Summer Experiences: Law Firm in Silicon Valley

focarinoBrian Focarino is originally from Fairfax Station, Virginia. He earned his B.A. from William & Mary with majors in government and linguistics, and his M.Sc. in linguistics from the University of Edinburgh. As a 3L, Brian will be a member of the W&M Appellate & Supreme Court Clinic and serve as Executive Editor of the Law School’s Business Law Review.

I’m spending my 2L summer in Silicon Valley as a summer associate at Cooley, a firm headquartered in Palo Alto, CA. At Cooley, my work focuses on trademark, copyright and advertising litigation, intellectual property litigation and general business litigation, in addition to pro bono matters. I’ve worked on a host of litigation projects for the world’s most exciting established and emerging companies. In six weeks, I’ve written memos on the copyright implications of viral memes, trademark issues with new mobile “apps,” unique questions relating to shareholder derivative suits, and private and public company securities litigation. I’ve attended court and client meetings, and completed training in topics such as the lifecycle of companies and the anatomy of an initial public offering.

Cooler still, I’ve had meaningful exposure to pro bono work, participating in a legal aid clinic in rural Marin County, California, a housing clinic in San Francisco, and contributing to an affirmative application for political asylum on behalf of one of Cooley’s pro bono clients. Outside the office, I’ve spent time on Monterey Bay with all of the firm’s summer associates from across the country, attended countless events and mixers hosted by the firm, met brilliant lawyers, and made some incredible friends.

I’ve been thinking all summer about how cool it is that America’s oldest law school prepares its students to practice all kinds of law, for all kinds of clients, in all kinds of environments, all over the world. Because of that, jumping between Colonial Williamsburg and Silicon Valley couldn’t be easier. I’m having an eye-opening summer, and I owe it to William & Mary for helping prepare me to make the most of it.

Here are Brian’s other posts: Halfway Through BBQ, Thanks, and Meet a Member of the Class of 2015!

A Recent Grad Looks Back

by Laura Vlieg, Class of 2014

Laura Vlieg graduated from W&M Law School this May with the class of 2014. 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. This August, she will be starting a position with Obadal, Filler, MacLeod & Klein in Alexandria, VA. 

GraduationPicWell, three years have passed, and I am now the proud owner of a very fancy piece of paper conferring my J.D., and a pretty cool hat to boot.

My time at William & Mary Law was both challenging and rewarding, and I think I will always look back with a little bit of nostalgia, and a lot of relief that I not only survived law school, but thrived. My successes were due largely in part to the wonderful people and the support offered here at W&M, and I will always be happy that I chose such a supportive environment to spend these past three academically intense years.

I am now in the thick of studying for the bar exam, and there are certainly days where my fellow graduates and I throw up our hands and say “Why am I doing this to myself?!” However, I quickly remember the reason when I look ahead to August, when I will be starting my new job in the DC area. I came into law school hoping to work toward a career in aviation law, even though I knew it would be difficult to break into such a niche field in a tough economy. I can happily report that come August, I will be starting a job with a small firm in Alexandria, VA specializing in regulatory work in the field of aviation.

In addition to giving me a solid education and opportunities that helped me lock down my dream job, W&M enabled me to have some fun along the way as well. In my time here I was able to sing alongside some fellow recreational musicians in Law Cappella; teach eager middle and high schoolers about the Constitution through both Constitutional Conversations and the Constitutional Literacy programs; perform primary source research on constitutional history and documents for a nonprofit called ConSource for academic credit (yes, I consider that very fun); and of course participate in myriad social events hosted by student groups such as Barrister’s Ball, the PSF Auction, and so many others.

As I look back fondly on my time here at W&M, I hope you are looking forward to an equally rewarding three years!

Read Laura’s first semester reflection and her experience as a Graduate Research Fellow.

Summer Experiences: Law Firms in WV & NH

sheaBrian Shea is originally from Wolfeboro, New Hampshire. He received his B.A. from Dartmouth College in Government with a minor in Spanish. At William & Mary, Brian is the Editor-in-Chief of the William & Mary Business Law Review and a member of the Law School Honor Council. 

