Happy Fourth!

fireworksEveryone is invited to Williamsburg for the holiday weekend!  Independence Day offers us the chance to celebrate our country’s freedom by participating in special events and taking in fantastic fireworks displays. Honoring Independence Day is an easy task in Virginia and all over Hampton Roads, where the history of the region stands as a constant reminder of the American Revolution. Hopefully, you will have a festive weekend wherever you are.

Below are the activities happening in Williamsburg and the surrounding areas on the Fourth:

Fireworks Viewing

  • Colonial Williamsburg: Market Square or Palace Green & Throughout the Historic Area.
  • Fireworks display over the York River in Historic Yorktown
  • Busch Gardens: Star Spangled Nights July 3 through August 10, 4th fireworks from July 3rd – 5th
  • Virginia Living Museum: (Planetarium)
  • Two Rivers Country Club

Other 4th of July Activities

  •  8 a.m. Yorktown Independence Day 8K Run and 5k Walk at York High school.
  • 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. Liberty Celebration at the Yorktown Victory Center (goes through the 6th).
  • 9 a.m. Parade on Water Street with Live Music – Yorktown U.S. Coast Guard Ceremonial Band.
  • 10 a.m. Williamsburg’s Fifes and Drums with musket and cannon salutes behind the courthouse.
  • 12 p.m. Reading of the Declaration of Independence in Colonial Williamsburg at the courthouse.
  • 5 p.m. Gates open for Danielle Bradbery (2013 winner of The Voice) at the Lake Matoaka Amphitheater, show starts at 6:30 p.m.
  • 7 p.m. Sounds of Liberty Bell Ringing Ceremony at the Riverwalk Landing Stage in Yorktown.
  • 8 p.m. United States Army Training and Doctrine Command Band (Dixie Band) – Riverwalk Landing Stage.

Student Intellectual Property Society

pinoby Dominic Pino, Class of 2017

Dominic is from Hazleton, PA and graduated from St Joseph’s University.

As one of the fastest growing practice areas in law, Intellectual Property Law is of always evolving, recreating itself, and opening new doors.  To keep up with this every changing field, the Student Intellectual Property Society (SIPS) serves as a source of information regarding intellectual property law for the academic community at the College of William and Mary. In particular, SIPS provides a forum for exchanging information, networking, and searching for employment in the field of intellectual property law.

This coming year, SIPS will host its first IP focused Symposium.  Additionally, SIPS will continue to sponsor a vast array of speakers on campus.  Last year’s notable speakers included Margaret Focarino, Commissioner of Patents for the US Patent and Trademark Office; Tiffany Walden from Tory Burch; and Bart Newland from BioTech.  In addition to speakers, this year SIPS will be expanding its networking component with stronger emphasis in connecting current students with both alumni and local and national IP associations.

This post is a part of a series featuring William & Mary Law School’s student organizations. All post are written by student leaders. To read more student organization blog posts, click here

Student Legal Services

satiraby John Satira, Class of 2017

No other student organization allows William & Mary law students to get a jump start on practicing their legal skills quite like Student Legal Services (SLS). True to its mission to educate and train citizen lawyers, William & Mary Law School’s SLS offers free legal information to members of the William & Mary community. Day in and day out, volunteer law students manage the operations of the organization from its headquarters in Blow Hall.

SLS’s mission is two fold. First, the organization provides legal information to William & Mary students, faculty, and staff. Second, the organization helps its volunteers apply their classroom-learned research, writing, and client interaction skills in a practical environment.

slsA variety of legal issues have developed into case files in the SLS office, including drug and alcohol charges, landlord-tenant issues, and violations of the William & Mary Student Code of Conduct. However, volunteers never know what type of case they may encounter when they walk through the door for their weekly, one-hour shift. We have had cases involving personal injury, intellectual property, and family law, just to name a few topics.

SLS volunteers also quickly learn how to uphold standards of professional conduct, which is a skill needed by all attorneys. As an organization run by law students, SLS can give only legal information (not legal advice) to clients that utilize our services. Volunteers remain mindful to avoid giving advice and learn when to provide a client with information on an attorney referral service.

For students looking for a way to give back to the William & Mary community while sharpening their legal skills, they need to look no further than SLS. Although the organization is closed during the summer months, we will be back up and running in the fall and we welcome new volunteers! Consider joining our ranks.


