If it seemed that Associate Dean Rob Kaplan was spending a lot of time sitting in the Law School lobby the week before Thanksgiving—and eating a sandwich, and holding a dog made from a balloon—there’s a good explanation.
It really wasn’t Dean Kaplan.
It was actually the annual BLSA Thanksgiving Basket Competition's winning entry—a combination of comfy chair made of boxes and cans of food and a mannequin topped off by a balloon with Kaplan’s face.
Before Thanksgiving each year, 1Ls representing sections of the Legal Practice Program create displays like this from a wide variety of canned and boxed foods. The idea is to engineer an inspiring display and collect the most amount of food items to help feed the community.
This year’s competition saw 1L students collect 2,413 items, which were then delivered to the William & Mary Campus Kitchen, which organizes the food into baskets, adds a turkey, and delivers them to local families.
This year saw the second consecutive sweep, a Triple Crown of sorts, with Section 3’s homage to Dean Kaplan taking not only the prize for “Best Content” but also “Most Creative Display” and “Judge’s Choice" for overall winner. Section 14’s “International Shoe” (a famous law case) was a close second, as was Section 5’s “Lighthouse.”
Joining the Community Service Committee as a 1L and working on last year’s basket competition encouraged Deborah Goodwin ’19 to become coordinator of this year’s competition.
“I've always had a passion for service and knew this was really an important event for our school, for our community, because there are a lot of families in need, especially around the holidays,” Goodwin said. “It's really great to see the 1L class come together and collect food for those who might not have it around this time.”
Goodwin was impressed with the creations this year, and the fact that another display also featured Kaplan.
"We just love Dean Kaplan here,” Goodwin said. “Any opportunity we get to praise him, we will."
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.