William and Mary Law School

Awards Ceremony Celebrates the Class of 2014's Achievements and Contributions

  • Awards Ceremony 2014
    Awards Ceremony 2014
    2013-14 SBA President Sean Radomski starts the awards procession by carrying in the W&M mace.
    Photo by David F. Morrill
  • Awards Ceremony 2014
    Awards Ceremony 2014
    Twenty-two students of the Class of 2014 were inducted into the Order of the Coif. Membership is the highest academic honor a law student can achieve.
    Photo by David F. Morrill
  • Awards Ceremony 2014
    Awards Ceremony 2014
    The George Wythe Society Award honors a faculty or staff member who performs outstanding service to the Law School community. This year's winner was Cassi Fritzius, Executive Assistant to the Dean.
    Photo by David F. Morrill
  • Awards Ceremony 2014
    Awards Ceremony 2014
    The ALI-ABA Scholarship and Leadership Award recognizes students who best exemplify a combination of scholarship and leadership.
    Photo by David F. Morrill

On Saturday, May 10, 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 2014’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 at the Law School.

The following awards and special recognitions were celebrated during the ceremony:

Order of the Coif

Order of the Coif, Class of 2014
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 10 percent of their class. Members of the Class of 2014 inducted into the Order of the Coif were: Katie D. Baranek, Erin E. Barrett, Beth R. Budnick, Sarah J. B. Conner, Kevin S. Elliker, Emily A. Gomes, James T. Graves, Elizabeth J. Herron, Meredith E. Hunt, Alex M. Lurie, Alexander S. Mackler, Kayla F. S. McCann, Mary C. Miller, Skyler R. Peacock, Jenna M. Poligo, Sean J. Radomski, Larsa K. Ramsini, Cassandra B. Roeder, Kevin M. Schneider, Andrew L. Steinberg, Melanie V.Woodward, and Peter W. Yagel.

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 Jacqueline R. Denning '76 as an honorary member of the Order of the Coif. Having graduated number one in her class at Emory University with a degree in chemistry, Denning was awarded a fellowship to earn a Ph.D. in chemistry from Stanford, but chose instead to become a law student at William & Mary. She graduated seventh in her class and was an articles editor on the William & Mary Law Review. She then took a job with the prestigious Washington, D.C. law firm of Arnold & Porter, soon becoming a partner and remaining with the firm until her retirement. As a litigator, Denning specialized in complex civil litigation and handled a large number of class action lawsuits. Given her background in science, she excelled in cases involving complex scientific and technical issues. In addition to being a very successful trial lawyer, Denning was a highly effective appellate lawyer.

Academic Awards

ABA State and Local Government Law Award
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 Eileen A. Setien.

ABA-BNA Award for Excellence in Health Law
This award recognizes outstanding performance in the study of health law. Sean J. Radomski received this award.

ABA-BNA Award for Excellence in the Study of Intellectual Property Law
Faculty who teach intellectual property choose the award recipient for his or her outstanding performance in this area of study. Rachel M. Cannon was the recipient of this award.

ALI-ABA Scholarship and Leadership Award
This award recognizes students who best exemplify a combination of scholarship and leadership. The award was presented to Kevin S. Elliker, Elizabeth J. Herron, Kayla F. S. McCann, Alex S. Mackler, and Sean J. Radomski.

American Bankruptcy Institute Award
This award recognizes outstanding performance in bankruptcy law. Alex M. Lurie 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 2014 Scholars were Rachel M. Cannon, Alexander N. Lott, Kayla F. S. McCann, Kristin E. White, and Emily C. Wilson.

Carter Kaplan & Co. International Financial Law Award
This award for outstanding student in international financial law went to Yan Ding.

Drapers' Scholar
The Drapers' Company of London provides a scholarship from Queen Mary College of the University of London for a year of post-graduate study. This year’s Drapers’ Scholar is Ann S. Zachariah.

