On Saturday, May 12, the Law School community gathered in Colonial Williamsburg's Kimball Theatre with soon-to-be-graduates, their families and friends to celebrate the Class of 2012’s contributions and achievements. Dean Davison M. Douglas presented awards and special recognitions with help from faculty, administrators and staff, and representatives of the Student Bar Association and Honor Council. Following the ceremony, class members and guests enjoyed a reception in the courtyard of the historic Wren Building.
The following awards and special recognitions were celebrated during the ceremony:
Order of the Coif
of the Coif, Class of 2012
Membership in the Order of the Coif is the highest academic honor a law student can achieve. It is equivalent to membership in Phi Beta Kappa for undergraduates and recognizes the scholastic achievements of law students selected from the upper ten percent of their class. Members of the Class of 2012 inducted into the Order of the Coif were Joseph Burres Allen, Jeffrey Todd Bozman, Brendan Matthew Clegg, Caitlyn Alyse Cotter, Lindsey Welter Davis, Kaitlin Courtney Gratton, Timothy Joseph Huffstutter, Katherine Ann Peebles, Nathan Robert Pittman, Thomas Wayne Ports, Jr., Adam Robert Prescott, Benjamin James Reed, Bradley David Reed, Christina Maria Sartorio, Kenneth Charles Silverman, Samantha Lauren Soller, Brendan Eugene Sullivan, Davis Michael Walsh, Jared Aaron Wilkerson, James Robert Zadick, and Samuel Lee Zimmerman.
Order of the Coif, Honorary Member
Coif chapters may elect to honorary membership “those who as lawyers, judges and teachers have attained high distinction for their scholarly or professional accomplishments.” The William & Mary chapter of the Order of the Coif was established in 1981; those chosen as honorary members graduated prior to 1981, and have achieved distinction as law students and as professionals. William & Mary law faculty who are Coif members select the graduate who will receive this honor. This year, the faculty voted to induct Michael R. Borasky ’75 as an honorary member of the Order of the Coif. Borasky, a Pennsylvania native, received his undergraduate degree from Duke University in 1969, and, according to Dean Douglas, was “among the most outstanding graduates of William & Mary Law School in the 1970s.” He graduated first in his class, served on the William & Mary Law Review, and was very active in the Law School’s student government. After receiving his law degree, he joined the firm of Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott in Pittsburgh, Pa., where he has enjoyed an extraordinary career in the practice of complex civil litigation, particularly commercial litigation, and has handled lawsuits across the United States. He has particularly extensive experience in antitrust law, products liability, toxic tort, and environmental litigation. Click here for full story and video clip.
ABA Award for Excellence in Local Government Law
This award, whose recipient is chosen by faculty who teach land use and local government law, recognizes outstanding performance in this area of study. The recipient was Jeffrey Todd Bozman.
ABA-BNA Award for Excellence in the Study of Intellectual Property Law
Faculty who teach intellectual property chose the award recipient for his her outstanding performance in this area of study. Ryen Christopher Rasmus was the recipient of the award.
ALI-ABA Scholarship and Leadership Award
This award recognizes a student who best exemplifies a combination of scholarship and leadership. The award was presented to Kaitlin Courtney Gratton.
American Bankruptcy Institute Award
This award recognizes outstanding performance in bankruptcy law. Jared Aaron Wilkerson was the recipient of this award.
Benjamin Rush Scholars
Named for the "Physician of the Revolution," the Benjamin Rush Scholars are a select group of students who have distinguished themselves by their research for the Health Law and Policy class. The scholars are responsible for choosing the annual recipient of the Benjamin Rush Medal for Advancement of American Health Law. This year's Class of 2012 Scholars were Stephanie Bray Bitto, Amanda Lauren Soberick, Samantha Lauren Soller, and William Scott Versfelt.
Each year the Law School selects one graduating student as the recipient of the Drapers' Scholarship, which is funded by the Ancient Order of the Drapers. The scholarship enables the recipient to earn his or her LL.M. degree at Queen Mary and Westfield College of the University of London. Edward Anthony Eichler was chosen as the 2012-13 Drapers' Scholar.
