The Howell Heflin Award was given to the Leadership Institute in Judicial Education as the State Justice Institute funded project that had the greatest impact on the quality of justice in state courts. Only one award is given per year. It was presented to Dr. Patricia H. Murrell at the United States Supreme Court on November 15, 1999, in the presence of approximately 300 persons including Chief Justice William Rehnquist, Attorney General Janet Reno, Supreme Court Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sandra Day O'Connor, numerous chief justices of state supreme courts, and other dignitaries from the state courts.
The Warren Burger Award 2000 also was awarded to Dr. Patricia H. Murrell, Director, Leadership Institute in Judicial Education, for her significant contribution to the field of court administration through her leadership in the field of judicial learning and teaching. This award was presented at the annual luncheon meeting of the National Association for Court Management in Atlanta, Georgia, in August 2000, with approximately 400 people in attendance.
A Harrison Tweed Special Merit Award was presented to Dr. Patricia H. Murrell at the annual meeting of the American Bar Association in August 2001. This award recognizes the contribution that the Leadership Institute in Judicial Education has made to the education of judicial educators, judges and other court personnel. The American Law Institute-American Bar Association delivered the award.
In 2002, the Leadership Institute in Judicial Education received the Tennessee Board of Regents' Academic Excellence and Quality Award in recognition for contributing as, "an outstanding example of the public service activities our universities and colleges undertake," and "having a real impact on the quality of justice in our state and our nation."