Ali’s Run

K KoballaBy Kasey Koballa, Class of 2018

Running is always easier when it is for a good cause!

On April 7th, around 150 people, including a large number of law students, endured the unseasonal cold and rainy weather to run in support of William & Mary’s Bone Marrow Drive.  This was the 14th Annual Ali’s Run, which is a 5K run/walk, to honor the memory of Ali Kaplan, who passed away in 1999 from a rare bone marrow disease.  Ali Kaplan was our Dean Robert Kaplan’s daughter, and the run recognizes her selflessness, compassion, and courage.

Each year, our Bone Marrow Drive coordinates this run, and all of the proceeds are donated to the National Bone Marrow Donor Program. This year, we had three high school teams travel to Williamsburg to participate, some even from outside of Virginia, and we raised over $5,000.  Having these participants surely upped the competition – we had one runner complete the race in a quick 16 minutes and 33 seconds, which was a full two minutes ahead of any other competitor.

Ali's RunApart from this run, the Bone Marrow Drive hosts other fundraising events throughout the school year. One day a year, Be The Match Registry comes to the law school to host Drive Day where students may register in the drive.  By a mere swab of your mouth, you are entered into the bone marrow drive registry and could have the opportunity to help save a life if you are a match for someone in need.

Additionally, Bone Marrow Drive hosts a Pie Eating Contest between law students and the faculty and staff. Each class picks a male and female student to represent them and participate – to see who can eat the most pie, without using their hands or any utensils!  The Drive raises additional money by allowing students to pay to take off or add time from specific participants.  To allow for some friendly competition, there is a messy prize for the winner!

To learn more about the race and see the results, you can visit the Run’s page here.  We hope you join us on Ali’s Run or at these events in the future!

Intramural Sports and Other Activities in Williamsburg

K KoballaBy Kasey Koballa, Class of 2018

At William & Mary, outside of the classroom, you can often find our students participating in Intramural sports or other athletic activities. These provide students with a mental break from the classroom as well as a great opportunity to engage with other law students and have some fun!  Law students participate in intramural sports with the rest of the College, which can heighten the competition, allows for the change to meet people outside of the law school, and provides stress-relief.  These sports range from team sports (such as volleyball, dodgeball, soccer, basketball, softball, and flag football) to a few individual sports (such as tennis and rock climbing).

With a large number of prior collegiate athletes at William & Mary in addition to the competitive nature of law students, our teams often fare well against the undergraduates, but offer some less-competitive avenues as well. Throughout my three years here, I have played on various soccer, basketball, and football teams.  A few of the teams have contended for championships, but with others, we were lucky to just get into playoffs.  Regardless of the success, engaging in intramural sports provided me with a great opportunity to get to know other students and let off a little stress, and most importantly, have fun!  When I entered law school, I was worried whether I would still have time to pay sports (or even go to the gym), but we highly encourage students to get involved in intramural sports and athletic activities alike.  It is nice to know that every time I go to the William & Mary gym I’ll run into another law student and a smiling, familiar face!

Outside of Intramural opportunities, William & Mary Law student organizations, such as the Military and Veterans Law Society, run weekly clubs as well as the Williamsburg Winery and a few other organizations throughout the Williamsburg Community. We also host an annual Faculty-Student Basketball game (as part of Admitted Students Weekend). William & Mary sends a team yearly to the UVA Softball Tournament in April.  Additionally, student groups such as the Sports and Entertainment Law Society and the Innocence Project have hosted basketball and dodgeball tournaments to raise money for a good cause – another source of engagement and stress relief!

Lastly, while we are not directly on the coast of Virginia, Williamsburg is surrounded by various bodies of water. With the mild-climate in Williamsburg, students will often rent boats, canoes, or paddleboards and get out on the James River or College Creek along the Colonial Parkway.  This offers students with more and diverse opportunities to stay active, relieve stress, and get some Vitamin D!  And, personally being from the coast, I feel that nothing relieves stress better than being out on the water!

Life in Williamsburg

R GallagherBy: Ryan Gallagher, Class of 2019

Prospective students, friends, and family members often ask me what life is like in Williamsburg. They seem to have the impression that Williamsburg is a historically preserved tourist town, a sleepy retirement spot, or a pitstop between Virginia Beach and Richmond.  Although some aspects of these impressions may be true—Colonial Williamsburg and the Cheese Shoppe are exponentially harder to navigate in the summer than in the winter—Williamsburg has a great deal to offer law students.

Simply put, I think Williamsburg is the perfect place to attend graduate school. As a Law School alumnus recently put it, “Williamsburg has enough going on to keep you from getting bored, but not too much to distract you from what you’re there for.”  Williamsburg offers plenty of places to eat, things to do, and beautiful scenery—everything that a three-year transplant could want.

