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.

From the Law School Library to the Altar

It’s that time of year– Virginia is for lovers, and we love to share posts about couples who met during their tenure at William & Mary Law School.

by Lindsay Sfekas, Class of 2016


Mary-Carson Saunders, Class of 2013, met her husband Josh Stiff during her first semester 1L year in the library during finals week, with intentions of getting some serious studying done. She speaks fondly of the moment she sat down next to Josh in the library, and he was watching a Youtube video of a parody of law school and giggling to himself.  He enticed her to take a break from studying and watch the rest of the video with him.

As luck, or fate, would have it, Mary-Carson and Josh lived right across the street from one another.  They became fast friends over pot luck dinners, trivia nights, and movie nights with their mutual friends.  During their spring semester, they began dating.  Williamsburg turned out to be a great place to date for these two outdoors loving people.  In fact, their first date was at Jamestown Beach, which is a local beach close to Williamsburg.  Other dates consisted of walking through Colonial Williamsburg, spending time in York River State Park, walking in the College Woods, canoeing on the Chickahominy River, and swimming in the river at Jamestown Beach.

At William & Mary Law School, the two became involved in the George Wythe Society and in the Inns of Court, a leadership networking organization.

During their 3L year, Mary-Carson and Josh returned to Jamestown Beach, the site of their first date, and Josh proposed.  The two were married in Suffolk, Virginia (Mary-Carson’s hometown) on October 5, 2013 with almost 20 of their classmates in attendance.

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Mary-Carson and Josh live in Norfolk, Virgina where she works for the Law School and he a small bankruptcy firm.  When asked about whether she expected to meet her husband in law school, Mary-Carson says, “Absolutely not! I never dreamed in a million years!”

Learn more about our Student Bloggers here.

W&M Law Super Lawyers

Super LawyersThe Super Lawyers list has been published, and 631 William & Mary Law School alumni have made the list. Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from all different practice areas. They are deemed Super Lawyers based on peer recognition and professional achievement.

Of particular note to the Admission Office are the Super Lawyers who also volunteer their time as Alumni Admission Ambassador. Our Alumni Ambassadors take time out of their busy lives, both professionally and personally, to speak to and to meet with prospective and admitted students. 73 W&M Super Lawyers are also Alumni Admission Ambassadors.

Congratulations to all of our William & Mary Super Lawyers!

Click here to see a full list of William & Mary Law School alumni who were named Super Lawyers.

Recent Grad Wins Prize in Intellectual Property

Congratulations to Jarred O. Taylor ’13 for winning an award in the American Intellectual Property Law Educational Foundation’s annual Jan Jancin Award Competition!

Jarred Taylor

The award is sponsored by the Virginia State Bar and honors an outstanding law student, either from Virginia or attending a Virginia law school, who has excelled in the study of Intellectual Property law and intends to pursue a career in that field.

Jarred will soon be joining the Palo Alto, Ca., office of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. Congrats Jarred!

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!

Perspective on the Job Search Process

by Jillian Jacobs, Class of 2013 and recent graduate

jill jacobsJill is from from Rochester, New York, and received her B.A. in Policy Studies and Economics from Syracuse University. Jill was an Articles Editor for the Bill of Rights Journal, Chair of the Community Service Committee for the George Wythe Society, and a Graduate Research Fellow. 

Prior to my first year of law school, I was nervous about a lot of things. I wondered whether I would make friends, how I would handle an embarrassing cold call, and if I could keep up with the demanding work schedule. My greatest fear, however, was that I would not be able to find a job.

I came to law school straight from undergrad, and I had very little experience with the job search process. I had worked at a retail store, at a restaurant, and at a small local firm during school breaks, but I had never formally searched for a legal job. I was overwhelmed at the thought of reworking my resume, writing cover letters, identifying potential internships, and interviewing with respected attorneys.

Soon, I realized that I was not alone – the majority of my classmates viewed the job search process as daunting and confusing. Fortunately, the Office of Career Services (OCS) annually holds informational sessions for first-year students in early October. At the sessions, the OCS Deans talk about the job search process. Additionally, OCS gives students a binder containing information such as sample resumes and cover letters, recommendations for interview attire, and other interview tips. When I walked out of the session, I felt a wave of relief. I knew that the job search process would not be easy, but I found comfort in knowing that OCS would help me in any way possible

In November of my first year of law school, I met with my assigned dean, Ramona Sein, to discuss my internship search. She suggested that I continue networking and that I consider a variety of internships for the summer after my first year of law school. In a stroke a pure luck, I met an alumnus of the law school who helped me secure an internship with a federal judge in Houston, Texas. The internship was educational and an overall great experience.

I finished my internship in Houston at the end of June, and I immediately started preparing to apply for second-year internships. My goal was to work at a large firm in New York City, but I applied to firms in Philadelphia and Washington D.C. as well because I was worried about the legal market. A contact helped me to obtain interviews in Philadelphia, and firms in New York City offered me interviews after receiving my resume through a William & Mary interview program.

In order to prepare for my interviews, I frequently called Dean Sein and Dean Knowles to ask questions. I think that some of my questions may have been trivial, but I appreciated that every dean in OCS was willing to listen to my concerns and was able to answer my questions. Finally, after two months of interviewing for summer associate positions, I accepted an offer from Dechert LLP in New York City. I loved my internship with Dechert, and I am so excited to return as a first-year associate. I am incredibly thankful to OCS for helping me to find this position.

