Life in Williamsburg

R GallagherBy: Ryan Gallagher, Class of 2019

Prospective students, friends, and family members often ask me what life is like in Williamsburg. They seem to have the impression that Williamsburg is a historically preserved tourist town, a sleepy retirement spot, or a pitstop between Virginia Beach and Richmond.  Although some aspects of these impressions may be true—Colonial Williamsburg and the Cheese Shoppe are exponentially harder to navigate in the summer than in the winter—Williamsburg has a great deal to offer law students.

Simply put, I think Williamsburg is the perfect place to attend graduate school. As a Law School alumnus recently put it, “Williamsburg has enough going on to keep you from getting bored, but not too much to distract you from what you’re there for.”  Williamsburg offers plenty of places to eat, things to do, and beautiful scenery—everything that a three-year transplant could want.

Williamsburg is neither a small town nor a big city, which I think is an asset. It takes me ten to fifteen minutes to get to the Law School from the opposite side of town.  I am originally from a small town in Kentucky.  If you wanted to do something—go out to eat, see a movie, go to school for the day, and so on—you had to drive at least thirty or forty minutes to do so.  After high school, I moved to the biggest city in the state for college.  Traffic in Louisville could make what should be a ten-minute drive to Target a rage-inducing, hour-long standstill.  Williamsburg does not have this problem.

As I mentioned above, Williamsburg has plenty of things to do. Students are able to take advantage of Busch Gardens, Water Country USA, the undergrad campus, and Colonial Williamsburg (which is only a short walk from the Law School).  Law Students get free admission to William & Mary’s home basketball and football games.  Additionally, law students typically use the gym, trails, and participate in intramural sports on the undergrad campus.

Williamsburg is also perfectly situated geographically. It takes forty to fifty minutes to get to Richmond or Virginia Beach, two hours to Charlottesville, and three hours to the Outer Banks in North Carolina.  Furthermore, if you are interested in history, Jamestown (the first permanent English settlement in America) and Yorktown (the site of General Conwallis’s surrender to General George Washington to end the Revolutionary War) are both only twenty minutes away.  Williamsburg’s perfect position along Virginia’s coast provides W&M Law students the opportunity to take a variety of day or weekend trips.

I hope you will consider giving Williamsburg a close look. It is not merely a tourist trap or a pass-through between Richmond and Virginia Beach.  Williamsburg’s movie theaters, food, amusement parks, history, College, and location make it a perfect place to go to law school.