and to prepare an engraved certificate.  There is a $5.00 fee for the calligraphy for this certificate and a $5.00 fee to cover the costs of this and future mailings. 
    • The fee increased to $45.00 starting with the 2015 selections because the National Order increased the initiation fee to $35.00 as of that year.
  • Certificates and Names. The certificate reflecting your membership will be sent to you, if you have completed the acceptance process. 
    • The Chapter receives a limited number of certificates from the National Order. It is our practice to generate all the certificates for each annual group at the same time, usually towards the end of the spring semester.
    • When a graduate completes the acceptance process, she or he may specify how they wish their name to appear on the certificate.
    • Otherwise, we have historically used the graduate's name as it appears on university records.
    • However, starting this year (2017), we will use each graduate's name as they requested it appear on their diploma from the College of Law, unless the student specifies otherwise in the acceptance form.
  • Checks for $45.00 should be made payable to: “Florida Chapter, The Order of the Coif,” and mailed, together with the attached form, to: Professor Pedro A. Malavet, Fredric G. Levin College of Law, PO Box 117625 (alternately, 309 Village Drive), Gainesville, FL  32611-7625.
  • Certificates are usually mailed out towards the end of the Spring Semester.

Please do not leave Gainesville without updating your mailing address and other contact information with the Office of Student Affairs.

Levin College of Law Faculty Chapter Members

Constitution SECTION 4.2. Chapter Composition.
A Chapter of The Order is composed of the charter members, of the other faculty members of the applicant School accepting membership at the time of Chapter organization, of members thereafter elected in accordance with provisions of Article V, and of any members of other Chapters invited into association. Voting membership consists of members of The Order who are currently members of the faculty of the Chapter's School and, if the by-laws of the Chapter so provide, of others elected by the Chapter to membership in The Order.

  • Angelo, Mary Jane, Chapter Secretary/Treasurer
  • Baldwin, Fletcher N., Jr. (Ret.)
  • Burke, Karen C.
  • Dawson, George L., Dean Emeritus (Ret.)
  • Drake, Teresa A.
  • Harrison, Jeffrey L.
  • Jackson, Joseph Steven
  • Lear, Elizabeth Tyson
  • Luke, Charlene
  • Malavet, Pedro A., Chapter President
  • Mashburn, Amy Rebecca, Associate Dean
  • McMahon, Martin James, Jr.
  • McCouch, Grayson
  • Mills, Jon L., Dean Emeritus
  • Page, William H.
  • Peters, Don C. (Ret.)
  • Reid, Teresa Jean (Rambo)
  • Stein, Amy L.
  • Tomlinson, Diane A.
  • Willis, Steven J.