After working at a law firm in New York City for two years before law school, I knew that the law firm environment was where I wanted to end up. I took advantage of the law school’s on-campus interview program during the winter of my 1L year, and landed a summer associateship at Steptoe & Johnson in Bridgeport, West Virginia. At Steptoe I gained exposure to a variety of corporate and business litigation matters, the majority of which stemmed from West Virginia’s booming coal and natural gas industries. I have always been interested in the legal and compliance concerns of the energy sector, given the robust regulatory regime that governs it and the often contentious political climate that surrounds it. Steptoe afforded me exposure to a range of issues relevant to its energy clients, everything from eminent domain and lease disputes to bankruptcy and antitrust.

This summer I am working at McLane Law Firm, a mid-sized firm in Manchester, New Hampshire, close to my family and geographically where I hope to settle. Unlike larger firms, McLane hires associates into just two practice tracks–corporate and litigation. My focus has been primarily corporate, and after six weeks, I have already been staffed on several M&A transactions, as well as securities, tax, and corporate governance matters. By working at McLane, I hope to emerge with a more robust corporate skill set than I might at a larger firm with specialized, discrete practice areas. The most personally impactful aspect of my summer, however, has been the opportunity to work with several of McLane’s pro bono clients, helping them to navigate complex issues of personal bankruptcy and post-divorce asset distribution. It is particularly rewarding to know that my legal training can have a meaningful and positive impact on individuals living in the state where I grew up. My summer has certainly helped to fortify my sense of what it means to be a Citizen Lawyer.

I look forward to returning to William & Mary in the fall to build upon my practical business acumen as an extern at the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, and by participating in the law school’s Federal Tax Clinic.

Summer Experiences: House Judiciary Committee

lukishTom Lukish is originally from Richmond, Virginia.  Choosing to remain in the Commonwealth for his undergraduate studies, Tom graduated from Virginia Tech in 2013 with a B.A. in Political Science.  In his second year at the Law School, Tom will be joining the staff of the William & Mary Bill of Rights Journal, as well as serving on the Board of William & Mary’s chapter of the Virginia Bar Association.

One of the many wonderful things about William & Mary is the incredible Office of Career Services (OCS).  In the first meeting with my counselor, Dean George Podolin, the two of us discussed my hobbies, interests, career goals, and a number of things in between.  Upon learning of my desire to become involved with the federal government, Dean Podolin suggested that I do two things: research a variety of avenues to our nation’s capital, and reach out to individuals in government whom I have met over the years.  Very fortunately, I applied to and was offered a position with the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary.

The House Judiciary Committee passes a high number of bills each year, and it has been an absolute pleasure to assist counsel, staff, and Members of the Committee in their effort.  Addressing a variety of areas of the law, the Committee regularly holds hearings and drafts legislation relating to the U.S. Constitution, crime, homeland security, immigration, and intellectual property.

Thus far, my experience with the Committee has been nothing short of spectacular.  Placed within the Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security, I have been able to use the writing, communication, and research training I gained at W&M to help Congress address one of the nation’s most pertinent issues.

One of the more thrilling aspects of this position is that each day presents something new.  No day is identical to the last for many offices on Capitol Hill, and while subcommittees remain consistent in terms of their overarching focus, the same is true for Members and staff of the House Judiciary Committee.  The myriad of current events and challenges facing this country, in combination with the inherent excitement that accompanies the Hill, has made for an unforgettable experience.  I could not be more appreciative of the opportunity to use my legal education to enter the world of American politics and public service.

Very thankful for what OCS and the entire W&M Law community has helped me with thus far, I hope that my experience in Washington will encourage other students interested in government to look into the plethora of opportunities that exist in D.C.  It is a tremendous feeling working in a way that serves the country as a whole, and I look forward to hopefully working in or around government in the future.

Williamsburg Most Popular Fourth of July Destination

williamsburgHappy Fourth of July!

Yahoo! Travel recently names Williamsburg the most popular destination for Fourth of July. Who can blame there? There are many activities and events in the Historic Triangle, not just on the Fourth but also throughout the weekend.

Watching fireworks? The most popular fireworks viewing locations in the area are Colonial Williamsburg (Market Square or Palace Green & throughout the Historic Area), over the York River in Historic Yorktown, Busch Gardens, the Virginia Living Museum, and Two Rivers Country Club.

During the day of the Fourth, there is a lot more to do in the Historic Triangle.

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 6:30 p.m. Danielle Bradbery (2013 winner of The Voice) at the Lake Matoaka Amphitheater (doors open at 5 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.

Click here for more information.

