Pie-Eating Contest

alsawafby Sami Alsawaf, Class of 2017

One of the most popular groups at the Law School is the Bone Marrow Drive. The Bone Marrow Drive is a student group that holds fundraisers throughout the year to raise awareness of the National Bone Marrow Registry and encourages students to join the registry to help patients suffering from bone marrow diseases. If someone is matched on the registry, they have the opportunity to possibly save someone’s life. The Bone Marrow Drive is such a great cause, and I’ve tried to participate in all the events I possibly can over the last three years.

The most fun event, without a doubt, is the pie-eating contest that happens once a year around Pi Day. A pie eating contest with students and professors sounds easy enough, right? There’s a catch—you can’t use your hands to eat, which basically means your face is the utensil. I went to the event my 1L year, where I got a piece of pie (and a fork) and the opportunity to watch some of my favorite professors and classmates stuff their faces into pies. It was hilarious and the money went to a great cause.

pieNow that I’m in my final year, I wanted to actually participate in the pie eating contest. For a 5’2″ girl, I like to think I can eat a lot of pie. Plus, I figured if I was competing, my friends would attend the contest which would bring in more money. To determine how much time each contestant has to eat, people can either pay money to give someone more time, or take away from someone’s time. By the time the competition started, I had a whole six minutes to eat the blueberry pie I had specifically chosen based on how fast I thought I could eat the filling.

I didn’t win the pie eating contest, but I’m giving myself third place overall, and I ate more than every other woman who also competed. Plus, I got to eat pie, which was a win. I can’t even imagine how much money people donated to add or take away my time, and with the other people eating plus the amount of people who went to the event, we raised money for the Bone Marrow Drive. It was a great event for an event greater cause, and I’m happy I could do my part to help save a life.

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Being a Journal Staff Member

grecoby Marc Greco, Class of 2018

Before arriving here, I had heard of law journals—or law reviews, as they are also known—but understood very little of how they really worked. I like to think I understand a thing or two now that I’ve served on the William & Mary Law Review for over six months.

W&M Law boasts five journals. Membership in any one begins with a write-on competition at the end of the first year. The competition has two parts: an editing portion and a writing portion. Students are selected for a given journal based on their performance in the competition and the order in which they rank their preferred journals.

Introductory matters aside, I’ve found my time on the Law Review equal parts rewarding and enriching. Staff members like myself have two duties: cite checking and writing an original note. Cite checking is essentially the process of editing the articles selected for publication. It requires the staff member to confirm the factual accuracy of the author’s statements, add authority to support the author’s assertions, and edit for proper grammar and citations. Though challenging, this process confers several benefits to the cite checker. I’ve worked on excellent legal scholarship, improved my research and writing skills, and learned of topics I otherwise wouldn’t have discovered.

library (69)Writing a note has been just as challenging and rewarding. A note is the law student’s version of an article that would appear in a journal (“note” is one of the many misnomers in the legal lexicon because the papers are typically over forty pages long). Staff members complete their notes over the course of the year, working closely with the journal’s Notes Editors to produce a work of publishable quality. I’m writing about the law of outer space as it pertains to asteroid mining. I’ve learned just how much research goes into journal pieces (spoiler alert: a whole mess) and the patience necessary to make it work.

Membership on a journal is a valuable component of the law school experience. The skills I have honed on the Law Review have translated usefully to other parts of my legal life. And no one in the profession can deny the purchase journal participation carries on a resume.

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Ski Trip Fun for Law Students

willisby Blake Willis, Class of 2018

Every year in mid-January, students from William & Mary Law School caravan their way out into the mountains,to take a break from studying and to enjoy some time in the outdoors.

The trip takes place in Snowshoe, West Virginia, about 4 hours from Williamsburg, and each year, between 150 and 200 students from the law school attend; this year was no exception.