If interested in getting involved please contact our Logistics Chair, Victoria Jensen, at vcjensen@email.wm.edu

This post is a part of a series featuring William & Mary Law School’s student organizations. All post are written by student leaders. To read more student organization blog posts, click here

Learn more about our Student Bloggers here.



Congrats to the Future Class of 2018! (Part 2)

We had so many submissions from our proud 2015 graduates that we broke the Congrats to the Future Class of 2018! into two blog posts.

Congratulations to members of the future Class of 2018 on receiving their undergraduate or graduate degrees!


Kimberly Cain graduated from Old Dominion University.


Stephanie Cone graduated with a BA in Political Science from the University of Florida.

Caroline Drinnon_grad photo

Caroline Drinnon graduated from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN with a BA in Political Science.


Kristin Hopkins graduated from the College of William and Mary with a BA in Government and Theatre.


Kasey Koballa graduated from NC State University with a degree in Chemical Engineering.


Emily Manbeck graduated from Georgetown University.


Anna McMullen earned her degree from the College of William & Mary.


Davis Pitts received his degree from Washington & Jefferson College.


Ethan Smith graduated from Brigham Young University in Provo, UT.

Congrats to the Future Class of 2018! (Part 1)

We are excited to welcome the Class of 2018 to Williamsburg in August! Many of members of the incoming class graduated from college this past May, and we want to highlight some of them–those who sent in their graduation photos to the Admissions Blog!

Congratulations to members of future Class of 2018 on receiving their undergraduate or graduate degrees!


Nicole Alanko graduated with a BA in International Affairs from the George Washington University in Washington, DC.


Morris Brailsford received his degree from Hampton University.


Grace Cuda earned her degree from Texas A&M University.


Alyssa D’Angelo graduated from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, VA with a double major in Government and History.


Samantha Forsyth received her degree from the College of William & Mary.


Molly Lovell graduated with her MA in Political Theory from the Catholic University of America.


Kameron Melton graduated with a BA in Public Policy from the College of William & Mary.


Maria Monastra received a degree with BA in English, minor in Finance, and a concentration in Women’s Studies from Cabrini College in Radnor, PA.


Matthew Rosendahl earned his undergraduate degree from the College of William & Mary.


Chelsea Wilkins graduated from James Madison University where she had a double major in Justice Studies and Anthropology.

Lawyers Helping Lawyers

simmonsby Lenny Simmons, Class of 2016

Lenny is from Wantagh, NY and a 2013 graduate of SUNY Binghamton. He is one of the Co-Presidents of Lawyers Helping Lawyers.

De-Stress DogsLawyers Helping Lawyers is a student-run organization all about thinking healthy, feeling healthy, and being healthy. Whether it is freshly brewed coffee in the morning, friendly dogs in the courtyard, yoga and meditation in the classroom, or coloring books in the lobby, we try our best to help everyone think, feel, and be healthy.

De-Stress DayLawyers Helping Lawyers is the only Law School organization that holds weekly meetings open to all law students, specifically with the purpose of promoting positive mental health and to make the student experience as enjoyable as possible for our W&M Law community. You can find the upbeat personalities that make up our board in our weekly meetings or at our other regularly scheduled events including board game nights, trivia nights, Zumba and Crossfit outings, and many more.

At William & Mary Law School, you are part of a community that cares.

This post is a part of a series featuring William & Mary Law School’s student organizations. All post are written by student leaders. To read more student organization blog posts, click here

Women’s Law Society

merrillby Sarah Merrill, Class of 2016

Sarah is originally from Vicksburg, MS and is a 2013 graduate of the University of Mississippi. She is the President of the Women’s Law Society.

The Women’s Law Society is an organization at the Law School dedicated to serving the unique interests and needs of female law students as well as promoting public awareness of women’s issues.  We welcome and encourage participation from all members of the Law School, including students, faculty, staff, and alumni. The primary goal of our organization is to foster awareness of the importance of equal opportunity and treatment in both the professional and personal arenas.

group halloweenThis past year, we hosted (and co-hosted) an impressive amount of successful events. Some of them were social in nature, such as our “Bar Review” at Le Yaca, our feminist-themed Halloween Costume Contest, our trivia night, and our Members’ Meet & Greet Night. There were also quite a few events that were academic in nature, such as “The Law of Sexual Assault on Campus” panel, the “What’s Happening With Abortion Restrictions” talk, and the speaking event with Judge Lacy, Virginia’s first female Supreme Court Justice. In addition to these, we hosted our own community service event on behalf of Avalon: A Shelter for Women and Children, raising over $300 in just one week!