Yes, there is something for everyone in Williamsburg!

Happy Fourth  – wherever you are this weekend!

Summer Experiences: Law Clerk at Ohio Attorney General

liz berryLiz Berry is originally from Westfield Center, Ohio. She earned her B.A. from Otterbein University, double majoring in History and Political Science. She is spending her 1L summer at the Ohio Attorney General, Education Division.

Since I’m sure everyone reading this blog post has been diligently following me since I began my writing career for the Admissions Office last autumn, you may consider this an addendum to “May the Internships be Ever in Your Favor.” Because I really lucked out and landed a great one.

I’m spending my summer as a law clerk with the Ohio Attorney General. And in case you’re like my friends and asking “how’s it feel to put people in jail?” let me just clarify by stating that I’m working in the Education Division. And really, truly, honestly, I promise. We do not put people in jail. Or at least we haven’t in the seven weeks I’ve been working.

My section represents the 30+ public colleges and universities in the state of Ohio, as well as the Ohio Department of Education. We deal with lawsuits by or against the colleges, can be used by the colleges as general counsel if so desired, and we also litigate teaching licensing and child nutrition hearings. My mentor and I joke that the section is more like a litigation firm than anything else. And luckily for me, that means there’s plenty of substantive legal work to do.

So what have I been up to this summer? Plenty of research and memo assignments on general legal topics…having a working knowledge of Civ Pro and Contracts has definitely come in handy. I’ve had the opportunity to work on two briefs for administrative hearings and also write my own (supervised) motion to dismiss! Needless to say, it was really exciting that they trusted me enough to draft work with the AG’s name on it. The program has also provided plenty of out-of-the-office experiences. I’ve been able to attend several court sessions (our section was actually involved in a three week federal jury trial where I was put on the stand! (only to read a deposition but it still counts)), administrative hearings, and even sit in on a settlement. The law clerks have met the AG, judges, court clerks, and been able to attend resume and writing workshops. It’s been a busy summer, and I’m almost disappointed that there are only four weeks left. Still, I’m excited to get back to W&M to see what opportunities 2L year will bring!

Women Served as Editors-in-Chief of all Journals in 2014

For the first time in William & Mary Law School history, all five outgoing editors-in-chief of the school’s law journals were female.

Cassandra Roeder served as Editor-in-Chief of the William & Mary Law Review; Beth Petty, of the William & Mary Bill of Rights Journal; Eileen Setien, of the William & Mary Business Law Review; Yvonne Baker, of theWilliam & Mary Environmental Law and Policy Review, and Lindsay Paladino, of the Journal of Women and the Law. In addition, four of the five managing editors of the school’s law reviews were also women.

Five female Editors-in-Chief. Front: Yvonne Baker and Cassandra Roeder; back: Eileen Setien, Beth Petty, and Lindsay Paladino.

Five female Editors-in-Chief. Front: Yvonne Baker and Cassandra Roeder; back: Eileen Setien, Beth Petty, and Lindsay Paladino.

Click here to read about the editors’ descriptions of their experiences.

 

 

Public Service Fellowships, Summer 2014

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William & Mary Law School awarded $335,395 – the most ever awarded by the Law School – to 109 students for public service fellowships during Summer 2014.  Students will assist 98 organizations in 16 states, the District of Columbia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Cote d’Ivoire, Indonesia, Iraq, Italy, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Lithuania, Morocco, The Netherlands, South Africa, and Spain.

A-007Arts

  • Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts (New York, NY)

Aviation and Maritime Commerce

  • U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Division, Torts Branch, Aviation and Admiralty Section (Washington, DC)

Child Advocacy and Protection

  • Legal Aid Justice Center, Just Children Program (Richmond, VA)
  • Legal Aid Society, Juvenile Rights Practice (New York, NY)
  • Partnership for Children’s Rights (New York, NY)

 Civil Legal Aid

  • Bet Tzedek Summer for Justice Program (Los Angeles, CA)
  • Community Legal Services (Philadelphia, PA)
  • Legal Aid of North Carolina (Greenville, NC)
  • Legal Aid Society of Eastern Virginia (Norfolk, VA)
  • Legal Aid Society of Eastern Virginia (Williamsburg, VA) (2)
  • Texas Appleseed (Austin, TX)

