Professor James G. Dwyer has been appointed the Class of 2010 Professor of Law by the William & Mary Board of Visitors. The three-year professorship was created by vote of the William & Mary student body in 2004 to recognize outstanding teachers and scholars.
Dwyer joined the faculty in 2000 and teaches courses on youth law, family law, law and social justice, and trusts and estates. He is the author of numerous scholarly articles and three books, The Relationship Rights of Children (Cambridge University Press, 2006), Vouchers Within Reason (Cornell University Press, 2002), and Religious Schools v. Children's Rights (Cornell University Press, 1998).
In a letter recommending him for the professorship, Dean Reveley noted that Dwyer "is among the most pedagogically innovative members of the law faculty. ... Jim stresses an interactive learning style, one that involves an ongoing dialogue with the students, both in and out of the classroom. ... [he] stresses development of the students' thought process and analytical skills rather than legal rules and doctrine. ... Learning how to think about a legal problem or social issue is central to his teaching." In addition to his prowess as a teacher, the Dean added, Dwyer "is a prolific scholar, doing work that materially shapes the national debate on children's rights."
Dwyer received a B.A. from Boston College, a juris doctor from Yale Law School, and a Ph.D. from Stanford University. Prior to his doctoral studies in philosophy, he practiced law in Washington, DC, at Sutherland, Asbill, and Brennan, and Coudert Brothers. He has, in addition, worked in the New York State Family Court as a law guardian for children.
Dwyer currently serves as a member of the Virginia Bar Association's Coalition Committee on Family Law Legislation, on Eastern State Hospital's Ethics Committee, and on the Board of Directors for "Attorneys for the Rights of the Child." In 2001, he was made an Honorary Board Member of the organization "Children's Healthcare Is a Legal Duty." He was involved with the founding of two student organizations at the Law School, the American Constitution Society and the Children's Advocacy Law Society. He is faculty advisor for the latter.