Being a Citizen Lawyer

William & Mary Law School was founded under the ideals of the citizen lawyer. Our students, faculty, and alumni are trained to be good lawyers, but also good citizens and leaders in their respective communities.

Over graduation weekend, we saw many examples of how our community epitomizes the citizen-lawyer model.

Judy Conti J.D. ’94 received the 2013 Citizen-Lawyer Award for demonstrating outstanding leadership and citizenship in her work. In 2000, Conti co-founded the Employment Justice Center, which provides free legal advice to low-wage workers in the District of Columbia. Conti was the Executive Director for seven years, and under her leadership, the organization assisted 10,000 workers. Conti continues to be an advocate for workers as the federal advocacy coordinator for the National Employment Law Project.

Chris Rey J.D. ’10 received the 2013 Taylor Reveley Award from the William & Mary Law School Alumni Association. The award is given to an alumnus or alumna who has graduated within 10 years and has demonstrated a strong commitment to public service. Rey enlisted in the Army during his senior year in college and served for seven years. During law school, Rey served as a member of the Electoral College, representing Virginia’s first congressional district in 2008 and was the first African-American presidential elector in the history of Virginia. In 2011, Ray ran for mayor in his hometown of Spring Lake, N.C. and secured 76 percent of the vote and serves as mayor today.

Professors Susan Grover and Trotter Hardy were the 2013 recipients of the John Marshall Award. The award is given to a member, or members, of the Law School faculty or staff who has demonstrated selfless service to the Law School community.

In one of the nomination letters for Susan Grover, a student wrote:  ”Susan Grover embodies all of the qualities of the John Marshall Award. She is compassionate. She is brilliant. She continually reminds students that we are, in her words, part of a community who cares. When she sees students struggling, whether academically or emotionally, she does not always wait for them to come through her door, though her door is always open, but she seeks them out to make sure that they know that resources are there to help them, and that she cares. She is humble, generous with her time, and quite possibly the best listener I have ever encountered.”

Trotter Hardy retires after teaching at William & Mary for 31 years. He was the first intellectual property professor and served for over 10 years as the Dean for Technology. One nominator said: “Beyond his excellent classroom teaching, Professor Hardy has provided tremendous service to the Law School as the dean of technology. He always reaches out to students for their feedback whenever technology changes are being made. Best of all, he is just an all-around great guy.”

Congratulations to our Citizen Lawyers!

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