We Are Citizen Lawyers

Nick Agyevi-Armah, 1L

Nick Agyevi-Armah, 1L

Distinguishing between law schools is a difficult task. Many schools share similar mission statements, visions for their students, or programming and marketing that encompass the  “unique” ideologies their students possess. It can get overwhelming sifting through countless versions of “our students are different!” or “our faculty are stellar!” or “these student organizations are one-of-a-kind!” These laudatory phrases often fall on ears that have been inundated with information that implores students to visualize why going to this specific law school would set them apart from other law students, or how attending this law school will turn them into a different kind of lawyer.

classroomWilliam & Mary’s citizen lawyer is more than a marketing strategy–it’s a commitment to the ethical, and moral foundations that create the foundation of our legal system; it’s a reminder to all that legal services are to always remain equitable, just, fair, and, above-all, client-centered. William & Mary doesn’t just educate citizen lawyers—its very foundation rests in the civic ideals that operationalize the service-oriented philosophy the legal field encompasses.

William & Mary students are civic leaders who advocate passionately for equality and justice in a world where marginalized groups are pushed further and further outwards. W&M students are not trained to merely “advocate”—but taught that advocacy means denoting a substantial portion of one’s professional life and career aspirations to support the greater public good. W&M students and faculty are vital influencers in the justice system that exists in contemporary society.

bushrodmootcourtWe live in a world that Thomas Jefferson, George Wythe, and John Marshall could not have dreamed. The legal system is an entirely different landscape than it was in 1779. But the values of the citizen lawyer, the components of that concept, remain the same. We’re proud of our ethos and the legacy of citizen lawyers that have gone before us, and we will continue to be role models for the legal field.

Nick is a 1L from Silver Springs, Maryland. At William & Mary Law School, he is highly involved in many organizations, including representing the 1L class in SBA and serving his community through Equality Alliance, Lawyers Helping Lawyers, and the Black Law Student Association to name a few. 

It’s Back! Thanksgiving Baskets 2018

Despite our finals season stress, William & Mary students try to find time to give back during the holidays. Each year, the Black Law Students Association hosts the Thanksgiving Basket Thanksgiving BasketCompetition. All the 1L sections compete, arranging their givings in a creative manner that will grab the attention of the judges. And the 1Ls really do get creative. Last year, the winning section made their Professor, Dean Kaplan, out of canned goods; others created International Shoe (you’ll laugh once you take Civil Procedure) and other puns from our law school experience. Displays are graded on creativity, the diversity of products, and the quantity of goods. Each section sets up the night before the judgment and claims their spot for their structure. You are able to watch everyone’s ideas slowly form over time.

My section opted for the simple yet elegant Supreme Court. Our Court’s docket was out of the ordinary–we brought suit on behalf our professors and Legal Practice Fellow.

All and all, my 1L class collected over 2,000 items that were delivered to the William & Mary Campus Kitchen, who then organized the items into Thanksgiving baskets for families. Although Section 2’s Supreme Court made out of mainly cans and pasta did not come out on top, it was a great experience to bond. Not only does the law school collect items for those in need, it gives everyone an opportunity to see how thankful they are for their section and the law school community. I’m excited to see what the 1Ls bring to the table this year!

Results aren’t in from this year’s competition, but students collected over 4,000 cans and pantry items! Make sure to follow our Instagram, wmLawAdmissions, for the final winner! 

Brooke Lowell is a 2L from Rockland, Maine. She attended Simmons College and earned her degree in Political Science in 2017. Brooke is currently a member of the Public Service Fund and serves as the Vice President for Equity Alliance. She also works as a member of the Bill of Rights Journal staff. Last summer, she served as a graduate research assistant for Professor Evan Criddle at William & Mary Law School and will continue to work at the Legal Aid Society of Eastern Virginia as her externship for the year.