Through all of this, we maintained our extensive outline bank and our extremely successful peer mentoring program. The outline bank is available to all club members, as is the mentoring program, which pairs up incoming 1L members with upperclassmen with similar backgrounds and goals. If you are interested in learning more about our club, please contact us at wmwomenslaw@gmail.com. We will have board positions open for incoming 1Ls, and remember: membership is open to both male and female students!

Women's Law Society Meet and Greet

Women’s Law Society Meet and Greet

This post is a part of a series featuring William & Mary Law School’s student organizations. All post are written by student leaders. To read more student organization blog posts, click here

Financial Basics Seminar

satiraby John Satira, Class of 2017

During my time at law school, I aim to learn more about business and corporate law. However, I was always a bit intimidated about jumping into those areas of law, because I have never taken a formal accounting or business course in my life. Thankfully, the Office of Career Services (OCS) partnered with BARBRI Financial Skills Institute to offer a free seminar called “Their Business is Your Business: Financial Basics for Legal Careers.” As someone interested in business law, I immediately signed up for the event.  Knowing that the course was covering “basics,” I looked forward to finally beginning to learn about finance.

Structured as a “mini-MBA” program, the event was broken down into three parts: financial analysis, financial statements, and problems in financial reporting. The financial analysis portion introduced me to a variety of new financial terms and vocabulary, while the financial statements part helped me become capable of reading and understanding balance sheets, income statements, and cash flow statements. I even received a much-needed introduction to accounting.

In my opinion, the most interesting part of the seminar was learning about the problems in financial reporting. With the newfound knowledge of how to read business statements, we ran through a variety of scenarios that had us analyzing financial statements to pinpoint information in financial documents that helped tell the story of the companies in question. We were also given a history lesson of sorts about scandals in the accounting and auditing industries in order to help understand when a business might be floundering, or even recognize if the business was engaging in fraud or manipulation.

The program ran on a Saturday from 9:30am to 4:30pm, but it was well worth my time. (Plus, we were served breakfast and an excellent lunch—so I really cannot complain.) I learned so much about how business transactions affect every day life, and I left the crash-course with a wider array of knowledge surrounding topics not only relevant to business law, but also to white-collar crime and property law.

Ultimately, I would say the event was a huge success, and I look forward to the other events that OCS brings to William & Mary Law in order to help enrich its students’ education.

Learn more about our Student Bloggers here.


leckyby Phillip Lecky, Class of 2015

A few short days ago, God will bless me to achieve the pinnacle of the law school experience, graduation. Reminiscing, these were, by far, the most challenging years of my life academically, and perhaps in a lot of other ways too, but I found ways and means to persevere through adversity. I came out the better for the experience, and not just because I received a Juris Doctorate.

My journey taught me so much and stretched me in ways that I couldn’t even anticipate. I found strength in the extracurricular activities that I participated in, such as the Black Law Students Association, America Reads, Student Legal Services, and Student Admissions Ambassadors, to name a few. I found strength in the various relationships that I was able to develop with my fellow classmates, faculty and staff, and other legal professionals. I continued to find strength in the knowledge that many had already preceded me and graduated, and thus, I could too.

I am so grateful for the times that I had while in law school, both the fun times,as well as those where I felt overwhelmed (it happens to everyone, but it isn’t all that bad I promise). All of these experiences matured me, and as a young professional, maturity is imperative. Now I look forward to entering the real world of law and using what I have learned to make a perpetual and definitive mark. Thank you William & Mary Law School for the preparation and congrats to the Class of 2015!

Learn more about our Student Bloggers here.

Learning More Than You’ve Realized

brownby Cathy Brown, Class of 2017

It’s that part of the semester.  We have only a few short weeks left of classes, finals are looming, and my course outlines are, let’s just say, not in great shape.  (I’ll start outlining this weekend, I swear!)  Spring has arrived in Williamsburg, bringing warmer temperatures, flowering trees, and a desperation to finish the semester and begin summer vacation.  Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve vacillated between feeling stressed out and burned out as my 1L year begins to draw to a close.

