Thankful for W&M Law: Thanksgiving Baskets

Students from section 16 of the 1L class pose in front of their train display made entirely of canned and pantry stable foods!

1L Section 13 won the 2019 Thanksgiving Baskets competition with their display of the “OCS Express”!

by 2L Yasmine Palmer

Dinosaurs, trains, and zoos, oh my! As the Thanksgiving Basket Competition and Food Drive draws to a close, the first floor of the law school is transformed into a quirky statue garden.

From the entrance of the Wolf Law Library to the middle of the Hixon Center, members of the Class of 2022 stacked and arranged cans of peas and corn, boxes of mac and cheese, packets of stuffing, and more into unique structures. The 1Ls, who work in teams composed of their Legal Practice Program section-members, are encouraged to be as creative and over-the-top as possible when designing their displays, and they certainly rise to the challenge. Among this year’s creations were a “Tortasaurus” made of green beans, a can-shaped structure cheekily titled “Learned Can’d” (a play on the name of Billings Learned Hand, the infamous former Southern District of New York judge), and a train complete with pie-tin wheels.

Last week during the lunch hour, a group of professors, staff members, and students took a tour of the displays and mark their choices for “Best Content,” “Most Creative,” and “Judges’ Choice.”

Though the 1L section that wins Judges’ Choice will be rewarded with a pizza party, the Thanksgiving food drive is a rewarding experience for all who are involved. For nearly a decade, the Thanksgiving Basket Competition and Food Drive has been sponsored and organized by the Black Law Students Association (BLSA), with the specific goal of ensuring that as many local families as possible have great meals to share on Thanksgiving. All of the food products collected during the competition are donated to William & Mary’s chapter of the national volunteer organization, The Campus Kitchens Project. The Campus Kitchen at W&M serves 10,000 meals a year to nearly 200 families in the local community. Last year, the Law School contributed over 4,000 food items to that effort. BLSA’s service committee, led by Mechelle King (2L), thinks that we surpassed that number this year!

Last week, seeking to spread the spirit of thankfulness through the law school in anticipation of the food drive, BLSA also held a Thank-You Card sale, during which students, professors and staff were encouraged to purchase and write cards to people within the school. The cards were then hand-delivered to their intended recipients by the members of BLSA. The proceeds of the sale will go towards purchasing turkeys to accompany the other donated food products.

This Thanksgiving, I am thankful for the opportunity to pursue my legal dream and for the friends and family members that supported me long before I first walked through the law school’s doors. Take some time this Thanksgiving season to think about what you’re thankful for and to thank those who have helped you get to where you are today.

Happy (early) Thanksgiving!

Staying Healthy in Law School

Ali's Run

The Law School annually hosts a 5K, called Ali’s Run, for bone marrow research as a part of Be the Match in honor of Professor Rob Kaplan’s late daughter Ali.

by 2L Jamie Eisner

In law school, our lives seem to revolve around our school work, teams, journals, etc., which can make it easy for your physical and mental health to take a back seat if you’re not too careful.  Although it might be tempting to throw all of your time into work and lose track of other things that matter, it’s still important to take time to keep yourself healthy.  Sometimes it’s difficult to find that balance, and everyone has to find what works for them personally, but if you’re stuck, here are a few ideas to help get you started:

  1. Find people who share similar fitness goals and interests

It’s always more fun to workout with friends or in a group setting to help keep you motivated.  Working out with friends is also a great way to hold yourself accountable.  For example, I love going to Orangetheory, and there is a big group of law students who also enjoy going, so we have started to coordinate our workouts to all go together.  It’s a fun way to get to know more law students and to hold each other accountable.  I also find that I’m less likely to bail on a workout if I know I’m supposed to do the class with one or more friends.

  1. Take advantage of the W&M campus rec classes – they’re free!

Barre classes, spin classes, pilates classes – you name it, the rec center probably has it.  What I love about group fitness classes is that there is an instructor telling you what to do, the classes have a set timeframe (so you know exactly when you can get out of there!), and the group mentality is a great way to stay motivated during the class.  You also don’t have to think about planning a workout ahead of time because the instructor is there to guide you through every step of the workout.  Even better, some of the instructors are law students!

  1. Make health(ier) food choices

For snacks, the vending machines may not seem like the “healthiest” option on campus, but they are definitely not the worst option!  If you look closely, they do have some great options if you’re looking for a lighter snack, such as a pack of the reduced fat baked Lays for only 140 calories.  Another trick to is to pack your own lunch.  Admittedly, free pizza every day is very tempting, but if possible, it might be smart to resist at least a few times a week.  If you pack your own lunch, you know exactly what you’re eating and can choose to pack healthier meals—eating better makes you feel better!

  1. Don’t forget to treat yourself!!

Yes, yes, being healthy is awesome, but it’s also awesome to grab a beer and some tacos at Precarious or enjoy a burger at Amber Ox or Dog Street.  Part of being healthy is also finding that balance and enjoying yourself!