Comparative Legal Student Scholars (CLSS) is the student division of William & Mary Law School’s Center for Comparative Legal Studies and Post-Conflict Peacebuilding (CLS/PCP). It is dedicated to offering law students a wide range of academic and real-world professional experiences in the field of post-conflict peacebuilding. CLSS was formed in September 2014 by a group of students to provide direct student assistance to the CLS/PCP Center.
CLSS helps organize the Center’s Distinguished Speaker Series, which has hosted Justices Anthony Kennedy and Richard Goldstone, Albie Sachs, Ambassador David Scheffer, and a number of academics and activists from around the world. CLSS also organizes and participates in research programs that provide direct assistance to legal projects in developing and post-conflict countries. Research has been provided to organizations such as the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance at the Hague, Democracy for Development in Kosovo, and the Open Development Cambodia Initiative.
Our Board Members
President: Anthony Jordan
Anthony is a 2L at William & Mary Law School and is originally from Hendersonville, North Carolina. He came to William & Mary because of their “citizen lawyer” ethos and to study international law. He graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he majored in History and Philosophy. After graduation, he worked for a start-up company in San Francisco, California whose mission was to introduce young Chinese students to the Design Thinking methodology. He also tutored local children part-time on the weekends.
During his 1L summer, Anthony interned for Democracy for Development, a civil society organization in Pristina, Kosovo. While there, he worked alongside his coworkers to monitor the national elections for fraud and corruption. He also participated in public discussion panels and wrote an opinion piece on Kosovo’s future that was published in a national newspaper. In addition, he researched about the bottlenecks that women in Kosovo face in the labor force, as well as the issues surrounding shared parental leave in Kosovo.
Vice President: Layla Abi-Falah
Layla Abi-Falah is a second-year law student at William & Mary Law School earning her J.D. with a concentration in International Law. She graduated from the College of William & Mary with a B.A. in International Relations with a concentration in human rights in the Middle East and Africa. She is committed to a future as a human rights lawyer. Layla had the opportunity as an undergraduate student to conduct policy-relevant research as a part of the Project on International Peace and Security and Center for African Development, and continues such research goals today in her comparative legal work for USAID Jordan CITIES.
Symposium Coordinator: Kelsey Abell
Kelsey Abell is a second-year law student at William and Mary Law School. She is from Alva, Florida and graduated from Florida Gulf Coast University with a bachelor's degree in English with a minor in creative writing. During her 1L summer, Kelsey had the opportunity to work with a firm that specialized in adoption and surrogacy law, and she would like to further her experience in these areas. Kelsey has also served in many volunteer programs catering to children of all ages, and she would like to continue this service through a career in public interest law.
Secretary: Sarah Peck
Sarah Peck is a 2L at William & Mary Law School. She graduated magna cum laude with a dual major in Economics and International Studies from Utah State University. During her time as an undergraduate, she studied abroad on three continents, visiting and doing research in eight countries. Notable exploits in Sarah's travels have included Europe to study economic practices of the EU, Cambodia to study the genocidal aftermath of the late 1900's, and the Dominican Republic on an 18-month service mission. Last summer Sarah worked as an intern for Winrock International in Bangladesh, where she worked on counter-trafficking prosecution. This fall she has worked as an extern with the Federal Public Defenders in Richmond, Virginia doing criminal defense work. In her spare time, she has volunteered as a fair-trade advocate, started a club for refugee service and awareness, and helped with citizenship papers for immigrants.
Comparative Jurist Editor-in-Chief: Lauren Acker
Lauren Acker is a J.D. Candidate at William and Mary Law School. Lauren graduated magna cum laude with a BA in Sociology and Anthropology from Washington and Lee University in 2012. She lived and worked in Oregon, exploring the Pacific Northwest, before returning to Virginia to attend law school. Her studies, internships, and externships at William and Mary have focused on international and environmental law. She spent her 1L summer working in Phnom Penh, Cambodia for Open Development Mekong, and her 2L summer working in San Francisco, CA for Tetra Tech DPK. Upon graduation, she will be moving to and pursuing a career in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Comparitive Jurist Managing Editor: Delia Root
Delia Root is a 2L at William and Mary Law School. She is from Madisonville, Kentucky, and graduated magna cum laude from the Honors College at Murray State University. At Murray State, Delia obtained a bachelor's degree in International Studies with a minor in Chinese. Her studies and internships have been focused on international and business law. She spent her 1L summer working in Beijing, China for Beijing Children's Legal Aid and Research Center.