National Trial Team

brittanby Janie Brittan, Class of 2016

Janie is from San Diego, CA and graduated from Loyola University Chicago in 2010.

The William & Mary Law National Trial Team is one of William & Mary Law’s most successful competitions teams, focusing on (you guessed it) trial advocacy! Each year, the Trial Team competes in many of the country’s best trial competitions. Just this past season, the Team won championship titles at:

  • Academy of Trial Lawyers of Allegheny County (Gourley)- Championship Team

    Academy of Trial Lawyers of Allegheny County (Gourley)- Championship Team

    The Academy of Trial Lawyers of Allegheny County Trial Competition (Gourley) in Pittsburgh, PA

  • The MABLSA Thurgood Marshall Mock Trial Competition in Washington, DC
  • The American Bar Association’s Labor and Employment Law Trial Advocacy Competition in Washington, DC

The Team also placed as finalists in:

  • Finalists of the Estrella Trial Advocacy Competition in Puerto Rico with the youngest ever Associate Justice on the Puerto Rican Supreme Court, the Hon. Maite Oronoz Rodríguez

    Finalists of the Estrella Trial Advocacy Competition in Puerto Rico with the youngest ever Associate Justice on the Puerto Rican Supreme Court, the Hon. Maite Oronoz Rodríguez

    The TYLA National Trial Competition in Washington, DC;

  • The Estrella Trial Advocacy Competition in San Juan, Puerto Rico
  • The NBLSA National Tournament in Portland Oregon

William & Mary’s Trial Team earned semi-finalist and quarter-finalist finishes at the Capitol City Challenge, Florida State Civil Mock Trial Competition, and the John L. Costello National Criminal Law Trial Competition. Additionally, the Team won Best Trial Brief at the South Texas Mock Trial Challenge in Houston, TX and earned multiple individual awards throughout the season, including six best advocate awards.

South Texas Mock Trial Challenge- Best Brief Winning Team

South Texas Mock Trial Challenge- Best Brief Winning Team

Preparing for each competition gives all 26 members of the team (plus an incoming class of 1Ls in the fall!) great opportunities to learn and refine trial advocacy skills including opening statements, closing arguments, direct and cross examination of witnesses, and evidentiary objections. Each member also receives advanced evidentiary training in preparation for in-depth and spontaneous objection battles during trial. For most tournaments, each individual team of two to four students prepares case strategies for both the plaintiff/prosecution and defense. With that case theory, each team works for weeks to refine their arguments and presentation style with practical guidance from Trial Team coaches. The Team is coached by former Virginia Trial Lawyers Association president and seasoned trial lawyer, Jeffrey Breit, and former Virginia Supreme Court Justice, LeRoy Millette. Both coaches bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to help sharpen the Team’s case strategy, presentation, and evidentiary argument skills.  Additionally, because the Team travels across the country, members benefit from exposure to different litigation styles nationwide.

Most importantly, Trial Team offers a collaborative environment to work closely with every team member, and gives members the opportunity to not only win championships, but also to form close friendships. A selection tournament for new members is held during the fall term. The Team selects approximately 12 candidates each year; however, no prior experience is necessary or required to secure a spot. The Trial Team is always looking for new, raw talent and consistently selects candidates from all backgrounds and experience levels. Come join us!

2014-2015 Trial Team

2014-2015 Trial Team

For a list of our accomplishments from this season and seasons past, click here. For questions feel free to contact us at

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

Comparative Legal Student Scholars

rileyby Abby Riley, Class of 2016

Abby is from Adams, Tennessee and a graduate of University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

The Comparative Legal Student Scholars (CLSS), the student division of the Program in Comparative Legal Studies and Post-Conflict Peacebuilding (CLS/PCP), had a successful year achieving its mission – promoting academic and professional legal experience in the areas of comparative law, constitution making, post-conflict justice, and rule of law development in the William & Mary community.

The program has secured a variety of high-profile, relevant speakers during the past few years. These speakers have included Justice Albie Sachs, an anti-apartheid activist who served on the South African Constitutional Court; Justice Richard Goldstone, who was the Chief Prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunals for Yugoslavia and Rwanda; Justice Anthony Kennedy, who currently serves as a U.S. Supreme Court Justice; Ambassador David Scheffer, the first Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes; and Sara Khan, a Muslim women’s rights activist who was a well-respected commentator in the aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo shooting.