Excellence in Legal Writing Award
The Graduate Legal Writing Award is given to the student or students who have demonstrated the highest level of legal writing skill during study for the LL.M. degree. The 2014 recipients were Dan Li, Philip J. Mutton, Yue Peng, Yan Sun, Qianyu Wei, and Yishi Zhang.

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 2014 recipient from the Law School was Kathryn E. Leary.

Graduate Academic Excellence Award
This honor is awarded to a student or students who achieve the highest level of academic performance during study for the LL.M. degree. The recipients were Chu Wang, Yang Cheng, Hongwei Ma, Nasser Al Naemi, Ye Tian, and Yishi Zhang.

The William Hamilton Prize
This prize is awarded to the student who has demonstrated outstanding performance in legal history. This year, Meghan S. Stubblebine received the prize.

John E. Donaldson Award
Named in honor of John E. Donaldson, the Ball Professor Emeritus who taught for 35 years at William & Mary Law School, this award goes to the most outstanding tax student. The Donaldson Award for 2014 went to Heather L. Schmidt.

Kruchko & Fries Award
The generosity of the Baltimore-based firm of Kruchko & Fries makes possible the annual recognition of a graduating student or students who have excelled in labor law and employment relations. The recipient is selected by faculty who specialize in this area of law. The 2014 recipient was Kylie L. Madsen.

Legal Practice Scholar Award
The Legal Practice Program annually presents this award to recognize graduating students who have received Honors in at least three semesters of Legal Practice, the Law School's program in legal research, writing, professional responsibility, and lawyering skills. Those recognized this year were Michael D. Arena, Erin E. Barrett, James R. Booth, Carolyn R. Cody, Gregory W. Durham, Suzanne M. Grassel, James T. Graves, Tyler T. Henry, Elizabeth C. Hill, Meredith E. Hunt, Alexandra L. Klein, Alexander S. Mackler, Skyler R. Peacock, Martha E. Petty, Brett W. Piersma, Jenna M. Poligo, Sean J. Radomski, Cassandra B. Roeder, Eileen A. Setien, Meghan S. Stubblebine, Erica L. Woebse, Kristen L. Woychowski, and Peter W. Yagel.

National Association of Women Lawyers Award
This award recognizes a student or students who have 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 2014 recipient was Elizabeth J. Herron.

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: Keith R. Buzby, Christina N. Cerutti, Katlin C. Cravatta, Kevin S. Elliker, Matthew I. Fine, Emily A. Gomes, James R. Ogorzalek, and Peter W. Yagel.

Virginia Trial Lawyers Award
This award recognizes a graduating student, or students, for excellence in trial advocacy skills. The 2014 recipient was Keith R. Buzby.

Journals and Competition Teams

Law Journals
Students who served on the Law School's five student-edited journals were lauded for their many hours of work that resulted, collectively, in the publication of about 6,000 pages of legal scholarship in the past year. In the 2013 law journal rankings, too, the school's journals ranked among the most highly cited publications in their fields:

The William & Mary Law Review is the 21st most-cited general interest law review in the country.

The William & Bill of Rights Journal is the second most-cited specialty law review in the field of civil rights, and the third 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 ninth most-cited specialty law review in the field of environmental law.

The William & Mary Journal of Women and the Law is the eighth most-cited specialty law review in the fields of gender studies, women, and sexuality.

Finally, our newest law review, the William & Mary Business Law Review, is the 12th most-cited student-edited law review in the field of corporate law and business associations, and the 30th most-cited student-edited law review in the field of commercial law. In addition, of the 27 student-edited law reviews established since 2010, our Business Law Review is the third most cited journal, trailing only the Harvard National Security Journal and the UC Irvine Law Review.

The following special recognitions for journal staff also were given during the awards ceremony:

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. William C. Rose received the Thomas Jefferson Prize.

William & Mary Business Law Review - Best Student Note
Christina M. Sumpio 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
Arthur T. Durst was recognized for his outstanding dedication to and support of the journal.

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 Patrick J. Genova.

William & Mary Journal of Women and the Law - Best Student Note
The award was conferred upon Gowri Janakiramanan.