Family Law Book Award
The Family Law Section of the Virginia State Bar and the Virginia Chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers co-sponsor this award to be presented to a graduating student at each Virginia law school who has demonstrated the most promise and potential for the practice of family law. The 2012 recipient from the Law School was Timothy Joseph Huffstutter.
Graduate Legal Excellence Award
This honor is awarded to a student, or students, who achieves the highest level of academic performance during study for the LL.M. degree. The recipients were Chunjuan Liang and Yifan Lv.
Graduate Legal Writing Award
The Graduate Legal Writing Award is given to the student, or students, who has demonstrated the highest level of legal writing skill during study for the LL.M. degree. The 2012 recipients are Lili Gu and Yifan Lv.
This prize is awarded to the student who has demonstrated outstanding performance in legal history. This year Timothy Joseph Huffstutter received the prize.
This prize is awarded to the student who in the opinion of the Dean, the President of the National Center for State Courts, and the Director of the Center for Legal and Court Technology has demonstrated the greatest potential in making future contributions to the enhancement of the efficient administration of justice through the innovative use of technology. The recipient of this year's award was Zachary Alexander Withers.
Kruchko & Fries Award
The generosity of the Baltimore-based firm of Kruchko & Fries makes possible the annual recognition of a graduating student who has excelled in labor law and employment relations. The recipient is selected by faculty who in this area of law. The 2012 recipient was Lindsay Welter Davis.
Legal Skills Scholar Award
The Legal Skills Program annually presents this award to recognize graduating students who have received Honors in at least three semesters of Legal Skills, the Law School's program in legal research, writing, professional responsibility, and lawyering skills. Those recognized this year were Christa Joy Barber, Lindsay Marie Bouffard, Jeffrey Todd Bozman, Kristen Ruth Brown, Laura MinSun Brymer, Daniel Michael Carrico, Dominique Jhonquiana Church, Richard Thomas Clausi, Jr., Brendan Matthew Clegg, Caitlyn Alyse Cotter, Laura L. Deneke, James Ian Dougherty, James Eeickson Evans, Karen Elizabeth Gillespie, Kaitlin Courtney Gratton, Arya Hariharan, Leah Michelle Jackson, Hanh H. Le, Eli Jason Scott Mackey, Peter Christopher Nanov, Katherine Ann Peebles, Nathan Robert Pittman, Thomas Wayne Ports, Jr., Ryen Christopher Rasmus, Emily Lauren Riggs, Rachel Marie Roberts, Jacqueline Ann Rogers, Julie Michelle Silverbrook, Amanda Lauren Soberick, Jeffrey Neil Stedman, William Ryan Stephens, Jessica Catherine Strock, Michael Lawerance Warwick, Lindsey Renee Welter Davis, Zachary Alexander Withers, and James Robert Zadick.
National Association of Women Lawyers Award
This award recognizes a student who has contributed to the advancement of women in society by promoting issues and concerns of women in the legal profession, exhibiting motivation, tenacity and enthusiasm, demonstrating academic achievement, and earning the respect of the Dean and faculty. The 2012 recipient for her class was Julie Michelle Silverbrook.
Virginia Trial Lawyers Award
This award recognizes a graduating student, or students, for excellence in trial advocacy skills. The 2012 recipients were Madelyn Marie Buckley and Janet Jin Ah Lee.
Dean Douglas asked students who had served on the Law School's five student-edited journals to stand and be recognized. He lauded them for their many hours of work that resulted, collectively, in the publication of more than 5,000 pages of legal scholarship in the past year.
He also shared the results of the 2011 law journal rankings recently released by Washington and Lee University. In that ranking, the school's journals ranked among the most highly cited publications in their fields:
The William and Mary Law Review is now the 18th most-cited general interest law review in the country, in a tie with the Vanderbilt Law Review, and just ahead of the University of Chicago Law Review.
The William & Bill of Rights Journal is now the second most-cited specialty law review in the field of civil rights, and the fourth most-cited specialty law review in the field of constitutional law.
The William & Mary Environmental Law and Policy Review is the most cited specialty law review in the field of energy law, and the thirteenth most-cited specialty law review in the field of environmental law.
