IBRL Student Division
Promoting an Understanding of the Bill of Rights
"A Bill of Rights is what the people are entitled to against every government . . . "
The Student Division of the Institute of Bill of Rights Law (IBRL:SD) was established in 1990 to provide students at William & Mary Law School with the opportunity to organize programs on constitutional law topics of special interest to them. As members of IBRL:SD, students have a unique opportunity to take a leadership role in fostering discussion of important constitutional issues. The IBRL:SD sponsors a variety of academic and social programs throughout the year, including Constitutional Conversations, our Scholarly Luncheon Series, and the annual Edmund Randolph Award for Excellence in Oral Advocacy (the “Silver Tongue Award”), which is held in conjunction with the final round of the Bushrod Moot Court Tournament.
2013-2014 IBRL Student Division Board Members
Scholarly Series Coordinator
Scholarly Series Coordinator
Special Events Coordinator
Constitutional Conversations is an award-winning, non-partisan, community-based education project designed to send law students into the community to educate citizens about their civic rights and duties. The project is developed and maintained by the IBRL:SD, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, and the Williamsburg Regional Library. The goal is to inspire students and adults, alike, to become active participants in the democratic process. Instruction in the history and development of our fundamental Constitutional rights is an indispensable foundation for effective civics training for all Americans. It also serves as the basis for the unique engine of human change. See also http://law.wm.edu/news/stories/2013/community-celebrates-constitution-day-with-constitutional-conversations-event-.php
Our next session of Constitutional Conversations will take place on Wednesday, December 4th from 6:30 to 8:00. The topics are Fourteenth Amendment and Discrimination: Is weight discrimination the new issue? for the adult section, and Equality: A Constitutional Basis for the student section.
"Constitutional Conversations" is an award-winning eight-month long examination of our nation’s founding document. The workshops take place in the Williamsburg Library, located at 515 Scotland St. Participants are divided into groups for age-appropriate discussions on constitutional topics led by William and Mary law students. The most recent topic for adults was “History and Development of the United States Constitution,” and for students, “Judicial Power: Where Does It Come From?" The Institute of Bill of Rights Law at the William and Mary Law School, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation and Williamsburg Regional Library sponsor “Constitutional Conversations.” For more information, visit wrl.org/events, or call (757) 259-4070.
2013-2014 Constitutional Converations Board Members
Student Program Coordinator
Adult Program Coordinator
Public Relations Coordinator
Student Lesson Plan Writer
Adult Lesson Plan Writer
2013 Silver Tongue Award
On February 13, 2013, the Institute of Bill of Rights: Law recognized the sixth recipient of the Edmund Randolph “Silver Tongue” Award for Outstanding Oral Advocacy, Walter E. Dellinger III. Walter Dellinger is the Douglas B. Maggs Professor of Law at Duke University and member of the appellate practice at O’Melveny & Myers in Washington, D.C. He also currently leads Harvard Law School's Supreme Court and Appellate Litigation Clinic. He served as the acting United States Solicitor General for the 1996-1997 Term of the Supreme Court, arguing nine cases before the Court. Prior to this appointment, Walter Dellinger was an Assistant Attorney General and head of the Office of Legal Counsel under President Bill Clinton.
Following the presentation of the Silver Tongue Award, Walter Dellinger served as the Chief Justice for the final round of the Moot Court Team’s Bushrod Tournament. The 2013 Bushrod Problem involves a fictional statute, the Clean Our Childrens’ Lungs Act, which requires tobacco manufacturers to post large textual and graphic warnings on their packing to illustrate the health risks inherent in smoking tobacco. Williamsburg Tobacco filed suit, claiming that the mandatory warnings violates its First Amendment rights. Amanda Cox ’15 argued for the Petitioner, the U.S. government, while Alexander Phillips ’15 argued for the Respondent, Williamsburg Tobacco. After hearing two well-prepared and persuasive arguments, the justices found for the Petitioner, awarding Amanda first place in the Bushrod Tournament.