While away, students can enjoy time on the mountain – skiing, snowboarding, tubing, horseback riding, shopping, or just relaxing with friends.

ski tripOrganized by the Student Bar Association (SBA), the student government of the Law School, students can take advantage of group pricing for cabin rentals, lift passes, ski/snowboard rentals, and tubing throughout the weekend. Tickets go on sale toward the end of the first semester, giving students something fun to look forward to at the beginning of the spring semester (other than class, of course).

Don’t ski or snowboard? Don’t worry, there are plenty of activities around the mountain for those who wish to avoid the wet, winter weather. Or, for the braver soul, lessons are also available.

This unique opportunity gives students at William & Mary Law School an amazing opportunity to get outside of the classroom or library, and to enjoy time with friends and classmates, as well as to make new friends at the law school.

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Intramural Sports

kaiserby Alyssa Kaiser, Class of 2019

My first semester at William & Mary Law School flew by!  Although the school work can be daunting, it is important that students also find a way to relieve stress and have some fun!  One of my favorite ways to let loose is by participating in intramural sports with friends.  There are a wide range of sports to choose from, with some of the games set up tournament-style that last just a day, while others have a weekly schedule.  The teams are not only from within the law school; there are teams made up of undergraduate students and other graduate programs, so it is fun to get the chance to meet new people during the games!

intramurals 1This semester, I played intramural softball, football, and basketball.  Some of the teams were more successful than others, but it was good to be active for an hour or two and forget about the stress of law school whether or not my team came out on top.  Of course it is more fun to win…which made basketball one of my favorite experiences.  My team won the tournament, which not only gave us bragging rights, but also landed us the coveted intramural champion t-shirts!  Quite a success in my book!  Before coming to law school, I often wondered whether or not I would still have time to have fun and relax.  I am happy that William & Mary provides us with an opportunity to do just that!  I cannot wait to play (and hopefully win) more games next semester!

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Women and Political Campaigns

alsawafby Sami Alsawaf, Class of 2017

As current President of the Women’s Law Society, I helped organize an event called “Women and Political Campaigns,” a panel discussion focused on helping women run for office. The panel featured Commonwealth’s Attorney Holly Smith (a WM Law alum) and Julie Copeland of Emerge VA, an organization that helps train women to run for office. Professor Rebecca Green, Director of the Election Law Program, moderated the event.

The panel focused on issues that women face while running for office—lies about their personal life, the media drawing attention to issues that have no bearing on a woman’s ability to run for office, and subtle sexism about them as a person. It was great to hear both sides of the coin—a woman who has actually ran for public office, and another woman that helps train women to run for office. They were able to speak about real life experiences and talk about the science behind why certain techniques are more successful for women.

The event was inspiring, to say the least. I left the event feeling empowered with a desire to run for public office, and I wanted to do everything I could to help other women run as well.

The questions from the audience showed how much each person cares about this issue. Questions ranged from how we can help prevent the sexism in campaigns, to issues faced by younger women that may prevent them from running for office. The panelists were very open in their answers and willing to share their own personal experiences. They encouraged all of us to run, if that was our goal, and not to let anyone tell us that we could not win.

After the discussion, we all headed out to the law school patio for a small reception. It was a great way for me, as a 3L, to get to know some of the 1Ls and 2Ls that I have not met before, and all of the participants loved getting one on one time with our panelists. The event was a great way to wrap up this election cycle, as it was able to focus on a lot of the issues I am sure many people have been feeling. Everyone left the event feeling unstoppable and capable of running one day. I’m glad my organization was able to provide such an experience for our students.

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Sunday Softball Tourney in DC

grecoby Marc Greco, Class of 2018

Softball enjoys a great deal of popularity in the legal profession. Nearly every law school in the nation boasts a team, whether intramural or club, as do a large number of law firms. William & Mary Law, fortunately, is no exception. I’ve had the pleasure of playing a ton of games alongside classmates in two capacities: against undergraduate and graduate students through the College’s intramural program,and against other law schools through invitational tournaments. One such tournament was the recent Washington, DC Law School Ball on the Mall Tournament. Though our softball squad didn’t make a championship run, we had an absolute blast.