Williamsburg is neither a small town nor a big city, which I think is an asset. It takes me ten to fifteen minutes to get to the Law School from the opposite side of town.  I am originally from a small town in Kentucky.  If you wanted to do something—go out to eat, see a movie, go to school for the day, and so on—you had to drive at least thirty or forty minutes to do so.  After high school, I moved to the biggest city in the state for college.  Traffic in Louisville could make what should be a ten-minute drive to Target a rage-inducing, hour-long standstill.  Williamsburg does not have this problem.

As I mentioned above, Williamsburg has plenty of things to do. Students are able to take advantage of Busch Gardens, Water Country USA, the undergrad campus, and Colonial Williamsburg (which is only a short walk from the Law School).  Law Students get free admission to William & Mary’s home basketball and football games.  Additionally, law students typically use the gym, trails, and participate in intramural sports on the undergrad campus.

Williamsburg is also perfectly situated geographically. It takes forty to fifty minutes to get to Richmond or Virginia Beach, two hours to Charlottesville, and three hours to the Outer Banks in North Carolina.  Furthermore, if you are interested in history, Jamestown (the first permanent English settlement in America) and Yorktown (the site of General Conwallis’s surrender to General George Washington to end the Revolutionary War) are both only twenty minutes away.  Williamsburg’s perfect position along Virginia’s coast provides W&M Law students the opportunity to take a variety of day or weekend trips.

I hope you will consider giving Williamsburg a close look. It is not merely a tourist trap or a pass-through between Richmond and Virginia Beach.  Williamsburg’s movie theaters, food, amusement parks, history, College, and location make it a perfect place to go to law school.

My Guide to the Best Food in Williamsburg

alsawafby Sami Alsawaf, Class 2017

After living in Williamsburg for almost three years, I’ve had the chance to sample some of the different places to eat here in Williamsburg. Now, I know what you’re thinking: doesn’t everyone in Williamsburg just eat cured ham and peanuts all the time? Not the case! There’s plenty of good places to eat in Williamsburg, and with my refined palate and the collective wisdom of all my friends, I present to you my best places to eat in Williamsburg for each meal.


bcMy favorite place to eat brunch is Baker’s Crust. Baker’s Crust is a Hampton Roads favorite and has pretty much anything you could want for breakfast or lunch, depending on your mood. I’m partial to the West Coast omelet—delicious and cheesy and served with hash browns (I technically think they’re home fries, but I’ll let bygones be bygones). Also, the Baltimore Eggs Benedict is amazing, which is topped with, you guessed it, crab. I’ve also heard good things about their Buttermilk Fried Chicken tacos and can attest to the fact that their house-made Parmesan chips are fantastic.

Runners up: Honey Butters, Five Forks, Shorty’s (full disclosure, I’ve never been to the last two, but they’re on my Williamsburg bucket list).


Alright, I got into disagreement with friends over the best places to eat for lunch, so I’m going to give you all three places we picked. My pick is Ichiban. There’s a great unlimited sushi buffet at lunch, that includes things like edamame and spring rolls. For only $13, it’s a fantastic deal for some quality sushi. It’s my go to place after a four hour exam.

If you’re feeling like sushi or maybe hibachi or even ramen, there’s a relatively new place within walking distance from the Law School called Oishii. The food is good, but they also have bubble tea, my new favorite thing.

cheese shopThe Cheese Shop also deserves a mention. They have simple but good sandwiches and also have a lot of fun snacks too. Make sure you get yours with the house dressing. It’s also walking distance to the law school and right next to a candy shop—essential for finals studying.

Runners up:  Dog Street Pub and Aromas (all walking distance from the Law School)


It’s a tie. My two favorite places are Food for Thought and Second Street American Bistro. Food for Thought has pretty much any and every cuisine you could ever want—from pot roast to meat loaf and pad thai to cheese grits. Usually, when I see a place with such an expansive menu, I think they have to be doing something wrong because no one can get everything right. Let me tell you right now that this place can do it. I’ve gone with friends and family, and no one has ever been unhappy with their order. The restaurant is also themed, and has quotes on the wall and fun fact cards on the tables.

Second Street has classic American fare with a modern twist. They have both a signature and a seasonal menu—so you can get the same thing every time if you know what you love, or you can mix it up. Here’s a couple of the things I’ve sampled and can tell you that they are amazing: the homemade chips with pimento cheese (trust me), the grilled salmon, the ahi tuna, and the shrimp and grits. And, best of all, there’s free mini cookies at the end if you don’t feel like a full dessert, but the desserts are also great.