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed in the midst of a busy semester.  Many times throughout the year, I’ve felt like I’m the only dunce who didn’t know that the Uniform Commercial Code governs transactions for the sale of goods; who doesn’t understand what a restrictive covenant is; and who is still a little murky on the definition of promissory estoppel.

Recently, however, I realized just how much I’ve grown over the past eight months and how much law I’ve actually learned over my 1L year.  To prove my point, I’ll share three anecdotes that occurred over the past week.

First: I’m much better at reading the law than I realized.  My boyfriend, who doesn’t attend law school, picked up one of my textbooks and started reading it.  After a couple of minutes, he put it down, stared at me, and asked how on earth I understood the case I had been reading.  I looked at the page he was stuck on and started skimming it.  To me, it seemed pretty straightforward; sure, there were a couple of confusing points, but I at least understood the gist of what the Court was saying.  So, the moral of the story?  The law really is like another language, and I’ve taken for granted just how much I’ve learned this language throughout the past year.

Second: I can apply the law better than I realized.  I was recently watching a movie with a court scene in it.  One of the lawyers requested a change of venue, which is something you’ll learn about in your Civil Procedure class in the fall.  I paused the movie and – no joke – started running through a change of venue analysis in my head, realizing that the filmmakers had actually done their research and had applied this concept correctly.  This made me very excited, probably more than it should have.

Third: I’m not the only one who’s felt overwhelmed at points this year.  After an exceptionally difficult class a few days ago, I left the lecture hall feeling discouraged, assuming that I was the only student who was incredibly confused.  This feeling lasted only a few minutes until my friends also started complaining about how little they understood about this topic.  Turns out, we’re all in exactly the same boat as far as our level of comprehension goes.  A group study session is forthcoming.  Two heads are better than one, right?

Law school is hard.  I’d be lying if I told you otherwise.  However, even after just a year, I can already tell how valuable my William & Mary Law School education is, and how well I’m being prepared to practice the law.  As Professor Kingsfield said in The Paper Chase: “You come in here with a skull full of mush, and you leave thinking like a lawyer.”  After a year, I can say with certainty that the de-mushing process is definitely well underway.

Learn more about our Student Bloggers here.

And They’re Off! (PSF Auction 2015)

wentworthby Christie Wentworth, Class of 2017

During the summer of 2014 alone, William & Mary Law School awarded $335,275 to 109 students for public service fellowships. These fellowships allow students to pursue otherwise unpaid summer internships with qualifying nonprofit organizations, legal aid offices, prosecutors, public defenders, government agencies, courts, and judges. While the majority of these fellowships are funded by law school endowments and alumni, the Public Service Fund contributes tens of thousands of dollars every year.

For over 20 years, the Public Service Fund has been devoted to raising money for summer stipends. The organization hosts fundraising events year-round, but it traditionally raises the most money from the PSF Auction held every spring. The best part of Auction—in addition to raising money to support a worthy cause—is the excitement of the event itself. Student and faculty emcees engage the audience in lively bidding wars, anxious bidders stake out at the silent auction to make sure they go home with their chosen package, student bands perform, poor students avoid the bidding entirely and hover by the food tables, and the guests that get all dolled up for the event take advantage of the photo station.

10487233_1597126917188064_2410761709733705492_nWith the Auction’s Kentucky Derby theme this year, big hats, bow ties, and a fast-paced atmosphere predominated. Nine student bands performed, with a lively rendition of “Uptown Funk” rejuvenating the crowd after a long night of bidding, and PSF raised over $20,000 for summer stipends. Donations for this event came not only from local and national businesses, but from alumni, students, and faculty as well. Over 30 faculty members donated Faculty Experiences, which ranged from sport clay shooting with Professors Alces and Stern, to a Middle Eastern dinner with Professors Combs, Kades, and Criddle, to lunch with Dean Douglas. Some of the student offers included sailing lessons, a private aerial tour, a Hogwarts dinner party, and Indian cooking classes.


330 students, faculty, staff, family, and friends attended this year’s auction, but those who were not able to make it are still in luck! Because PSF secured over 270 packages this year, the items that did not sell in the first round will be auctioned off in an online “fire-sale” after Spring Break. If you want to take a look at the items that are still looking for a good home, check out the event website!

Learn more about our Student Bloggers here.

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