The William & Mary Journal of Women and the Law is the tenth most-cited specialty law review in the fields of gender studies, women, and sexuality.
The William & Mary Business Law Review, which published its inaugural volume in spring 2010, is the eleventh most-cited specialty law review in the field of corporate law and business associations, and the twenty-third most-cited specialty law review in the field of commercial law.
The following special recognitions for journal staff also were given during the awards ceremony:
William & Mary Environmental Law and Policy Review Award for Excellence in Scholarship
This award recognizes the most outstanding student note published in the Environmental Law and Policy Review. The recipient was Garrett Douglas Trego.
William & Mary Bill of Rights Journal - Thomas Jefferson Prize
The Thomas Jefferson Prize is awarded every year to the author of the best student note during the journal's end-of-year banquet. It is given for the contribution that best addresses a novel and timely issue in constitutional law in a clear and persuasive manner. Joseph Burres Allen received the Thomas Jefferson Prize.
William & Mary Business Law Review - Best Student Note
Joseph Burres Allen received this award in recognition of having written the most outstanding student note published in the Business Law Review.
William & Mary Business Law Review - Outstanding Member
Sophia Anne Chase was recognized for her outstanding dedication to and support of the journal.
William & Mary Journal of Women and the Law - Outstanding Member
In recognition of her outstanding dedication and support to the journal, the award was presented to Alyson Marie Drake.
William & Mary Law Review - Best Student Note
The award was conferred upon James Erickson Evans for his note, "The Flesh and Blood Defense," which appeared in Issue 4 of the Law Review.
Competition Team Awards
Dean Douglas noted that our competitive teams have enjoyed remarkable success. Participation on the Moot Court, National Trial, and Alternative Dispute Resolution teams help students hone their skills as they vie in competitions against students from other schools, he said.
The following graduates were recognized for their achievements:
Christopher Robert Brennan - Semifinalist at 2011 Ruby R. Vale Interschool Corporate Moot Court Competition at Widener Law School
Laura MinSun Brymer - Won the Pace International Criminal Court Moot Competition, won Best Oralist for the final round, and argued at the international finals at the Hague
Madelyn Marie Buckley - First Place, 2010 John C. Costello National Criminal Advocacy Tournament; Finalist, 2011 Capitol City Challenge Trial Advocacy Tournament; Semifinalist, 2011 Puerto Rico Trial Advocacy Competition; Quarterfinalist, 2012 Capitol City Challenge Trial Advocacy Tournament
Richard Thomas Clausi, Jr. - Moot Court: Champion and Best Oralist for Final Round; 2011 Charleston School of Law National Moot Court Tournament; Region 4 Champion, 2011-2012 NYC Bar Association National Championships, and finished top eight in the country at the 2012 Andrews Kurth National Moot Court Championships. National Trial Team: Regional Finalist, 2010 ABA Labor & Employment Law Trial Advocacy Competition; Regional Finalist; 2011 AAJ Student Trial Advocacy Competition; Semi-Finalist at the 2011 Puerto Rico Trial Advocacy Competition.
Mark William Connolly - Quarterfinalist at 2012 Leroy R. Hassell, Sr., National Constitutional Law Moot Court Competition at Regent Law School
James Ian Dougherty - Semifinalist and 4th Best Brief at 2011 American Bar Association Regional Tournament; 3rd Best Oralist at Pepperdine National Entertainment Law Moot Court Competition; quarterfinalist at 2012 Charleston National Moot Court Competition
James Erickson Evans - Semifinalist and Best Oralist at 2011 American Bar Association Regional Tournament, Region 4 Champion for 2011-2012 New York City Bar Association National Championships, and finished top eight in the country at Andrews Kurth National Moot Court Championships
Nathan Wesley Lambeth - Champion and Best Brief at the 2012 Stetson International Environmental Moot Court Competition-Atlantic Regional; 2012 Second Best Brief at the Stetson International Environmental Moot Court Competition-International Finals.
Jin An Lee - Outstanding Brief, 2012 South Texas Invitational; 2011, First Place, Stetson Tournament; 2011 Second Place, Capital City Challenge.