For starters, the venue was as picturesque as it gets. We played in Washington’s West Potomac Park, between the beautiful Tidal Basin and Potomac River, with the Washington Monument plainly in sight. Our coed team comprised of students from every class, as well as one alumnus who works at a firm in Washington—the alumnus, I might add, conducted the on-campus interviews at the Law School for that very firm this year. The other teams represented most of the law schools in Washington, and a few from Virginia. Our competition was George Washington, George Mason, Catholic, and UVA, each of which proved a worthy foe. We played four good games, and I loved the chance to spend time in our great nation’s capital competing in one of my favorite sports (and bet my teammates would agree).

Opportunities to pursue your interests abound at the Law School. Softball has proven, to me, to be not only a fantastic pastime, but also a useful talking point to share with attorneys during interviews or networking scenarios. I look forward to playing in the annual spring tournament at UVA next semester!

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Military Mondays

austin military mondays2015-16 student blogger, Austin Swink, was featured on the cover of Williamsburg’s Next Door Neighbors, a local magazine. The November 2016 edition focused on campus connections, and Austin shared his experiences with the Law School’s Military Mondays program.

Click here to view the magazine and the article.

 

2016 Thanksgiving Baskets

zaleskiby James Zaleski, Class of 2019

Every year William & Mary’s Black Law Students Association (BLSA) hosts a Thanksgiving Basket Competition at the Law School in order to collect food items for local families. First-year law students compete as sections of the legal practice program against other sections to create displays from canned and boxed foods in the lobby of the law school. Displays are graded on creativity, the diversity of products, and the quantity of goods.

Assault and BatteryThe competition officially began on Monday night, and sections soon began to bring in their canned goods and assemble their displays. It was exciting to walk into the lobby and see displays become more elaborate by the hour. The displays were evaluated during the lunch hour on Wednesday by two professors, a law student, and a representative from the Dean’s office. This year Section 8’s entry, “Assault and Battery”, reigned supreme by winning 1st place in all three categories: Best Content, Most Creative Display, and Judge’s Choice for overall winner. Other notable entries were Section 15’s “Supreme Court” and Section 7’s “Photo Booth.” Congratulations to Section 8 for winning this year!

TurkeyThe Thanksgiving Basket Competition was a great opportunity for the Law School community to come together before the holidays, and it provided students with a much-needed break from studying. Over 2,000 canned goods and boxed foods were collected during the competition which were donated to Campus Kitchen which organizes the donations and assembles Thanksgiving baskets for local Williamsburg families. Campus Kitchen seeks to address the hunger and nutritional needs of the community and works to foster connections between college and community.  I thoroughly enjoyed this year’s competition, and as we approach Thanksgiving, I would just like to say that I am thankful for having such a great section, fellow, and community here at William & Mary Law School. Happy Thanksgiving!

To read the William & Mary Law news story, click here.

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Pumpkin Picking with the Women’s Law Society!

alsawafby Sami Alsawaf, Class of 2017

As someone from Florida, living in Virginia has opened up my eyes to a whole new world—mainly that seasons other than summer do, in fact, exist. Since arriving in Williamsburg three years ago, I have enjoyed every moment of the changing weather, but no season is more breathtaking than fall. The air is crisp, the leaves turn gorgeous shades of red and orange, and of course, everything is pumpkin flavored.

pumpkinsOn October 16th, the Women’s Law Society took a trip to College Run Farms to pick pumpkins! Having never actually picked a pumpkin in my life, I was unabashedly excited. On a joint social with the Christian Legal Society, we left from the Law School and headed on our way. To get to the farm, we rode on a ferry across the James River. We drove our cars onto the ferry, and once on board, we headed to the bow of the ship to take in the views and the fresh air.