William and Mary Law Review – Best Student Note
Meghan S. Stubblebine was the 2014 winner.

Competition Team Awards
Members of the Class of 2014 who participated in Moot Court enjoyed considerable success.

Erin E. Barrett: Team Semifinalist, New York City Bar Association and American College of Trial Lawyers National Moot Court Tournament, 2013.

Katlin C. Cravatta:  Team Runner-up & Team Best Respondent Brief, Charleston School of Law National Moot Court Competition, 2013; Team Semifinalist, National First Amendment Moot Court Competition, 2014.

Kevin S. Elliker: Team Semifinalist, New York City Bar Association and American College of Trial Lawyers National Moot Court Tournament, 2013; Team Semifinalist, National First Amendment Moot Court Competition, 2014.

Emily A. Gomes: Team Semifinalist, Hebert Wechsler National Criminal Moot Court Competition, 2013.

Daniel E. Nisenson: Team Semifinalist, Ruby R. Vale Interschool Corporate Moot Court Competition, 2014.

Jeanne E. Noonan: Team Champion & Team Best Petitioner Brief, Judge John R. Brown Admiralty Moot Court Competition, 2014.

James R. Ogorzalek: Team Runner-Up & Team Best Respondent Brief, Charleston School of Law National Moot Court Competition, 2013; Team Semifinalist, Ruby R. Vale Interschool Corporate Moot Court Competition, 2014.

The National Trial Team also enjoyed another successful program.

Keith R. Buzby: Lead Recruitment Council, Executive Board; Buffalo Niagara Mock Trial Competition, Buffalo, N.Y.; National Trial Competition, Washington DC.

Christina N. Cerruti: Lead Development Council, Executive Board; ABA Labor and Employment Mock Trial Regional Competition, Washington DC, first place team (1 of 8 teams nationwide to qualify for the national championships); ABA Labor and Employment Mock Trial National Championships, San Francisco, CA.

Taylor L. Connolly: ABA Labor and Employment Mock Trial Regional Competition, Washington, DC, first place team (1 of 8 teams nationwide to qualify for the national championships); ABA Labor and Employment Mock Trial National Championships, San Francisco, CA.

Erik B. Derr: Georgetown Law White Collar Crime Invitation, Washington, DC, semifinalist team; Capitol City Challenge, Washington, DC.

Matthew I. Fine: Chief Counsel, Executive Board; Lone Star Classic, San Antonio, TX; National Trial Competition, Washington, DC.

Emily A. Gomes: Georgetown Law White Collar Crime Invitation, Washington, DC, semifinalist team, Exceptional Individual Advocate Award recipient; Academy of Trial Lawyers of Allegheny County Mock Trial Competition, Pittsburgh, PA.

Andrew H. King: Lead Tournament Counsel, Executive Board; ABA Labor and Employment Mock Trial Regional Competition, Washington, DC, second place team (1 of 8 teams nationwide to qualify for the national championships); ABA Labor and Employment Mock Trial National Championships, San Francisco, CA.

Nandor F. R. Kiss III: Lone Star Classic, San Antonio, TX; American Association for Justice Regional Mock Trial Competition, Raleigh, NC.

Skyler R. Peacock: Lead Recruitment Counsel, Executive Board; Stetson National Pretrial Competition, Gulfport, FL.

Our Alternative Dispute Resolution Team also had a strong year.

Nicole V. Ozeran, Peter W. Yagel, and Leo L. Mensah: ADR Winners, ABA Regional Arbitration, White Plains, NY.

Erik B. Derr and Thomas J. D'Antonio: Tulane Baseball Arbitration Competition, New Orleans, LA.

Kevin S. Elliker: Merhige Environmental Negotiation Competition, Richmond, VA.

Nicole M. Hartz, Liberty National Negotiation Tournament, Lynchburg, VA.

Sarah M. Beason, Elizabeth S. Turner, and Carolyn R. Cody: St. John's Securities Dispute Resolution Triathlon, New York, NY.

