Nicholas Binder, ’19, Recognized as Distinguished Law Student

“As a student at the college of law, Nick Binder was a force of nature. He excelled at everything he did, from the classroom to Moot Court to Law Review,” said Dean Lawrence Ponoroff. Out of his 30+ years of teaching, Dean Ponoroff would place Binder, ’19, in the very highest echelons of the students he’s been privileged to have in the classroom. 

Reflective of his standout academic reputation, Binder was awarded the title of Distinguished Law Student by the Midwest Regional Bankruptcy Seminar (MRBS), an affiliate of the American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI). The award extends the opportunity for young professionals with strong interest in bankruptcy law and corporate restructuring to attend the annual seminar in Cincinnati, which took place in August 2019.

Binder came to MSU Law with a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology and a master of business administration ready to take the “natural next step,” he said, in pursuit of a career in the corporate legal realm. Classes like Basic Bankruptcy with Professor Anne Lawton and Secured Transactions and Mortgages with Professor Clark Johnson were just Binder’s speed – and the reputation and scholarship of the faculty he studied under further encouraged his pursuit of the field. 

Professor Lawton nominated Binder for the award from the MRBS, “He was an excellent student in Basic Bankruptcy, and he will be an outstanding commercial lawyer,” she said.

Binder feels honored to receive the Distinguished Law Student Award and be recognized by both MSU Law and the ABI. However, the award isn’t Binder’s first recognition from the institute: he placed third in the ABI’s annual national writing competition as a 2L in 2018. 

He graduated in 2019 at the top of his class. “I greatly enjoyed my experiences over the past three years and I'm immensely grateful for the opportunities that opened up for me because I chose Michigan State Law School for my legal education,” he said. Binder will begin his legal career at Kirkland & Ellis LLP in Chicago as a member of their Corporate Restructuring Practice Group.