Law School Announces 2006-2007 Drapers' Scholar

Brian Soiset, who will graduate from the William & Mary School of Law May 14, has been named the 2006-2007 Drapers’ Scholar.

The scholarship competition enables a member of each graduating class at the William & Mary Law School to study law and earn an LL.M. degree at Queen Mary and Westfield College in the University of London. The scholarship is made possible by the Drapers’ Company of London.

“The Law School is very pleased that Brian Soiset will be its 2006-2007 Drapers’ Scholar,” said Law School Dean Taylor Reveley. “Thanks to the great generosity of the Drapers’ Company of London, we can provide an extraordinary opportunity each year for a member of our graduating class to study in the University of London's LLM program. The University of London has some of the world’s foremost scholars in the areas of international development and post-conflict justice, which especially interest Brian.”

As the 2006-2007 Drapers' Scholar, Soiset receives a tuition waiver, living expenses of about $10,000 and travel allowance of $2,500. His appointment will be for one academic year, and classes begin in September 2006.

Before coming to William & Mary Law School, Soiset earned his bachelor of arts degree in history with a minor in classics at The University of Georgia. Prior to law school, he interned with the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, conducting research on the effects that Hungary’s ascension to the European Union would have on its Roma (“gypsy”) population.

At William & Mary, Soiset was the President of the school’s American Constitution Society and a Board Member of the International Law Society. He also worked in the Iraqi Special Tribunal clinic at William & Mary Law School, writing a memorandum on international criminal law for presentation to the Tribunal’s Iraqi judges.

In the summer of 2004, he interned in the legal department of Ashland, Inc., a Fortune 500 Corporation dealing in oil, chemicals, and construction. In the summer of 2005, he served with the American Bar Association’s Central European and Eurasian Law Initiative (CEELI) in Azerbaijan, traveling throughout Azerbaijan to work on CEELI projects involving voting rights, human trafficking, and local governance. William & Mary Law School’s Public Service Fellowship Program helped fund his work in Azerbaijan.

William & Mary’s extensive support of public service was one of the key reasons that Soiset chose to enroll there. “The Law School's Public Service Fellowships are absolutely essential in allowing students to pursue careers in service,” says Soiset. “As public service internships are typically unpaid, the law school's extensive fellowships enable students like me to pursue these internships with relative security.”

“I am honored to be awarded the Drapers’ Scholarship,” Soiset said. “Being able to study at the University of London will serve as an invaluable first step as I begin a career in international legal work. I would like to express my sincere thanks to the Drapers’ Company, Dean Reveley and William & Mary for giving me this tremendous opportunity. When I return to the United States, I hope to work in international development, finding work with either the U.S. State Department or an international non-governmental organization.”

As a Drapers' Scholar, Soiset can take courses in Queen Mary and Westfield College, or any of the other three law faculties of the University of London. These include King’s College, the London School of Economics and Political Science, and the University College of Oriental and African Studies.

From its origins as a medieval guild, the Drapers’ Company today has wide-ranging interests and responsibilities. The Drapers’ Company acts as Trustee for almshouses with some 200 residents and has strong links with a number of schools, supports a miscellany of charitable institutions and annually makes grants for the education and welfare needs of hundreds of people. The Company also manages the Drapers’ Hall’s catering business thereby providing for the comfort, convenience, refreshment and enjoyment of all who use the Hall. This activity enhances the Company’s capacity to further its charitable work.