In addition to exposing William & Mary students to the leading legal minds in the field, the program encourages law students to become global leaders as well. One way CLSS does this is by providing support to CLS/PCP summer international interns. CLS/PCP interns are sent around the world to locations as varied as Azerbaijan, East Timor, Iraq, Kosovo, Switzerland, Uganda, and D.C. Many CLSS members have benefited from CLS/PCP internships firsthand. CLSS also organizes brownbags so that international interns can share their experiences with their fellow classmates.

Additionally, CLSS gives students the opportunity to conduct legal research for international NGOs during the school year. This past spring, CLSS partnered with three international NGOs: Democracy for Development (D4D), a think-tank in Pristina, Kosovo; the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA), an intergovernmental organization in the Hague that supports sustainable democracy; and Open Development Cambodia (ODC), an organization that promotes open data in Southeast Asia. Twelve students each conducted between 15 and 40 pages of research that was sent into the field to directly support these organizations’ research needs. CLSS’s emphasis on international research partnerships will continue in Spring 2016 with the premier of an Advanced Applied International Research course that further allows William & Mary students to do real-world international legal research right here in Williamsburg.

symposium photoCLSS capped off a fantastic year with its first one-day symposium, “Healing the Rift: Infectious Diseases in Post-Conflict Zones.” The discussion spanned the Ebola crises and other global health issues and their impact on post-conflict societies. Speakers included Jeffrey Apperson, the Vice President of the National Center for State Courts; Gissou Nia, the Deputy Director of the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran; Dr. Kaveh Khoshnood, Associate Professor of Epidemiology at the Yale School of Public Health; and Sam Slewion, county resource expert at Villanova University Law School.

Going forward, CLSS is excited about organizing a symposium next year on asylum, migration, and refugee issues; launching the Advanced Applied International Research course; and welcoming several more dynamic speakers to the William & Mary campus. To learn more about CLSS, check out the CLS/PCP website.

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

To read about Abby’s externship with Global Flight Relief, click here.

Sports and Entertainment Law Society

cruikshankby Brian Cruikshank, Class of 2016

Brian is from Tampa, FL and is a 2011 graduate of Florida State University.

William and Mary’s Sports and Entertainment Law Society (SELS) is a student-run organization that connects students interested in sports or entertainment litigation with some of the major players in the market. Through lunch meetings and competitions, SELS is the only forum on campus dedicated to helping students break into this somewhat complicated career field. We have a database of alumni and former speakers to help network and open communications with experts in these fields.

SELS also runs a blog where students can hone their writing skills by contributing to a post that reflects a legal issue in the Sports or Entertainment fields.

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

Public Service Fund

nikolicby Aneta Nikolic, Class of 2016

Aneta is from Alexandria, VA and a 20113 graduate of James Madison University.

The Public Service Fund (or PSF, colloquially) is a student-run organization dedicated to providing students a chance to work in the public sector. Some of the biggest events on campus are run by PSF, with proceeds directly contributing to stipends for students who pursue un-paid, public service summer positions. During the 2014-2015 school year, PSF raised over $50,000 to help fund a total of 70 students.

cornholeThere are many opportunities to get involved with PSF throughout the year. Look for more information about events like the Cornhole Tournament/Chili Cookoff in September, the Halloween Party in October, or Singer/Songwriter in November. As the only purveyors of W&M Law gear on campus, check out the PSF Table during law week or the booth in the Law School lounge to see what we have available, and learn how to get involved. Visit our website here!


Student-Faculty Basketball Game

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

International Law Society

trenchardby Taylor Trenchard, Class of 2017

Taylor is from Franklin, MA and is a 2014 graduate of Fairfield University.

As citizen lawyers, it is important to have a global perspective. The International Law Society is an organization at the Law School that allows students to discuss and explore legal topics and issues that go far beyond the small town of Williamsburg!

Throughout the year, ILS invites many prominent international lawyers to the Law School to discuss their work in their respective fields. This past year, we were fortunate to host and co-host many reputable and knowledgeable speakers, each with a unique experience to share. This year’s speakers included:

  • Frank Samolis, who helped negotiate the trade agreement between the United States and the European Union.
  • Ambassador David Scheffer, who was the first United States Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes.
  • Leslie Cazas, who worked both domestically and internationally for Nissan, and has forty-years of global trade law experience.
  • Sara Khan, the Director of Inspire, a women’s human rights and counter-terrorism organization created to address the inequalities facing British Muslim Women.

In addition to these speakers, ILS and the Comparative Legal Studies and Post-Conflict Peacebuilding Program co-sponsored a Symposium on health crises and emergencies in post-conflict zones this past spring.

ils3ILS also recognizes the importance of celebrating different cultures at the Law School. We achieved that goal this year through a fan-favorite medium: food! ILS invited the LLM community to help cook some of their favorite traditional dishes, which we then sold as an organization fundraiser. We also held a hugely successfully taco fundraiser, which we plan to host on a more regular basis next year. The money raised from these events helped fund the scholarships ILS awards to select students who intern abroad during the summer.