Eli Jason Scott Mackey - Semifinalist at 2011 Black Law Students Association Moot Court Tournament
Thomas W. Ports, Jr. - Semifinalist and 4th Best Brief at 2011 American Bar Association Regional Tournament; quarterfinalist at 2012 Charleston National Moot Court Competition
Emily Lauren Riggs - Member, one of top 16 teams, 2012 J. Braxton Craven, Jr., Memorial Competition at the University of North Carolina School of Law
Jacqueline Ann Rogers - Best Brief and Quarterfinalist at 2012 Ruby R. Vale Interschool Corporate Moot Court Competition at Widener Law School; Quarterfinalist at 2011 Leroy R. Hassell, Sr., National Constitutional Law Moot Court Competition at Regent Law School
Kenneth Charles Silverman - Semifinalist at 2011 Black Law Students Association Moot Court Tournament
Valentine Uduebor - Member, one of top 16 teams, 2012 J. Braxton Craven, Jr., Memorial Competition at the University of North Carolina School of Law
Davis Michael Walsh - Champion of 2011 Charleston School of Law National Moot Court Tournament, Region 4 Champion for 2011-2012 New York City Bar Association National Championships, and finished top eight in the country at Andrews Kurth National Moot Court Championships
Michael Lawrence Warwick - Semifinalist at 2011 Ruby R. Vale Interschool Corporate Moot Court Competition at Widener Law School; Seventh Best Oralist at 2012 Wechsler First Amendment Moot Court Competition
Zachary Alexander Withers - Champion, Best Brief, and Best Oralist for the Final Round at the 2012 Stetson International Environmental Moot Court Competition-Atlantic Regional; 2012 Second Best Brief at the Stetson International Environmental Moot Court Competition-International Finals.
Order of Barristers
The Order of Barristers, chartered in 1970, is a national honor society that recognizes "graduating law students who excelled as student advocates in written and oral advocacy activities and competitions - moot court, mock trial, and ADR." Certificates were presented to the following inductees: Laura MinSun Brymer, Richard Thomas Clausi, Jr., Caitlyn Alyse Cotter, Lindsay Welter Davis, James Erickson Evans, Nathan Wesley Lambeth, Janet Jin Ah Lee, and Davis Michael Walsh.
Gambrell Professionalism Award
This award honors students from each of the Legal Skills law offices who best represent professionalism, public service, integrity, and dedication to the improvement of lawyering skills. Gambrell Award recipients included Christa Joy Barber, Lindsey Marie Bouffard, Jeffrey Todd Bozman, Kristen Ruth Brown, Laura MinSun Brymer, Madelyn Marie Buckley, Dominique Jhnoquiana Church, Lindsey Welter Davis, James Ian Dougherty, Karen Elizabeth Gillespie, Adam Robert Prescott, Rachel Marie Roberts, Jacqueline Ann Rogers, and Zachary Withers.
Presidential Management Fellowship Finalists
Dean Douglas recognized the finalists for Presidential Management Fellowships. They were Dustin Lafe Allison, Michael Robert Bagel, and Jason Michael Howell. The Program's purpose is to "attract to the Federal service outstanding men and women from a variety of academic disciplines and career paths who have a clear interest in, and commitment to, excellence in the leadership and management of public policies and programs."
Spong Professionalism Award
This award is given by the Society of the Alumni of the College of William & Mary to a third-year law student who best exemplifies professionalism and ethics in the Legal Skills Program. It honors the memory of William B. Spong, Jr. (1920-1997) who served as Dean of the Law School from 1976 to 1985. Before entering academia, Dean Spong represented Virginia in the U.S. Senate from 1966 to 1973, and had served previously as a member of the Virginia House of Delegates and the Virginia State Senate. This year's award was given to Laura MinSun Brymer and James Ian Dougherty.
