At the Law School's graduation ceremony on May 13, Professor Stacey-Rae Simcox received the Walter L. Williams, Jr., Memorial Teaching Award, an award given by each graduating class to a member of the faculty in recognition of outstanding teaching. Simcox has taught a variety of courses at the Law School, including Legal Skills, and currently serves as Managing Attorney of the Lewis B. Puller, Jr., Veterans Benefits Clinic.
Ryen C. Rasmus '12 and Kristen M. Byers '12 spoke about Simcox's passion for teaching and her dedication to students.
Rasmus said he and others of Simcox's former Legal Skills students appreciated her expertise in teaching her students "how to think, write, and act like professionals." "We all admired her," he added. "She was the lawyer/gumshoe that we all wanted to be when we grew up: Atticus Finch, Jessica Fletcher, and Hang-'em-High McCoy all rolled into one - and we loved her for it."
Byers, who served as Simcox's teaching assistant in the veterans' clinic, noted that many of Simcox's students cited their experience in the clinic as the "single most rewarding experience" of their legal education. "She is the most dedicated professor I have ever met," said Byers. "When she is not in the classroom, she is meeting with students in her office, driving us to hearings, or taking us to meet with clients at a local homeless shelter."
The award is named for Walter L. Williams, Jr., a member of the law faculty from 1972 to 1991. A scholar of international law, Williams taught with "enthusiasm, warmth and good humor," as noted by the resolution establishing the award in his honor.