Ryan Igbanol, who will graduate from William & Mary Law School in May, has been named the 2007-2008 Drapers' Scholar.
The Drapers’ scholarship is offered every year by the Drapers’ Company of London, enabling one student from each graduating class of William & Mary Law School to earn an LL.M. degree at Queen Mary College of the University of London.
"Ryan has the sort of international interests and commitments that make a year in England quite valuable," said Law School Dean Taylor Reveley. "He's taken almost all, maybe all, of the international courses we offer." Dean Reveley also noted the importance of the reciprocal relationship between William & Mary and the University of London. The scholarship allows the Law School to send a member of the graduating class to study for a masters in the UK and, in turn, the Law School welcomes a Drapers' Scholar from the University of London. "This is a wonderful 'hands-across-the-sea' exchange," Reveley said.
As the 2007-2008 Draper’s Scholar, Igbanol will receive full tuition and a stipend to cover other costs of living. Classes at Queen Mary begin in late September, and Igbanol will spend one academic year obtaining the LL.M., before writing his thesis the following summer.
Igbanol laid his path to pursue international law even before he came to William & Mary. Graduating magna cum laude from American University with a B.A. in print journalism and a minor in political science, Igbanol spent part of his senior year in the Czech Republic, studying Czech and Central European language, literature, politics and history at Charles University.
While at William & Mary, Igbanol served as president of the International Law Society, was a founding member of the William & Mary chapter of Phi Beta Delta (an organization that honors scholarly achievement in international education), and is a research assistant for the Law School's Human Rights and National Security Law Program.
He spent summer 2006 in Kosovo working on rule of law and judicial reform issues for the National Center for State Courts’ International Programs Division.
Igbanol commented that he was impressed with the caliber of the international and foreign law classes offered by the Law School. “These classes and professors—particularly Professors Selassi, Warren, Malone, Koch—have inspired me to pursue this opportunity by piquing my curiosity in international and foreign law,” he said.
Although his interests in international legal development have been well-established at William & Mary, Igbanol commented, “The benefit of being here and then going to London is that I will be provided with all the theoretical underpinnings for this work. My experience in London will build on what I have done here.”
He added that he looks forward to the exposure to others in the field of international law. “This is a wonderful opportunity to meet people from all over the world, and it will afford me a different academic perspective by learning in the British system of higher education.”
“This is the most exceptional opportunity a William & Mary law student can achieve,” Igbanol noted. “I am very sincere about that—only one scholarship is awarded every year—it is humbling and flattering to be chosen. I think this opportunity is one of the things that distinguishes W&M from other law schools.”
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 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.