Each year the Dean recognizes select members of the graduating class whose efforts on behalf of the Law School community have been especially outstanding. In his remarks, Dean Douglas spoke about the remarkable number of student organization active at the Law School, which now number about 50. They include five student-edited journals, a student newspaper, the Honor Council, the Student Bar Association, three competitive teams, and numerous student organizations, many of which are involved in public service. All students who participated in a student organization were asked to stand and be recognized for their service to the school. Awarded Dean's Certificates in recognition of their outstanding service were Michael Robert Bagel, Stephanie Bray Bitto, Jeffrey Todd Bozman, Kristen Ruth Brown, Laura MinSun Brymer, Sophia Anne Chase, Richard Thomas Clausi, Jr., James Ian Dougherty, James Erickson Evans, Brittany Nicole Lee-Richardson, Margaret Holt McEvoy, Lillian Frances McManus, Jonathan Antwan Peterson, Lauren Ashley Santobar, Julie Michelle Silverbrook, Jay Kant Sinha, Jessica Catharine Strock, William Lawton Tufts, Davis Michael Walsh, Jamie Lee Williams, Lauren Alise Williams, and Bailey Jennifer Woolfstead.
Academic Support Program Teaching Assistants
The Law School chooses a select group of students each year to work in the Academic Support Program to help their peers maximize their academic success. Recognized for their contributions as ASP Teaching Assistants were Katherine Linna Barbiere, Stephanie Bray Bitto, John Paul Cimino, Lindsey Welter Davis, Kaitlin Courtney Gratton, Bradley David Reed, Jacqueline Ann Rogers, Kenneth Charles Silverman, and Bailey Jennifer Woolfstead.
The Dean noted that the Black Law Students Association is among the most active service-focused groups at the Law School. He asked that BLSA members stand and be recognized. This year, for the fourth year in a row, the Law School's BLSA chapter received recognition as the Mid-Atlantic BLSA "Chapter of the Year." In addition, in March, the chapter was honored as the runner-up "National BLSA Chapter."
Clinical Legal Education Association Outstanding Student Award
This award is given to a student who shows excellence in the field work component of the clinical course based on the quality of the student's performance in representing individual clients or in undertaking group advocacy or policy reform projects; excellence in the seminar component of the clinical course based on the quality of the student's self-reflection in exploring the legal, ethical, strategic, and other pertinent issues raised in the particular clinic; and the extent of the student's contribution to the clinical community. The Class of 2012 recipient was James Erickson Evans.
In 1987, the W&M Student Assembly established an award to honor well-rounded students - both graduate and undergraduate - who best exemplified a liberal arts education through their activities as well as studies. The award was named in honor of Benjamin Stoddert Ewell, the College's 16th president, who by ringing the Wren Building bell during the Civil War kept the spirit of the College alive until the students returned to campus. This year, two law students received this honor: James Ian Dougherty and Andrew A. Chan.
Graduate Community Service Award
The award is given to graduating students in the Master of Laws in the American Legal System (LL.M.) program who have made outstanding contributions to the local community as volunteers. This year's recipients were Yetnayet Zewdie Demissie and Ruihua Zhang.
Honor Council Recognition
The student body's honor system, which protects the environment of honesty and integrity, is one of the oldest and most important traditions of William & Mary and dates back to 1779. 2011-12 Chief Justice James Ian Dougherty recognized members of the Class of 2012 for their service on Honor Council: Dominique Jhonquiana Church, James Erickson Evans, Destiny Shekinah Harris, Thomas Wayne Ports, Jr., Jeffrey Bernard Poulard, and William Scott Versfelt.
Legal Skills Teaching Assistants
The Legal Skills Program chooses a select group of third-year students each year to serve as junior partners of Legal Skills law firms. The following junior partners were recognized for their contributions: Lindsay Marie Bouffard, Bonnie Nicole Brown, Laura MinSun Brymer, Laura Marie Carini, Brendan Matthew Clegg, Caitlyn Alyse Cotter, James Ian Dougherty, Alexander Emerson Grout, Leah Michelle Jackson, Alexander T. MacDonald, Nicholas Haverkamp Mueller, Amanda Lauren Soberick, Jessica Catharine Strock, and Zachary Alexander Withers.
