It’s Law Week at William & Mary Law School

welcomeclass

At William & Mary, Law Week is the first introduction that 1L students have to legal practice. The curriculum was designed to ensure that William & Mary Law students are learning about the foundational components for successful lawyering outside of the necessary coursework like Constitutional Law or Civil Procedure. Legal writing, analysis, professionalism, and networking are all vital to being a successful lawyer, as well as a successful law student! Truthfully, it can be a lot of information to take in. Dean Douglas says it best: This week, information can come at you like water out of a fire hose. We do our best to balance the week with fun socials, scavenger hunts, and plenty of ice cream.

Before their first day, the class is divided into small sections of 12 – 14 students that work with an assigned upperclass fellow and a faculty member who specializes in the field of legal writing; this way, there is a more hands-on and personalized approach to the first year of law school, and Law Week.

To give you an idea of what Law Week looks like this year, here’s a quick run-down of a few events.

Monday, Opening Ceremony in Kimball Theateropening ceremony

This is the first time that the incoming class is gathered together, not as individuals from across the country, or even as aspiring lawyers, but as a community. This year we welcomed students from across the country and around the world in the historic Kimball Theater as new citizen lawyers who will take on the rigors of law school together, challenging and supporting each other along the way.

Dean Douglas opens the morning by welcoming the class and highlighting a few of the fun facts that we’ve learned through the admission process (make sure to read last week’s post to find out some of our favorites!). He then introduces the Chair of the Honor Council who welcomes the students into the law school community by administering the Honor Code. At William & Mary, the Honor Code is one of the oldest and most revered traditions, and we ensure that every student who joins our community understands the importance of thecharge, “I pledge, on my honor, not to lie, cheat, or steal.”

Following the Honor Pledge, the Director of the Legal Practice Program addresses the class, followed by the keynote speaker. This year, we had the pleasure of hearing from Barbara Johnson, J.D. ’84. As an alumna, the former chair of the William & Mary Law School Foundation, and a current member of the Board of Visitors, Ms. Johnson’s ties to the William & Mary community remain strong, and her practice in Washington, D.C., is a testimony to her diligence in the preservation of civil and human rights. [Read more…]