Runner up: Blue Talon

Late Night Snacks

For William & Mary Law students, it’s all about the cheese fries. I’ve sampled cheese fries at three different locations, and I have to be honest, you can’t go wrong with any of them. They’re a perfect way to end the night. Green Leafe, Paul’s Deli, and Brickhouse (all right next to each other) are the places you want to go.

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Barristers, Banquets, and Brunches

alsawafby Sami Alsawaf, Class 2017

In my opinion, spring semester is much busier than the fall. Maybe it’s spring fever, but things seem to go by faster in the spring. As the end of the semester draws near, students are focusing on finishing their papers and writing their outlines for exams, but we make sure we leave a little bit of time for fun.

Since the school year is almost over, students take the time to congratulation themselves on a job well done. The competition teams have pretty much finished up their season, the journals are wrapping up their last issue for this volume, and students who have been working hard all semester are looking for an excuse to celebrate.

Lodge-Exterior-NightFirst, we have Barrister’s Ball, which is basically Law Prom. Women wear long dresses and men break out their finest suits to head off to a ballroom for dinner, drinks, and dancing. This year, Barrister’s was held at the Williamsburg Lodge, and I was really impressed at this great location.

We also have banquet season. Each journal and competition team have a banquet to celebrate being done for the year. The style of the banquets vary from journal to journal and team to team, but they’re always a fun time to hangout with friends and relax with good food. My journal, the Journal of Women and the Law, held our banquet at a new restaurant called Culture Café. I had never been to the restaurant before, but I’ve been dreaming about going back because the food was that good. Other journals and teams will have theirs in event halls and restaurants nearby.

As a graduating 3L, it’s time to hand over the reigns to the younger students. Journals, teams, and organizations pick the new Executive Board for next year, and the faculty advisors welcome the new staff with open arms. The faculty advisor for my journal invites both the incoming and outgoing staff to brunch at her house as a way to welcome the new staff and congratulate the graduating 3Ls.

Spring is really busy, but it’s also so much fun. There’s plenty going on to have a little bit of entertainment before the craziness of finals sets in, and we all hunker down to study in the library.


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Lights, Camera, Auction!

alsawafby Sami Alsawaf, Class of 2017

The Public Service Fund is one of the most active groups on campus. They hold events and fundraisers all year long to raise money for students who work in unpaid public service internships over the summer. The fellowships are open for all students to apply, and having received a fellowship the last two summers, I can attest to how valuable these fellowships are for students.

auctionSome of the most popular fundraisers are the corn hole competition, the Halloween party, and the t-shirt sale. The biggest fundraiser of the year is Auction, which takes place every spring. The theme varies every year—this year it was Broadway, and in past we’ve had Kentucky Derby and James Bond. It’s always fun to get dressed up and hang out with your friends outside of school. Students, faculty, alumni, and members of the community donate items to the Auction. Students have donated babysitting services, a home-cooked meal, or free sports lessons. The faculty packages are always hot items, such as brunch, trivia, laser tag, or a spa day. Students will get together to bid on a faculty package to spend time with their friends and get to know their professors a little better.

Over the years, I’ve won an Oktoberfest dinner with two of my professors, lunch at a local restaurant with a professor, and two years in a row, I won monthly (delicious) baked goods from one of our librarians. This year, I won a dinner for four at the same librarian’s house that I’ll split with my best friends. Another one of my friends won a “mystery” package, which contained gift cards to Amazon, Chipotle, another restaurant, plus movie tickets, and a fancy car wash. I really love the Auction because it’s so much fun to keep bidding and outbidding on a package you really want, plus all the money goes back to the students.

I think the Auction represents one of the best things about William & Mary Law School—the community. The professors love to auction off packages to get to know their students, and alumni are always trying to stay involved to help the students that come after them. And of course, the students like to auction off creative and fun events for their friends. No one is under any obligation to donate to Auction; everyone does it because it’s fun and it’s a great cause. Auction shows year after year that William & Mary takes care of its own, and I’m proud to be a part of this community.

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Exploring Richmond

reidby Eric Reid, Class of 2018

Let’s face it, during the course of the semester, everyone needs a break from studying. Fortunately, one of the great things about living in Williamsburg is being in the middle of a very exciting and growing region. There are a number of attractions, not only in Williamsburg, but also in the neighboring cities of Richmond, Norfolk, and Virginia Beach. This blog post will take a look at some of the fun things to see and explore in Richmond.

