Life in the ‘Burg

For a prospective law student, there is a lot to consider when choosing where to study. Just as important as bar passage rates and employment data is the quality of life! Williamsburg has some of the best features of a small college town and a big city – enough that the New York Times named it one of 52 Places to Go in 2019! 2L Briana Jackson offers some of her experiences living and studying in Williamsburg as a law student.

Briana Jackson gives tips on law school research

Briana Jackson, 2L

Williamsburg is a charming city with deeply rooted history. When walking through Colonial Williamsburg, you will see beautiful horses, cobble stone walkways and historical interpreters in costume depicting daily Colonial life! Beyond the history and museums, Williamsburg and the surrounding area offer many places to eat, have fun, and relax.

There are countless restaurants, from mom and pop restaurants to chain-food eateries. A quick walk from the law school is Merchants Square, which houses some staples in the William & Mary culture – Cheese Shop and Aromas will forever be two of the most popular locations to grab some food or study for a few hours. Breads ends and House from Cheese Shop is highly sought after by current students and alums alike. Regardless of what you’re craving, Williamsburg probably has something that will hit the spot!

The Cheese Shop in Merchants Square is a university staple

The Cheese Shop in Merchants Square is a university staple

Beyond the surplus of food options in the area, there are many ways to unwind and take a break from the books. If you are an adrenaline junky or just like to enjoy the food and drinks at an amusement park like myself, Busch Gardens is just a short drive away. Busch Gardens in Williamsburg is European theme with nine villages centered around six countries to visit. The park offers roller coasters, rides, and games. If you like being by the water, Williamsburg is about an hour and fifteen minutes away from Virginia Beach and forty-five minutes away from smaller beaches in Newport News! If you are looking for a getaway weekend, Williamsburg is also near Richmond, Virginia. In an hour drive, you can be surrounded by the business of city living. Long weekends could put you in Washington, D.C., the Blueridge Mountains, Shenandoah National Park, or the Eastern Shore really quickly!

While there are many neighboring cities to keep William & Mary students busy, most students spend their weekends locally in Williamsburg. A typical weekend in Williamsburg for me involves going to the Movie Tavern with some friends or staying in and watching Netflix. On Saturday mornings I go to the Farmer’s Market in Colonial Williamsburg’s Merchant Square to pick out fresh flowers. Saturday evenings I typically hang out at Green Leafe Café or the College Delly on Richmond Road. This area is an excellent place to hang out with fellow law students and meet other students at William & Mary graduate and undergraduate campuses. Williamsburg is a close-knit and welcoming community!

Briana Jackson is a 2L from Leesburg, Virginia. She graduated from Christopher Newport News University in 2016 with a degree in Political Science. At the law school, she is involved with the Black Law Students Association, the Public Service Fund, and the Women’s Law Society; she currently serves on the staff of the Journal of Race, Gender, and Social Justice (formerly the Journal of Women and the Law), and spent last summer working at the Fairfax County District Court office.

We Are Citizen Lawyers

Nick Agyevi-Armah, 1L

Nick Agyevi-Armah, 1L

Distinguishing between law schools is a difficult task. Many schools share similar mission statements, visions for their students, or programming and marketing that encompass the  “unique” ideologies their students possess. It can get overwhelming sifting through countless versions of “our students are different!” or “our faculty are stellar!” or “these student organizations are one-of-a-kind!” These laudatory phrases often fall on ears that have been inundated with information that implores students to visualize why going to this specific law school would set them apart from other law students, or how attending this law school will turn them into a different kind of lawyer.

classroomWilliam & Mary’s citizen lawyer is more than a marketing strategy–it’s a commitment to the ethical, and moral foundations that create the foundation of our legal system; it’s a reminder to all that legal services are to always remain equitable, just, fair, and, above-all, client-centered. William & Mary doesn’t just educate citizen lawyers—its very foundation rests in the civic ideals that operationalize the service-oriented philosophy the legal field encompasses.

William & Mary students are civic leaders who advocate passionately for equality and justice in a world where marginalized groups are pushed further and further outwards. W&M students are not trained to merely “advocate”—but taught that advocacy means denoting a substantial portion of one’s professional life and career aspirations to support the greater public good. W&M students and faculty are vital influencers in the justice system that exists in contemporary society.

bushrodmootcourtWe live in a world that Thomas Jefferson, George Wythe, and John Marshall could not have dreamed. The legal system is an entirely different landscape than it was in 1779. But the values of the citizen lawyer, the components of that concept, remain the same. We’re proud of our ethos and the legacy of citizen lawyers that have gone before us, and we will continue to be role models for the legal field.

Nick is a 1L from Silver Springs, Maryland. At William & Mary Law School, he is highly involved in many organizations, including representing the 1L class in SBA and serving his community through Equality Alliance, Lawyers Helping Lawyers, and the Black Law Student Association to name a few.