Civil Rights and Civil Liberties

  • American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia Foundation, LGBT Civil Rights Summer (Richmond, VA)
  • National Center for Lesbian Rights (Washington, DC)
  • New York Attorney General, Civil Rights Bureau (New York, NY)
  • U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Appellate Section (Washington, DC)
  • U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Disability Rights Section (Washington, DC)
  • U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Special Litigation Section (Washington, DC)

Comparative Constitutional Law

  • Conreason Project (Madrid, Spain)

Diplomacy

  • U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs (Washington, DC)

Election

  • Fair Vote (Takoma Park, MD)
  • Federal Election Commission (Washington, DC)
  • National Conference of State Legislatures, Campaign Finance Legal Department (Denver, CO)
  • National Conference of State Legislatures, Campaign Finance Legal Department, Candidates and Campaigns Legal Department (Denver, CO)

Environmental

  • Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (Tallahassee, FL)
  • U.S. Department of Justice, Environmental and Natural Resources Division, Environmental Defense Section (Washington, DC)
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Enforcement and Compliance (Washington, DC) (2)
  • Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bangladesh Ceracean Diversity Project (Sonadanga, Bangladesh)

Federal Government: U.S. Supreme Court Litigation

  • U.S. Department of Justice, Office of the Solicitor General (Washington, DC)

Financial and Business Regulation

  • U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Division of Corporation Finance (Washington, DC)
  • U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Division of Enforcement (Washington, DC) (2)

Health Care

  • Legal Information Network for Cancer (Richmond, VA) (2)
  • Legal Services of Southern Piedmont, Family Support and Healthcare Division (Charlotte, NC)

Immigration

  • Capital Area Immigrants’ Rights Coalition, Detained Children’s Program (Washington, DC)

Indigent Criminal Defense:  Federal

  • Federal Public Defender, Eastern District of Virginia (Norfolk, VA)

IMG_2469Indigent Criminal Defense:  State and Local

  • Charlottesville Public Defender (Charlottesville, VA)
  • Fredericksburg Public Defender (Fredericksburg, VA)
  • Hampton Public Defender (Hampton, VA)
  • Kentucky Department of Public Advocacy (Newport, KY)
  • Monroe County Public Defender (Rochester, NY)
  • Norfolk Public Defender (Norfolk, VA) (2)
  • Public Defender of Metropolitan Nashville & Davidson County (Nashville, TN)
  • Richmond Public Defender (Richmond, VA)
  • Schuylkill County Public Defender (Pottsville, PA)
  • New Hampshire Public Defender (Concord, NH)
  • Virginia Capital Representation Resource Center (Charlottesville, VA)

International Human Rights

  • Iran Human Rights Documentation Center (New Haven, CT)

Judiciary

  • Alexandria Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court (Alexandria, VA)
  • Hampton Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court (Hampton, VA)
  • The Honorable David G. Larimer. Western District of New York (Rochester, NY)
  • The Honorable David J. Novak, Eastern District of Virginia (Richmond, VA)
  • The Honorable Sarah Ellis, Northern District of Illinois (Chicago, IL)

Labor and Employment

National Labor Relations Board (Baltimore, MD)

  • North Carolina Department of Justice, Attorney General’s Office, Labor Section (Raleigh, NC)
  • U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (Chicago, IL)

Military Justice

  • U.S. Coast Guard, Office of Maritime and International Law (Washington, DC)
  • U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General Corps, Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals (Washington, DC)

Post Conflict Peacebuilding/Rule of Law (funded by William & Mary Law School’s Program in Comparative Legal Studies and Post-Conflict Peacebuilding)

  • American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative, Morocco (Rabat, Morocco)
  • Beijing Children’s Legal Aid Research Center (Beijing, China)
  • Center for Legal Aid and Regional Development (Pristina, Kosovo)
  • Center for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation, Transitional Justice (Cape Town, South Africa)
  • Democracy for Development (Pristina, Kosovo)
  • East West Management Institute (Baku, Azerbaijan)
  • East West Management Institute (Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan)
  • East West Management Institute (Phnom Penh, Cambodia) (2)
  • International Bridges to Justice (Phnom Penh, Cambodia) (2)
  • International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (The Hague, Netherlands)
  • International Law Development Organization (Rome, Italy)
  • International Center for Transitional Justice (New York, NY)
  • International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (The Hague, Netherlands)
  • Law Institute of Lithuania (Vilnius, Lithuania)
  • National Center for State Courts, International Programs Division (Arlington, VA)
  • People Against Suffering, Poverty and Oppression (Cape Town, South Africa)
  • PUSAKO Center for Constitutional Studies (Padang, Indonesia)
  • Tetra Tech DPK Access to Justice Program (Baghdad, Iraq)
  • Tetra Tech DPK Justice Sector Support Program (Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire)
  • United States Institute of Peace (Washington, DC)