Congratulations Dean Shealy!

by Elizabeth Cavallari

Each year, the William & Mary Alumni Association honors individuals who have shown extraordinary service to the College. Our own Dean Faye Shealy was one of the five award winners for 2013.

Dean Shealy has devoted more then 30 years of service to William & Mary Law School. It’s a privilege to work with her and learn from her on a daily basis. Congratulations to Dean Shealy on this honor!

Dean Shealy and Her Family

Dean Shealy and Her Family

Photo by Davis Morrill.

Photo by David Morrill.

Terrific Applicants + Involved Alumni + Engaging Dean

William & Mary has a fantastic group of applicants again this year and is among a small group of law schools with an increase of applicants for the Class of 2016 compared to last year.  We are excited with the interest in legal education at the nation’s oldest law school.  Applications to join this special community are the sincerest form of flattery and we are appreciative of the compliment!

The review and evaluation of 5500+ applicant credentials is the challenge.  Meeting the outstanding individuals that submit applications is the fun.  Placing names and faces with applications makes the experience personal.

Dean Douglas tells the William & Mary story best and is busy doing so! The admission deans enjoy our off-campus recruitment contacts and individual appointments with visitors in our offices.

Dean Douglas delivers the most information and enjoys engaging applicants.

Dean Douglas delivers the most information and enjoys engaging applicants.


William & Mary Law School alumni remain involved and form a tremendous network.  Our Alumni Ambassadors share their William & Mary experience and their passion.  Dean Douglas is vested in the admission program and cares deeply about each and every student.

Michael Dick ’06, US Department of Justice

Michael Dick ’06, US Department of Justice

The connection is personal for applicants as was the spirit during a recent gathering of applicants with alums and Dean Douglas in D.C.

Julie Silverbrook ’12, Constitutional Sources Project

Julie Silverbrook ’12, Constitutional Sources Project


W&M Law’s Newest Clinic- Elder Law

by Elizabeth Cavallari

This academic year, William & Mary Law School expanded our clinical opportunities to nine different clinics.  In addition to our existing clinics (Domestic ViolenceFederal TaxInnocence ProjectLegal AidSpecial Education AdvocacyVeterans’ Benefits), we now have an Appellate and Supreme Court Clinic and an Elder Law Clinic.

Helena S. MockAdjunct Professor of Law & Managing Attorney William & Mary's Elder Law Clinic

Helena S. Mock

The Elder Law Clinic provides services to aging population in Williamsburg and the surrounding communities with issues that are often difficult to understand and manage for older people and their families. The Clinic is directed by alumna, Helena Mock.

Ms. Mock was recently interviewed by the ABA, and her interview is featured in The Voice of Experience by the American Bar Association. To read W&M Elder Law Clinic: Training Students and Helping Seniors, click here.

Virginia is for Lovers: Part III

by Rhianna Shabsin

I’m here to round out our Valentine’s week with my wedding story! In case you missed the posts earlier this week, you can catch up by reading Virginia is for Lovers Part I and Part II.

It’s hard to believe, but Chris and I were married almost two months ago now. Our ceremony took place in the lovely Wren Chapel, located in the Sir Christopher Wren Building on William & Mary’s Ancient Campus. The Wren Building is the oldest college building in the country – it’s actually older than the United States! Four centuries of students have taken classes within its walls, and students continue to learn in the building today.

Being married in the Chapel is a great privilege of being an alumna, and we were so happy that it was part of our wedding day. After the ceremony, everyone headed over to the William & Mary Alumni House (just down the street) for the reception. It was a wonderful day, and I’m happy to be able to share some of it with you all!

Ceremony in the lovely Wren Chapel

Saying our vows in the lovely Wren Chapel

Outside the Wren Building

Outside the Wren Building

Catching up with my law school roommate inside the Alumni House

Catching up with my law school roommate inside the Alumni House

One of my favorite cell phone pics - taken on the W&M campus post-celebration.

One of my favorite cell phone pics – taken on the W&M campus post-celebration

Professional photography by E. Leise Photo Design.

Virginia is for Lovers: Part II

by Faye Shealy

We often speak of the special community at William & Mary and the fact that we like each other…actually love each other.

My happy admission stories include the role of matchmaker, in this case with William Leslie (Les) Boswell ’07 and Jennie Cordis Boswell ’08.

Les Boswell transferred to William & Mary Law School and was a 2L student in the 1L Constitutional Law class.  He quickly noticed the tall and beautiful student two rows in front of him.  He tells us that she kept wondering why the heck the 2L student with the accent was taking Con Law.

As happens here, they had many mutual friends and saw each other at Law School functions over the course of the year.  It was during the Public Service Fund “Singer/Songwriter” event in February 2007 that they spent time talking.  Their first date followed and they have been a “law school couple” since.

thumbs up

They were married in Williamsburg on April 4, 2009.  They landed positions in Charlotte and maintain strong ties to the Law School. Jennie is an associate with McGuireWoods and Les is an in-house attorney with Electrolux.  They are members of the Dean’s Council, and Les currently serves on the William & Mary Law School Association Board of Directors.

Jennie and Les have shared that William & Mary has a very special meaning for them.  “Not only were we able to get a quality legal education, but we found each other and made many great friendships along the way.”


The recent exciting news from these two that found “Virginia is for Lovers” is they are expecting their first child this month.  We are ecstatic about this addition  – a prospective member of  the Class of 2035!