Developing Faculty Student Relationships

by Sam Mann, Class of 2013

sam mannSam Mann is a 3L at William & Mary Law School. He attended Washington & Jefferson College and received a degree in Political Science. After college, he played two years of professional baseball while also serving as a full-time assistant baseball coach at Marietta College. Sam is the Lead Notes Editor of William and Mary Law Review and the Co-Editor of the Sports and Entertainment Law Society Blog. He spent the summer of 2012 at Cahill Gordon Reindel in Manhattan and will return to work there after graduation.

As a 3L here at William & Mary, I have had a number of very rewarding and interesting experiences over the past three years. I’d like to briefly share two of those experiences, both of which illustrate the resources available to William & Mary law students.

I was a Graduate Research Fellow (and technically still am though most of my duties have been completed), a program which gives students the opportunity to work with faculty and/or with departments of the law school. My first year I worked in the Library and the Admissions Office. In my second year I began doing research for Professor Neal Devins, a constitutional law scholar. During that year, I did research for and assisted with papers on the ACA health care bill, party politicization, the ideological position of the Supreme Court, and a number of other constitutional issues.

More importantly, I also got to know Professor Devins. While writing my student note, Professor Devins put me in touch with a practicing attorney who had just recently argued a relevant case in the Supreme Court. I had the opportunity to talk to this lawyer via phone and it ended up being extremely helpful in the research and development of my topic. He has also written letters of recommendation on my behalf and has taken an interest in my scholastic and educational plans.

This is just one example of the accessibility of our faculty, but it is certainly not the only one.  Last year, while considering whether to apply for a judicial clerkship, I reached out to Professor Laura Heymann, who I had for a class my first semester. Despite the fact that Professor Heymann was on sabbatical for the semester, she was still willing to meet with me during the only week she was on campus to discuss the process and answer any questions I had.

There are a number of great things about William & Mary Law School, and principle among them are the impressiveness and accessibility of our faculty.

Sam also wrote a reflection after his first semester at William & Mary Law School.  Read it here.