Shana Hofstetter, who will graduate from the Law School in May, has been named the 2008-2009 Drapers' Scholar.
The Drapers' scholarship is offered each year by the Drapers' Company of London, enabling one student from each graduating class of William & Mary Law School to earn an LL.M. degree at Queen Mary College of the University of London. In turn, the Law School welcomes a Drapers' Scholar each year from the U.K.
"Shana has prepared herself well to make wonderful use of this opportunity to further her education," said interim Law School Dean Lynda Butler. "The courses she has taken and the work experience she has gained - both before and during law school - demonstrate a genuine interest and enthusiasm for international affairs."
As the 2008-2009 Drapers' Scholar, New York City native Hofstetter will receive full tuition and a stipend to cover other costs of living. Classes at Queen Mary begin in late September, and Hofstetter will spend one academic year obtaining the LL.M., before writing her thesis the following summer.
Hofstetter's interest in international work began before she ever arrived at the Law School. She graduated from Smith College with her B.A. in French and studied for a year abroad in Paris. After graduating, she went to work for the Claims Conference, a New York City-based non-profit that negotiates with Germany and Austria to recover unclaimed property left by Holocaust victims in those countries. She also worked for the Initiative for Policy Dialogue, a think tank affiliated with Columbia University that explores alternative economic policies for developing countries.
Hofstetter's interest in international relations continued as a William & Mary law student. She says she's taken "just about every international class there is" and spent last summer in Kosovo working on court reform with the National Center for State Courts and with Judge Kathleen Weir at the Supreme Court of Kosovo.
Hofstetter is editor-in-chief of the William and Mary Journal of Women and the Law and wrote her note as a second-year law student on international microfinance.
"Pretty much everything I've done has been internationally focused," Hofstetter said with a laugh.
Hofstetter said that her interest in the Drapers' scholarship came from talking to Ryan Igbanol '07, last year's Drapers' Scholar.
"It's exactly the kinds of classes I wanted to take," Hofstetter said of the LL.M. degree offered by Queen Mary College, "and London is a fantastic city."
After her receiving her LL.M., Hofstetter plans to pursue a career in international legal development and international trade law.
From its origins as a medieval guild, the Drapers' Company today has wide-ranging interests and responsibilities. The Company acts as trustee for almshouses with some 200 residents and has strong links with a number of schools, supports a miscellany of charitable institutions, and annually makes grants for the education and welfare needs of hundreds of people. It also manages the Hall's catering business, thereby providing for the comfort, convenience, refreshment and enjoyment of all who use the Hall. This activity enhances the Company's capacity to further its charitable work.