William and Mary Law School

Law School to Host First Kelly Panel for Excellence in Teaching on Sept. 25

What makes for excellence in teaching? Come join in the dialogue at the first Herbert V. Kelly, Sr. Panel on Excellence in Teaching on Thursday, September 25, from 3:30 to 5 p.m. in room 127 at William & Mary Law School. Admission is free and all are welcome to join in the discussion and the reception afterward. The event is part of a series of programs devoted to teaching organized by Haynes Professor of Law Paul Marcus. In 2007, Marcus was appointed to a two-year term as the inaugural Kelly Professor for Excellence in Teaching.

Interim Dean Lynda Butler said funds for the Kelly Professorship and related programs were made possible by the extraordinary generosity of the late Herbert V. Kelly, Sr. Kelly received his undergraduate and law degrees from William & Mary and was senior partner at Jones, Blechman, Woltz & Kelly in Newport News, Va., until his death last year.

Marcus will be joined on the panel by other faculty including Davison M. Douglas, Laura A. Heymann, and the Honorable Wilford Taylor, Jr., as well as by Latoya Asia '09 and Thomas Ryerson '10. Vice Dean Eric Kades will moderate. While the faculty participants have taught a variety of subjects, each has been recognized for outstanding teaching. Professors Marcus, Douglas, Heymann and Kades each have received the Walter L. Williams, Jr. Teaching Award from recent graduating classes, while Judge Taylor was the 2007-08 recipient of the St. George Tucker Adjunct Professorship Award.

"Teaching was something that Herb Kelly cared about a lot," said Marcus. Marcus said he's used the panel format when he's been invited to lecture about teaching at other schools and found the format to be really enjoyable for both students and faculty. Kades will guide the discussion with questions to the panelists during the first half of the program, while the second half will be guided by questions from the audience.

Marcus believes that there are ingredients common to great teaching, whether you are teaching law or other subjects. "It's preparation, it's enthusiasm, it's involving the students in the educational process," he said.

He welcomed having the opportunity as the Kelly Chair to shine a light on teaching. "I believe in powerful scholarship, that's for sure. But we are about teaching." He added that he's been surprised and delighted by the many alumni he's heard from who've expressed enthusiasm for the addition of the new professorship, which is unique among the many chairs recognizing scholarship at the Law School.

For more information, contact lawcom@wm.edu, or call (757)221-1840.