On Friday, Sept. 5, Helena Mock J.D. ’00 received the 2014-15 St. George Tucker Adjunct Professor of Law Award. Surrounded by William & Mary faculty, staff, and friends, Mock accepted the honor during a luncheon in the Great Hall of the Sir Christopher Wren Building.
Dean Davison M. Douglas presented her with the annual award, which recognizes outstanding service from an adjunct professor of law.
“Helena has been an outstanding adjunct professor for us for many years,” Douglas said “She has a deep commitment to training students to be excellent lawyers, and we are very grateful for everything that she does.”Students have echoed Douglas’s sentiments. In Mock’s student evaluations, some comments included: “We are fortunate to have her as our professor,” “She is one of the best professors at William & Mary,” and “Greatest professor ever.”
Before coming to law school, Mock served in the U.S. Army. After her graduation from William & Mary Law School in 2000, she joined the Newport News law firm Jones, Blechman, Woltz and Kelly. Four years later, she became a partner. She later served as Chair of the Estate Planning and Taxation Practice Group at the firm. In 2010, Mock began her own estate planning practice in Williamsburg.
As a William & Mary adjunct professor, she has taught legal writing and family wealth transactions, and now serves as director of the Law School’s Elder Law Clinic.
“This was so very unexpected and very much appreciated,” Mock said of the St. George Tucker Award. “As an adjunct, you are just coming in and out of the law school. You don’t have a lot of time to interact with the faculty, so you wonder if any of them even know who you are. But, I love working with the students and it really provides a nice balance with my practice, so I’m going to keep doing it for as long as they want me.”
Mock has also been recognized as “Legal Elite” by the Virginia Business Association, as a Rising Star by SuperLawyers in 2007 and 2008, and was awarded a top 10 rating with AVVO.com.
St. George Tucker (1752-1827), the second professor of law at William & Mary, succeeded George Wythe on the faculty and was a pioneer in legal education. He drafted a formal description of the requirements for a law degree at the College, which included an exacting schedule of qualifying examinations in subjects such as history and government. Tucker's course material was published in 1803 as the first American edition of Blackstone's Commentaries. For much of the early nineteenth century, this volume was considered the leading authority on American law. Tucker was also a distinguished judge, serving on both the state and federal benches for more than 30 years.
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.