Growing up in Virginia, I knew that William & Mary was a gem of an institution. I have spent my academic and professional careers in Virginia’s public education system, earning degrees from Virginia Tech and Virginia Commonwealth University. (My freshman year at Tech was the first year women were permitted to wear pants on campus!) After completing my Ed.D. at Tech, I was offered an opportunity to join the William & Mary community. It has been an honor to represent the Law School to prospective students since 1982.
Why I am here?
Outstanding students come to study law at William & Mary in a community where students build relationships with our nationally-recognized faculty. Our size allows all students the opportunity to excel, to find their niche, and to develop career paths that are best-suited to their individual goals.
Greatest Professional Privileges
Meeting so many people with such diverse backgrounds while they are in the first stages of planning a legal education and career. Regardless of where they enroll, their opportunities are endless, and introducing them to William & Mary Law School is a joy.
Getting to know our students, watching them celebrate with their families during graduation weekend and following their impressive careers.
My Williamsburg Favorites?
Walks down Duke of Gloucester Street (only two blocks from the Law School), kayaking in the James River, golf at Kingsmill, art festivals in Merchant Square, Cheese Shop sandwiches with house dressing, and good friends including our great admission team. Our team members are anxious to provide individual help to candidates and to make their lives less stressful during the application process.
I grew up in Buffalo, New York but moved with my family to Coudersport, Pennsylvania and attended high school there. I attended Bucknell University in Lewisburg, PA and received a B.A. in political science and history. After graduating from Bucknell, I stayed on in their admissions office for three years, working with the tour guides, partnering with the Office of LGBT Awareness, and leading west coast recruitment efforts. I am working toward completing my Masters in Education, with a focus in College Student Personnel. I am fortunate to have been offered the opportunity to work at William & Mary’s Law School, and I am thrilled to be a member of the admissions team and to be a resource for prospective law students at W&M!
Why William & Mary?
With my love of history and passion for education, I was drawn to William & Mary Law School – excited about the quality of education, the ideals of the citizen lawyer, and the long-standing history of the Law School. I have been impressed by the collegial nature of the student body and the amazing support I have felt from faculty, staff, and students alike.
My Williamsburg Favorites
Great restaurants – my favorites are Sal’s by Victor, Oceans and Ale, and of course The Cheese Shop (the best beginning to a picnic lunch at Colonial Williamsburg or the Sunken Gardens). Spending an afternoon along the York River or heading to Virginia Beach for concerts – both big and small acts. Appreciating mild winters (remember I grew up in Buffalo). Enjoying a movie at Movie Tavern, wandering through New Town, and going back in time in Colonial Williamsburg.
Rhianna Shabsin, Assistant Dean for Admission
I’m a native Tennessean, but I lived in South Carolina and Chicago for nine years before my family returned to Tennessee, where I attended middle school and high school. I earned my B.A. in urban studies at Rhodes College in Memphis (barbeque and blues, anyone?) and afterward taught second grade for two years in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, as a member of Teach for America. After that, I moved up to the Washington, D.C., area and worked in publishing for four years before coming to William & Mary to attend law school. While in law school, I was a member of the William and Mary Law Review, volunteered with America Reads, competed on the Alternative Dispute Resolution Team, and was one of four student lawyers in the Center for Legal and Court Technology’s 2010 Lab Trial. I also interned at the NASA Langley Office of Chief Counsel and with the United States Attorney’s Office in Tennessee. William & Mary allowed me to have experiences I couldn’t have had anywhere else!
Why William & Mary?
Every law school provides a legal education, but not every law school does so in a beautiful historic setting with friendly classmates and at a great price! William & Mary had everything I was looking for – rigorous academics, a collegial atmosphere, and close proximity to some of the nation’s leading cities.
My Williamsburg Favorites
Walks through Colonial Williamsburg in the winter (fewer tourists!), the farmers’ market on Saturday morning in the summer, catching a matinee at the Movie Tavern and then heading out to the outlets for some great deals, and, of course, Busch Gardens. Even after living here for several years, I’m still discovering new things – just one of the many great aspects of life in Williamsburg!