The Lewis B. Puller, Jr., Veterans Benefits Clinic Award for Excellence
Students who have represented our nation's military heroes by participating in the Puller Clinic and who have emulated the characteristics of selfless service and professionalism are recognized with the clinic's Award for Excellence. The award was presented to the following members of the Class of 2012: Dustin Burres Allison, Eric Edmond Amateis, Michelle Louise Bailey, Jeffrey Todd Bozman, Kristen Marie Byers, John Paul Cimino, Stephen William Hoopengardner, Joseph Harry Kaczmarek, Jonathan George Krug, John William Nobrega, Nathan Robert Pittman, Ryen Christopher Rasmus, Lauren Ashley Santabar, Jamie Rebecca Smith, Garrett Douglas Trego, Mark Joseph Villapando, Jamie Lee Williams, and Bailey Jennifer Woolfstead.
Special Education Advocacy Award
This award recognizes outstanding service to children with special needs and their families by a student who participated in the Special Education Advocacy Clinic. The award is made possible by the generosity of Claire Maddox '05 and Robert Ribble in honor of Evan and in memory of Brooks. The recipient was Jared Aaron Wilkerson.
Student Admission Ambassadors
Associate Dean for Admission Faye Shealy recognized the following students for their personal commitment, dedication and contributions to our recruitment efforts: Michael Robert Bagel, Christa Joy Barber, Kristen Ruth Brown, Laura MinSun Brymer, Andrew A. Chan, Amanda Erin DeBerry, James Ian Dougherty, Timothy Joseph Huffstutter, Emily Helen Lucking, Meredith Katherine McCoy, Noor Hadi Merchant, Andrea Nicole Nixon, Jeffrey Bernard Poulard, Emily Lauren Riggs, Garrett Douglas Trego, and Michael Lawerance Warwick.
Student Bar Association Recognition
The following members of the class were recognized for their significant contributions to the Law School through their work with the Student Bar Association. 2011-12 SBA President Jay Kant Sinha presented certificate of recognition to Sarah Christine Berning, Andrew A. Chan, Lauren Samantha Coleman, Amanda Erin DeBerry, Tianyang Guo, Douglas Edward Haynes, Joanne McGill Kelley, Brittany Nicole Lee-Richardson, Lauren Christine Manns, Jibran Muhammad, William Joseph Novick IV, Jamel Dominique Rowe, Lauren Ashley Santabar, Amanda Lauren Soberick, and Jamie Lee Williams.
Trial Advocacy Teaching Assistant
The Trial Advocacy Program recognized Catherine Marie Wilmarth for her dedication and service to students and faculty as a teaching assistant.
William & Mary Community Servants
Dean Douglas spoke about law students' interest in and dedication to serving the local community. Members of each graduating class who contributed at least 35 hours of pro bono legal service or volunteer service to the local community are designated as William & Mary Community Servants. He asked the audience to recognize the 48 Community Servants from the J.D. and LLM. Classes of 2012. They included Dustin Lafe Allison, Eric Edmond Amateis, Kojo Asamoa-Caesar, Jr., Kristina Marie Beer, Stephanie Bray Bitto, Andrew James Borek, Jeffrey Todd Bozman, Madelyn Marie Buckley, LauraMarie Carini, James Ian Dougherty, Alyson Marie Drake, Rachel Lynn Ganong, Jessica Gilmore McGough, Kaitlin Courtney Gratton, Alexander Emerson Grout, Arya Hariharan, Andrew James Heyward, Leah Michelle Jackson, Jonathan George Krug, Nathan Wesley Lambeth, Janet Jin Ah Lee, Brittany Nicole Lee-Richardson, Chunjuan Liang, Felicia L. Logan, Rosemary Rachel Logan, Diane Stafford Maydosz, Noor Hadi Merchant, Liudmyla Mozgova, Mariel J. Murray, Daniel Richard Page, Katherine Ann Peebles, Danielle Nichole Powell, Ryen Christopher Rasmus, Rachel Marie Roberts, Jacqueline Ann Rogers, Julie Michelle Silverbrook, Jay Kant Sinha, Amanda Lauren Soberick, Samantha Lauren Soller, Bryan Geoffrey Thompson, William Lawton Tufts,Valentine Uduebor, William Scott Versfelt, Mark Joseph Villapando, Jared Aaron Wilkerson, Lauren Alise Williams, Zachary Alexander Withers, and Bailey Jennifer Woolfstead.