Message from Dean Douglas


November 29, 2011

Dear Alumni and Friends:

During the fall semester 2011, Marshall-Wythe School of Law further enhanced its prominent place on the global stage.

In October, our law school undertook the most ambitious international venture in our history, and one of the most ambitious international ventures in the history of the College of  William & Mary, as we hosted a major two-day international property rights conference in Beijing, China.

We partnered in this effort with Tsinghua University Law School in Beijing, which is one of the oldest and most prestigious law schools in Asia, and an institution with which our law school has enjoyed a cooperative relationship for the past few years.

Our Beijing gathering marked the 8th annual conference of our law school's Property Rights Project, and it brought together the most prominent property rights scholars and lawyers from both China and the United States. One of the highlights of the conference was a keynote address by Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, recipient of the Project's 2011 Brigham-Kanner Property Rights Prize. To catch some of the highlights of our Beijing conference, please take a look at our short video.  Click here to view it on YouTube.

International engagement is nothing new to Marshall-Wythe. We have long understood that we are training a generation of law students who will live their professional lives as citizens and lawyers not just of this nation but of the world. This reality is changing the way we think about legal education at William & Mary.

Many of our alumni work overseas - in more than 40 nations around the world. Other alumni work in the United States, but on matters that take them regularly overseas to serve their clients.

Our students have this same international focus. About a third of our new 1L students studied overseas before enrolling at our law school. And many do so while here. One of the law school's more popular programs is our summer study program in Madrid, at which our students are educated by some of the leading lawyers and law professors in Spain on various aspects of European Union law.

And for those students who cannot study abroad, we bring visiting faculty to our law school from foreign law schools to teach short courses that increase our students' understanding of international law. In the past several months, faculty from the National Law School of India in Bangalore, the University of Cape Town Faculty of Law in South Africa, the University of Auckland Law School in New Zealand, and two different law schools in Spain have taught our students.

And, of course, many of our students spend their summers working overseas. This past summer, more than a dozen of our students worked internationally either for law firms or human rights organizations in places such as Argentina, Cambodia, China, Ecuador, Morocco, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.

And increasingly, many of our students are international students themselves. A small number of our J.D. students have come from abroad, and we currently have 28 foreign lawyers in our one-year LL.M. program in the American Legal System. Their presence in the law school greatly enriches the educational experience for our J.D. students.

Thank you for your support of our work. I hope to see you during the coming year either here in Williamsburg, or at your home in the United States or abroad.

Sincerely yours,

Davison M. Douglas
Dean and Hanson Professor of Law

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