Law School Welcomes Class of 2010

Class of 2010

The Law School welcomed 217 members of its new 1L class on August 19. The Class of 2010 was chosen from 4,250 applicants, the largest number ever to apply for admission to our first-year class. The prior record was set for the 1L Class of 2007 which had 4,243 applicants. Applicants hailed from all 50 states, Washington, DC, and 41 other countries.

“William & Mary Law School has many strengths,” said Faye Shealy, Associate Dean for Admission. “Overall we received more than 4,400 applications this year for various applicant groups (JD 1L, transfer, visiting, and LLM) – a record number, and a sincere form of recognition for the School. Our new students are an impressive group of aspiring citizen lawyers. We are honored by the strength of the highly qualified individuals seeking legal education at William & Mary. They each have our enthusiastic welcome to the William & Mary family and the world of law.”

“One of the main reasons why I chose to join William & Mary's Class of 2010 was a result of the unbelievable individualized attention that the admissions staff gave me throughout the admissions process,” said Rebecca Roman ’10, a graduate of Brown University who considers Pittsburgh, Pa., her hometown. Roman, who worked as a paralegal in the Washington, DC, office of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meager & Flom before enrolling at William & Mary, added, “From the moment that I applied to W&M, I got the sense that the admission staff viewed me as a person, and not just an application. This was such a departure from the feeling that I got from other law school admissions teams. From the outset, W&M made the application processs – which is usually tense and unpleasant – a warm and pleasant experience. I look forward to beginning my journey in this special community and to helping to further the spirit that brought me here in the first place.”

1L Class members represent 35 states, DC, Canada, and South Korea. These students received undergraduate degrees from 122 different colleges and universities, 15 of which are located in Virginia. Graduates of the College of William & Mary and the University of Virginia represent 17 percent of the new 1Ls, and leading out-of-state schools (more than three students from each) include Baylor University, UCLA, Cornell University, UNC at Chapel Hill, Penn State, the University of Pennsylvania, and the U.S. Military Academy. The entering class had a median undergraduate grade point average of 3.68, the highest GPA of an incoming class at the Law School, and a median LSAT of 164 (the 91st percentile).

Marlin Townes ’10 was born and raised in New Jersey, and attended Hackensack High School where he was an honors student, multi-sport athlete, and president of the concert band. He helped lead his high school football team to back-to-back state championships and a national ranking his senior year. He majored in political science at the University of Pennsylvania, where he was a member of the varsity football team and the New Spirit of Penn Gospel Choir. Townes worked as a litigation paralegal in the New York satellite office of Baker & Hostetler for two years after graduation.

“I chose William & Mary because of the collegial nature of the student body, strong faculty support and instruction, and the mix of a philosophical and practical approach to a legal education,” he said. “After visiting the Law School, there was no question that this was the school for me.”

While most of the students have earned degrees in political science, economics, history and English, a wide range of majors is also represented, from anthropology and biology to industrial relations and physics. Twenty-seven class members graduated summa cum laude and 16 were honored with membership in Phi Beta Kappa.

Robert Poggenklass ’10 from Guttenberg, Ia., received his bachelor of arts degree in philosophy from Cornell College in Iowa, and worked as a reporter and editor for the West Branch Times before embarking on his legal studies. He also recently began his duties as a graduate research fellow for the Institute of Bill of Rights Law.

“While I received a wonderful education at Cornell, I discovered that I would need a higher level of education before I could feel comfortable and confident enough to become an active voice in society,” said Poggenklass. “William & Mary is absolutely the right choice for me.”

Alison McGuire ’10 said she came to William & Mary from Cheyenne, Wy., by way of Washington, DC.

“I spent the previous four years in Washington, working for Wyoming's one member of Congress, Rep. Barbara Cubin, in various capacities, most recently as her press secretary,” said McGuire. “Like most people who stick around DC for a while, I have a true passion for politics and hope to forge a law career that somehow keeps me involved on the Hill. I found Washington a truly amazing city full of unique, driven, and interesting people, but it wasn't quite the atmosphere I was looking for during law school. I think Williamsburg is a wonderful community and find the slower pace of life much more compatible with my Western roots.”

McGuire attended the University of Wyoming, where she majored in political science, minored in international studies, and was a member of the varsity golf team.

Many members of our first-year class participated in debate teams, mock trial teams, judicial boards, hearing boards, and honor councils. One student currently serves as a justice of the peace in his home state. Many held leadership positions in college clubs and groups; many were active participants in a wide variety of sports; and even more of them have a record of voluntarism and community service, something the Law School values when selecting those who have the potential to become citizen lawyers.

Casaundra Maimone ’10 of Williamsburg, Va., studied government and kinesiology as an undergraduate at William & Mary. “My experiences over the past four years thoroughly challenged, engaged, and transformed me, both academically and personally,” she said.

“I believe that I graduated from William & Mary well prepared for law school and convinced of the institution’s deserved reputation of excellence, integrity and service. I now enthusiastically join the Law School community and look forward to the next three years.”

Nine students in the 1L class are in the military: three are Army lieutenants, three are Army captains, one is an E3 in the Marine Corps, one a Coast Guard lieutenant, and one an E6 from the Navy.

Chris Rey ’10 grew up in Spring Lake, N.C., and received a bachelor of science degree in business administration from Walden University. He recently spent seven and a half years in the U.S. Army and served as a commander for the 3rd Special Forces Signal Company at Fort Bragg, N.C. He served a 12-month tour in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom and a six-month tour in Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom.

“My decision to come to William & Mary Law School was simple,” Rey said. “The Law School did not look anything like the environment I was in two months prior – Afghanistan. After seeing the beauty of the Williamsburg area and sensing the great atmosphere from the students throughout the Law School, I was sold before I completed my visit. When I got on the road to head home, I knew right then this was the place for me.”

In addition to the Class of 2010 J.D. candidates, 13 students have joined William & Mary Law School for one year of study in the American Legal System Program as LL.M. degree candidates. These students are from China, Germany, Korea, Ukraine and the United Kingdom.

The Law School community also welcomed 14 transfer students, four visiting students, and two exchange students from New Zealand.