Nathan Yu and Keith R. Buzby: Fordham National Basketball Negotiation, NY.

Pamela Kalinowski, Kaylin R. Gaal: South Western Entertainment Law Negotiation, Los Angeles, CA.

Professionalism Awards

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 were Serge B. Agbre, Michael D. Arena, Erin E. Barrett, Scott H. Dranoff, Brian T. Holland, Alexandra L. Klein, Jon W. Lee, Alex S. Mackler, Martha E. Petty, Meghan S. Stubblebine, Christina M. Sumpio, Emily C. Wilson, Melanie V. Woodward, and Ann S. Zachariah.

Presidential Management Fellowship Finalists
Associate Dean Robert E. Kaplan recognized the finalists for Presidential Management Fellowships. They were Nandor F. R. Kiss III and Caitlin D. Cater. 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. (1920-97) 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 Martha E. Petty.

Service Awards

BLSA Recognition
The Dean singled out one student organization with a particularly robust commitment to service: the Black Law Students Association (BLSA). This student group engages in an extraordinary range of service activities, in particular an annual Thanksgiving Basket collection that last November collected about 8,000 items of food and several thousand dollars that provided many needy families in the community with a marvelous Thanksgiving dinner. In addition, William & Mary’s BLSA chapter was named the Mid-Atlantic BLSA Chapter of the Year.

Clinical Legal Education Association Outstanding Student Award
This award is given to a student who shows excellence in the fieldwork 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 2014 recipient was Jacqueline T. Sandler.

Community Involvement 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 recipient was Philip J. Mutton.

Dean's Certificates
Each year the Dean recognizes select members of the graduating class whose efforts on behalf of the Law School community have been especially outstanding. Awarded Dean's Certificates in recognition of their outstanding service were Yvonne T. Baker, Sarah M. Beason, James R. Booth, Keith R. Buzby, Rachel M. Cannon, Mark D. D’Antonio, Jr., Kevin S. Elliker, Matthew I. Fine, Rina M. Gandhi, Nicole M. Hartz, Gregory P. Herrick, Sarah E. Lambert, Alexander N. Lott, Alexander S. Mackler, Kayla F. S. McCann, James R. Ogozalek, Lindsay A. Paladino, Martha E. Petty, Sean J. Radomski, Cassandra B. Roeder, Eileen A. Setien, Andrew L. Steinberg, Janet C. Sully, Emily C. Whitaker, and Peter W. Yagel.

Ewell Award
In 1987, the William & Mary 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, Kristen M. Bergman received this honor.

George Wythe Society Award
Created in 2013, the George Wythe Society Award honors a faculty or staff member who performs outstanding service to the Law School community and demonstrates fidelity to those qualities of character, leadership, and selfless service that distinguished the life of George Wythe. President of the Wythe Society Mark D’Antonio presented the George Wythe Society Award to Cassi Fritzius, Executive Assistant to the Dean of the Law School. A breast cancer survivor, Cassi is involved in numerous organizations and movements to help combat the disease. She has worked with the local affiliate of the Susan G. Komen Foundation, was featured on a Komen billboard in Virginia Beach in 2009, and is involved with a local motorcycle club, The Old Dudes, created in part by her husband, which has raised more than $100,000 for breast cancer research.  She’s also an avid quilter and donates a quilt for SGK to auction each year.  She is also a part of a national movement, Quilts of Valor, whose goal is making quilts that both heal and comfort our war wounded. Quilters around the world donate quilts for servicemen and women. She recently helped organize a delivery of 45 Quilts of Valor to the one of the wards at the Hampton Veterans Hospital.  Cassi has worked tirelessly on this cause, and is one of the busiest members of the Law School staff.

(SBA) 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. Recognized members of the Class of 2014 for their service on Honor Council were Carolyn R. Cody, Jessica J. Hou, Alexandra L. Klein, Alexander S. Mackler, Daniel E. Nisenson, Andrew L. Steinberg, Emily C. Whitaker, Melanie V. Woodward, and Laura A. Wynn.