Virginia’s capital city has a lot to do, and fortunately for us, it’s only about an hour away. The area is steeped in Civil War attractions, as well as other art galleries and museums. My externship at LeClairRyan (which is located in the heart of downtown Richmond) allowed me to experience some of what Richmond had to offer. Richmond’s downtown is fairly compact and easy to navigate. I found I could easily walk to most of the attractions I wanted to see.

To start off the Richmond tour, I recommend first seeing the Virginia State Capitol, which is located in an area of Richmond called Capitol Square. Fun fact: the Virginia State Capitol houses the oldest legislative body in the Western Hemisphere.


The State Capitol was relocated from the Governor’s Palace in Williamsburg to Richmond at the beginning of the American Revolution. Completed in 1788, the building was designed by Thomas Jefferson and French architect Charles-Louis Clerisseau and is based off of a Roman temple in southern France. Since that time, the building has been renovated and extended.

The Capitol offers both guided tours and self-guided tours starting from 9:00a.m. to 5:00p.m. Monday through Saturday, and from 1:00p.m. to 5:00p.m. on Sundays.

Next, I recommend going to the Tredegar Iron Works, which serves as the main visitor center for the Richmond National Battlefield Park and is only a few blocks south of the Capitol. Entrance to it, including the National Park Service Civil War Visitor Center is free, but there is an $8 fee to tour the exhibits of the American Civil War Center. I highly recommend touring the exhibits.

While you’re down by the James River, you should check out Richmond’s Canal Walk and its many attractions. For example, you could stop in the Edgar Allan Poe Museum, or walk across to Brown’s Island (which is often the site for outdoor concerts and festivals).

These are just some of the great attractions you can visit in Richmond. Have fun exploring!

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Paper by Mary Catherine Amerine J.D. ’17 Earns Her Trip to Grammys

This story was originally published on “The Gale,” a blog of the William & Mary Alumni Association.

During a luncheon held in conjunction with the Grammys in February, entertainment attorney Ken Abdo recognizes Amerine as one of four finalists in a writing competition sponsored by the Grammy Foundation’s Entertainment Law Initiative.

William & Mary Law School has given Mary Catherine Amerine, a third-year law student, a strong commitment to her chosen field of intellectual property law. Amerine came to the Law School with a goal to protect the rights of writers, artists and other creators.

“Many of my friends in the arts world were constantly having issues when they would create something, and then see it online the next day or on a postcard that was sold by a major company. It happened so often that I wanted to do something about it,” says Amerine, who graduated from Catholic University, summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa and with a B.A. in English.

Her passion for writing, coupled with her goal and success as a student has translated into benefits outside of the classroom. Earlier this year, she won the Virginia State Bar Intellectual Property Writing Competition and the American Intellectual Property Law Association’s Robert. C. Watson Award. Amerine also attended the 2017 Grammy Awards in February as one of four finalists in a writing competition sponsored by the Grammy Foundation’s Entertainment Law Initiative.

This past summer when Amerine was working for the Harry Fox Agency, a music licensing agency on Wall Street in the heart of New York City, one of her supervisors encouraged her to apply to the Grammy Foundation’s Entertainment Law Initiative. Her paper on the de minimis exception in music sampling placed her among the finalists in the competition, resulting in a scholarship, publication in the ELI Tribute Journal, a trip to Los Angeles to receive the award at the ELI luncheon and a trip to the Grammys.

Throughout the weekend, Amerine and the other finalists enjoyed a whirlwind of luncheons, cocktail receptions and presentations. Amerine most enjoyed meeting attorneys whom she had cited in her papers, including Don Passman who wrote the book on music law, and gaining a behind-the-scenes perspective on the prestige and complexity of the Grammys.

“It was so much fun—a very surreal experience,” Amerine says of the weekend she spent in Los Angeles.

Amerine’s experiences haven’t been inevitable. Although she applied to law schools with a goal, the obstacle of tuition loomed overhead.

“When I was applying to law schools, I wanted to go, but I had made a bargain with myself and said ‘I’m not going to go if it’s going to get me into insane amounts of debt,’” Amerine says.

Amerine was awarded a scholarship from the Law School, made possible by the Ann C. and R. Harvey Chappell Fellows Program.

Amerine has appreciated interacting with professors who initially drew her to the law school—particularly those who have influenced her intellectual property thinking, like Vice Dean Laura Heymann and Professor Sarah Wasserman Rajec. The size of the Law School creates a community atmosphere that she values, and the proximity of the Law School to the main campus enables her to stroll along the Sunken Garden when she needs a study break.

“I’m really grateful that all of my experiences at W&M have been so wonderful,” Amerine says of the adventures on which her scholarship has taken her. “I’ve had a great time here. I’ve been able to focus on something that I love.”

Read the original article here.

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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