Along with the summer scholarships, ILS sent two students to Chicago to compete in the Clara Barton International Humanitarian Competition, where they used armed conflict case studies to explore numerous complex and contemporary legal issues. ILS has plans to expand in the upcoming year, by sending more students to competitions, and hosting a symposium this upcoming fall, which will cover the important and pressing topic of refugee law.

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

Military and Veterans Law Society


by Sarah Deuitch, Class of 2016

Sarah is a 2011 graduate of UC-Berkeley.

The William & Mary Law Military and Veterans Law Society (MVLS) is an organization dedicated to promoting knowledge and awareness of how the military, the government, and the legal system interconnect.  MVLS is not just for those in the military, but is open to all individuals who may have an interest in the interface between the armed forces and the law.  As a student-run organization, the members of MVLS work hard to not only educate fellow students on the job opportunities available in this field, but also give back to our veterans and aactive duty military members that serve and protect.

In the past, MVLS has sponsored JAG days, where JAG officers from the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard, discuss the path to becoming a JAG officer and the available career opportunities.  MVLS has hosted leadership panels where highly respected individuals, both military and non-military, examine what it means to be a leader in today’s society and some key leadership skills that will carry over into any job.  Additionally, MVLS throws fundraisers for such organizations as the Wounded Warrior Project as a way to give thanks to those who have served and those who continue to serve this great nation.


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

Business Law Society

vincentby Trevor Vincent, Class of 2017

Trevor is from Provo, UT and graduated in 2014 from Utah State University.

The Business Law Society (BLS) is one of the largest and fastest growing organizations at William & Mary Law School.  Among other activities, BLS sponsors social activities, speakers, and symposia that encourage academic discussion on cutting edge business law topics.  BLS exists to provide networking, educational, and career opportunities in an encouraging environment, allowing law students to gain practical knowledge in areas of business law, to meet other students with similar interests, and to gain insight from practicing lawyers in all areas of business law.  Our goal is to enhance the legal education of our members and promote an interdisciplinary curriculum in business, corporate, and financial law that builds upon the resources of William & Mary and the surrounding Hampton Roads community.

BLS is committed to incoming classes and has reserved several positions to be filled by 1L students this fall.  We are eager to explore the many facets of Business Law and look forward to working and learning with incoming students.


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

Human Security Law Center

setiwaldiby Ajinur Setiwaldi, Class of 2017

Ajinur is a 2014 graduate of the University of Oklahoma and is from Norman, OK.

The Human Security Law Center’s mission is to create citizen lawyers with an appreciation for national security issues. It does so by educating and exposing students to the interplay between national defense and protection of civil rights. In the 2014-2015 academic year, HSLC hosted four lectures addressing various international human rights and security issues.

Dr. Etcheson (left) with student Josh Johnson

Dr. Etcheson (left) with student Josh Johnson

October: Sex, Laws and Videotape: A Mendicant on the Frontiers of International Justice

Dr. Etcheson shared his experience in Cambodian international tribunals and the peace process after the Khmer Rouge. He also wrote the book, “After the Killing Fields: Lessons from the Cambodian Genocide.”

November: ISIS and the Islamic State: The Rise of a Security Threat and the American-led Response

MastersDr. Masters discussed the history of ISIS, the threat it poses the world and the role the United States plays in addressing that threat. Dr. Masters’ research focuses broadly on international security and specifically on collective action and terrorism, structural theories of terrorism, and foreign imposed regime change.

January: Defending the Devil: Challenges at International Criminal Tribunals

International criminal defense lawyer Mr. Robinson shared his experience representing alleged war criminals and discussed problems concerning

Robinson (left) with Professor Nancy Combs

Robinson (left) with Professor Nancy Combs

international criminal tribunals. He served as legal advisor to former Bosnian Serb President Radovan Karadzic at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia as well as many other alleged war criminals. Mr. Robinson is also the author of the legal thriller, “The Tribunal”.

February: Documenting Human Rights Country Conditions in Closed and Repressive Societies

Ms. Lord discussed the difficulties of monitoring human rights abuses in repressive societies. Her work focuses on the rights of marginalized groups, human rights treaty negotiation and implementation, and health and human rights law. Ms. Lord is currently the senior vice president for human rights and inclusive development at the Burton Blatt Institute (BBI) at Syracuse University College of Law where she oversees international legal research and global programming.

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

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

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.



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