Legal Practice Writing Fellows
Legal Practice Writing Fellows help incoming first-year students master such difficult tasks as legal writing, brief writing, negotiations, mediations, and client interviews. The Legal Practice Program expressed its indebtedness to the following Writing Fellows for 2014: Erin E. Barrett, James R. Booth, Alexander N. Lott, Skyler R. Peacock, Emily C. Whitaker, Nadja A. Wolfe, and Melanie V. Woodward.

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 2014: Michael A. Althouse, James R. Booth, Scott H. Dranoff, Joseph A. Figueroa, Suzanne M. Grassel, Eric R. Hammerschmidt, Alexandra L. Klein, Sarah E. Lambert, Alexander S. Mackler, Brett W. Piersma, Mark T. Rawls, Jacqueline T. Sandler, Paul W. Silver, Meghan S. Stubblebine, Megan R. Thomas, Simone T. Williams, and Ariana Wright.

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 Katie D. Baranek.

Student Admission Ambassadors
Associate Dean for Admission Faye Shealy recognized the following students for their personal commitment, dedication, and contributions to our recruitment efforts: Katie D. Baranek, Erin E. Barrett, Keith R. Buzby, Alex S. Mackler, Kayla F. S. McCann, Jenna M. Poligo, Elizabeth C. Smith, Janet C. Sulley, and Laura E. Vlieg.

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. 2013-14 SBA President Sean Radomski and incoming SBA President Blake Christopher presented certificates of recognition to Serge B. Agbre, Katie D. Baranek, Erin E. Barrett, Kevin S. Elliker, Scott R. Hardy, Alden L. Hinds, Nandor F. R. Kiss III, Mary C. Miller, Bryan C. Moore, Philip J. Mutton, Nicole V. Ozeran, Raj H. Patel, Erica M. Penn, Sean J. Radomski, and Michael E. Shapiro.

Public Service Certificates
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. Dean Kaplan asked the audience to recognize the 64 Community Servants from the J.D. and LL.M. Classes of 2014. They included Mark B. Badanowski, Yvonne T. Baker, Erin E. Barrett, Sarah M. Beason, Kristin M. Bergman, Jack T. Brock II, Beth R. Budnick, Keith R. Buzby, Rachel M. Cannon, Caitlin D. Cater, Julie V. K. Cersley, Xue Chang, Sarah J. Conner, Katlin C. Cravatta, Thomas J. D'Antonio, Justin C. Dausch, Gobriella M. Davis, Elizabeth A. Dorsey, Kristen L. Ekey, Kevin S. Elliker, Frantz C. Farreau, Amanda L. Fickett, Matthew I. Fine, Rina M. Gandhi, Allison S. Handler, Christopher E. Henning, Gregory P. Herrick, Elizabeth C. Hill, Michael F. Kaestner, Margaret A. Kelly, Rachel M. Kelly, Alexandra L. Klein, Sarah E. Lambert, Kathryn E. Leary, Andrew W. Lindsey, Eduardo L. Lopez, Alexander S. Mackler, Matt Y. Mao (LL.M.), Kayla F. S. McCann, Grant R. McLoughlin, James E. Moore, Daniel E. Nisenson, Jeanne E. Noonan, Katie L. Ocampo, Nicole V. Ozeran, Erica M. Penn, Sean J. Radomski, Larsa K. Ramsini, Cassandra B. Roeder, Heather L. Schmidt, Kevin M. Schneider, Eileen A. Setien, Barbara J. Stansil, Meghan S. Stubblebine, Janet C. Sully, Courtney J. Thomas, Danielle M. Troumouliaris, Elizabeth S. Turner, David M. Weilnau, Simone T. Williams, Emily C. Wilson, Ariana Wright, and Peter W. Yagel.

 About William & Mary Law School

Thomas Jefferson founded William & Mary Law School in 1779 to train leaders for the new nation.  Now in its third century, America's oldest law school continues its historic mission of educating citizen lawyers who are prepared both to lead and to serve.