The Order of the Coif is a national honor society for law school graduates who attended member schools. Each year it extends invitations to the top 10% of the University of Houston Law Center's graduating J.D. students by grade point average. The cut-off for election in recent years has generally been between 3.4 and 3.6. No application is necessary, although students should make sure that their final transcripts are accurate.
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.
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.