Prosecution: Federal

  • U.S. Attorney, District of Columbia (Washington, DC) (2)
  • U.S. Attorney, District of Nebraska, (Omaha, NE)
  • U.S. Attorney, Eastern District of Virginia (Newport News, VA)
  • U.S. Attorney, Eastern District of Virginia, (Norfolk, VA)
  • U.S. Attorney, Southern District of West Virginia, (Beckley, WV)
  • U.S. Department of Justice, Criminal Division, Fraud Section (Washington, DC)

BushrodMootCourt2014 (58)Prosecution: State and Local

  • Baltimore City State’s Attorney (Baltimore, MD)
  • Colonial Heights Commonwealth’s Attorney (Colonial Heights, VA)
  • Hampton Commonwealth’s Attorney (Hampton, VA) (2)
  • Harris County District Attorney, Human Trafficking and Juvenile Justice Division (Houston, TX)
  • Louisa County Commonwealth’s Attorney (Louisa, VA)
  • Nassau County District Attorney (Mineola, NY)
  • New Kent County Commonwealth’s Attorney (New Kent, VA)
  • Norfolk Commonwealth’s Attorney (Norfolk, VA) (2)
  • Prince George’s County State’s Attorney, Domestic Violence Unit (Upper Marlboro, MD)
  • Shelby County Attorney General (Memphis, TN)
  • State’s Attorney, Ninth Judicial Circuit, Homicide Division (Orlando, FL)
  • Virginia Attorney General, Public Safety and Enforcement Division, Computer Crime Section (Richmond, VA)

Research Compliance

  • George Mason University, Office of Research Integrity and Assurance (Fairfax, VA)

State and Local Government: Civil

  • Maryland Attorney General, Department of Human Resources (Baltimore, MD)
  • Nassau County Attorney (Mineola, NY) (2)
  • Spotsylvania County Attorney (Spotsylvania, VA)

Graduation Recap

We celebrated the Class of 2014 at graduation and the diploma ceremony one month ago today on May 11, 2014. The Law School ceremony was held at Lake Matoaka Amphitheatre, . Degrees were conferred to approximately 270 students in the J.D. and LL.M. programs.

U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia delivered the commencement address. To read more about Justice Scalia’s address, click here. Student speakers included Student Bar Association President Sean Radomski J.D. ’14 and Qian (Lindsey) Ling LL.M. ’14.

Additional awards were bestowed to:

  • Latoya C. Asia J.D. ’09: Taylor Reveley Award
  • Jeffrey Bellin: Walter L. Williams, Jr., Teaching Award 
  • James Booth J.D. ’14: Thurgood Marshall Award
  • Chris Creech: John Marshall Award
  • Kevin S. Elliker J.D. ’14: I’Anson Award 
  • William E. Hoffmann, Jr. ’67, J.D. ’77: Citizen-Lawyer Award
  • Sean J. Radomski J.D. ’14: George Wythe Award

If you have two minutes and 35 seconds to spare, watch the video below for an overview of the ceremony.

Three Law Faculty Win Plumieri Awards

NewsealEach year, the Plumeri Award recognizes exemplary achievements in teaching, research, and service. Faculty members have used the award to enhance their research and teaching and to support travel to scholarly conferences.

Of the 20 recipients throughout the College of William & Mary, three are members of the faculty here at the Law School: James Dwyer, Michael Green, and Tara Grove.

Congratulations to Professors Dwyer, Green, and Grove!

Click here and here for more information on our Plumieri award winners.

How to Get the Dean to Shave His Mustache…

Last fall, Dean Douglas promised that if the Class of 2014 reached 75 percent participation in its Class Gift effort, he would shave his 30-years-in-the-making mustache.

On April 17, the participation rate hit more than 85 percent–and out came the razor…

Watch the video below!

To date, the Class of 2014 has 90% participation, due to the hard work of 20 member class gift committee. Read more about the 3L class gift here.

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