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!