Research in Administrative Law

by Laura Vlieg, Class of 2014

lauraLaura Vlieg is a 2L student at W&M Law interested in pursuing a career in aviation law. She is involved in a number of student groups on campus including Constitutional Conversations, the American Constitution Society, and Law Cappella. Prior to law school, she attended Loyola University Chicago completing majors in Political Science and International Studies, and then worked for a year with an aviation law firm in Washington, DC. 

When I decided to join the William & Mary Law School community, a major factor influencing my decision was the opportunity to work as a Graduate Fellow.  The in-state tuition and stipend were certainly incentive enough for me to accept, and I was intrigued about the added benefit of gaining some research experience along the way. I remember when I first arrived at William & Mary, I met an administrator who recognized my name and exclaimed “Oh, you’re one of our GRFs!” (pronounced “Grrrrf”), and I had absolutely no idea what she was talking about.  I quickly realized that GRF is the friendly, albeit bizarre, nickname given to Graduate Fellows here at the law school.

The enthusiasm I was met with that very first day has not died down, and I have been fortunate in my GRF assignments to meet and work for some wonderful people.  My 1L year I was assigned to both the Admissions Office and the Technical Services division in the law library.

As a 2L I am now working as a research assistant to Professor Larsen, one of W&M’s rock star professors focusing in Administrative and Constitutional law. The projects that I have worked on with Prof. Larsen have been interesting; some of those projects have included editing papers, finding scholarly authorities on specific topics within Administrative and Constitutional law, and compiling facts and data on specified topics within those fields.  I definitely feel that the position has helped me fine-tune my research skills.

In retrospect, I wouldn’t hesitate for a moment to advise my past self to accept the GRF position—weird nickname and all.

Laura reflected on her first semester at W&M for the Admissions Blog.  Click here to read more.