Upon arrival on the other side of the river, we made our way to the farm. College Run had dozens and dozens of pumpkins to choose from, any shape any size—some fit in the size of your hand and some taller than a five-year-old. I personally chose a pumpkin with a blue hue, while one friend chose a perfectly shaped orange one and another picked one great for making pies. The farm also had a corn maze and freshly made pumpkin ice cream. The ice cream was like no other, and a perfect way to end our trip.

The farm was full of families having seasonal fun, and law students taking a break from studying for classes. Law school is busy and stressful, but it’s important to take a break every once in a while to remember there is life outside the four walls of this building, and more importantly, take time to be with your friends. Your friends will be with you throughout the entire three years of school, and it’s okay to take a lazy Sunday afternoon to enjoy some pumpkin ice cream (with four spoons).

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1L Perspective- The First Month

zaleskiby James Zaleski, Class of 2019

Just like that the first month of law school has come to an end! It has been a month filled with stress, late nights, and exhaustion but I have thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Now is a good time to reflect back on the first month of this crazy transformative experience we call law school.

Classes have consumed the majority of my time this first month. All 1Ls take the same classes during the first year. The classes I am taking this semester include: (1) Criminal Law, (2) Civil Procedure, (3) Torts, (4) Legal Writing, and (5) Lawyering Skills. One of the rumors about law school that I quickly found to be true is the copious amount of reading! Law school professors assign multiple cases for each class. The readings are complex and often the main point of the case is not particularly clear. I frequently find myself reading the cases multiple times. However, after just one month of practice, I know my classmates and I are increasing our proficiency and are on our way to becoming savvy case readers.

The professors are some of the most brilliant and accomplished instructors I have had in my academic career. As a former high school teacher, I have an appreciation for excellent teachers. All of my professors are experts in their field; they have a passion for teaching their material and challenging students to think critically about the law. One way professors cultivate this atmosphere of learning is through the Socratic Method. I received a personal introduction to the practice during the first week of classes. My classmates and I have found that the rumors regarding the Socratic Method to be overblown. The Socratic Method ensures everyone comes to class prepared. It keeps the class engaged and challenges students to arrive at key insights. While everyone was nervous the first week, I feel most people have become accustomed to the method and enjoy the rigorous discussion it provides.

I also spent a lot of time this past week preparing for my first law school exam. While most law school classes only have final exams, several professors offer midterms. These midterms help relieve some of the anxiety over final exams because they serve as a good introduction to the law school exam format. In preparation, I reviewed my class notes and I completed my first outline. The professor also provided a hypothetical that I used to practice responses. The most challenging aspect of the exam was the time crunch! My classmates and I are anxiously awaiting the results.

student orgsOutside of class, I have found myself busy attending interest meetings for many student groups. I have attended meetings for the Immigration and Law Service Society, the Military and Veterans Law Society, Alternative Dispute Resolution, Mock Trial, and the Latino Law Student Association. These meetings are great opportunities to learn about the organization, to meet new people with similar interests, and to learn how to become involved as a 1L. A nice perk is all of them provided lunch!

The first month of law school has been a demanding experience. However, after just one month, I can already tell I am receiving a valuable education, and I am on my way to becoming an excellent attorney.

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Hixon Center for Experiential Learning and Leadership

To be completed in the spring of 2017, the James A. and Robin L. Hixon Center for Experiential Learning and Leadership building will provide an additional 12,000-square-feet to the Law School.

The Center for Experiential Learning and Leadership will serve as headquarters for our clinics and practicum, which give students opportunities to
represent real clients in actual cases. It will also be home to our highly regarded Legal Practice Program. For three semesters,
students gain the writing, oral communication, and professional skills they’ll need to be great lawyers.

Students, faculty, and staff signed their names and left messages of good will for the new wing on the last piece of steel, and this piece of steel was installed on August 18.

building 1

building 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Visit the construction website to see the latest pictures.