William and Mary Law School

W&M Law School 2011 Commencement Awards

  • W&M Law Students Processional
    W&M Law Students Processional
    Graduating Law School students lined up near the Sunken Gardens before the processional into the tent.
    Ami Dodson
  • Law School Processional
    Law School Processional
    Dean Davison Douglas, Senator Mark Warner, President Taylor Reveley and law school faculty helped lead the processional into the Sunken Gardens.
    Ami Dodson
  • Reveley Award
    Reveley Award
    W&M President Taylor Reveley, center, congratulated Douglas Smith, J.D. '06, at left, and Douglas Bunch, B.A. '02, J.D. '06, at right, during Alumni Weekend in April on their selection by the Law School Association as the inaugural co-recipients of the Taylor Reveley Award.
    Colonial Photography
  • Senator Mark Warner
    Senator Mark Warner
    United States Senator Mark Warner delivered the 2011 Commencement address at William & Mary Law School.
  • Commencement 2011
    Commencement 2011
    Senator Warner urged graduates to remember their responsibility to "a larger community" and to "recognize ... the genius of the founding fathers that said that we still have to find common ground, we still have to be willing to compromise for the greater good."
    Colonial Photography

Multiple awards were presented during the 2011 William & Mary Law School Commencement Ceremony. Click on any of the links below to learn more about them.

Citizen Lawyer Award
Taylor Reveley Award
Walter L. Williams, Jr. Memorial Teaching Award
Lawrence W. I'Anson Award
George Wythe Award
Thurgood Marshall Award
John Marshall Award

Citizen Lawyer Award

Anne B. Shumadine, J.D. '83, was honored with the Law School Association's 2011 Citizen Lawyer Award during the Law School's graduation on May 15. The award, the Association's highest recognition, is given annually to a graduate or friend of the Law School who has made "a lifetime commitment to citizenship and leadership."

Association Board President Fernand A. Lavallee, J.D. '88, a partner at DLA Piper in Washington, DC, presented the award to Shumadine. He commended her as a business leader in Hampton Roads and as a "tireless advocate for education."  She has, he said, "pressed her legal training into the service of others and in doing so has made her mark, one of a broad and lasting impact on our community."

Lavalee enumerated the leadership roles that Shumadine has played in many community and nonprofit organizations, including, for example, chair and past president of the ACCESS College Foundation; former rector of Old Dominion University's Board of Visitors; and trustee of the Chrysler Museum of Art, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, and Virginia Wesleyan College.

A graduate of Wellesley College, Shumadine served as an editor of the William and Mary Law Review during law school and was inducted into the Order of the Coif.  She is the chairman of Signature Financial Management, Inc., in Virginia. In addition to her many civic endeavors, she has served on the Advisory Board of the William & Mary Tax Conference and as a trustee of the Marshall-Wythe Law School Foundation.

The concept of the citizen lawyer is rooted in Thomas Jefferson's original mission for the Law School that he created in 1779 at the College of William & Mary. Jefferson and the man he recruited to establish the school, his mentor George Wythe, wanted students not only to be skilled practitioners of the law, but also leaders for the common good of their communities, states and nation.

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Taylor Reveley Award

The William & Mary Law School Association recognized Douglas Bunch, B.A. '02, J.D. '06, and Douglas Smith, J.D. '06, during graduation on May 15 as co-recipients of the Taylor Reveley Award for their work on behalf of children in the developing world.  The new award, announced earlier this year, recognizes outstanding commitment to public service by an alumnus or alumna who has graduated within the previous 10 years.

Bunch and Smith, both practicing attorneys, are among the founders of Global Playground, a charity based in New York City which helps build schools and libraries for children in the developing world.  The co-recipients could not be present at the ceremony, due to a previously scheduled trip on behalf of the organization to Thailand.  The pair did, however, have a chance to receive the congratulations of William & Mary President Taylor Reveley, the award's namesake, during an April trip to Williamsburg for their class reunion.

Association President Fernand A. Lavallee '88, a partner at DLA Piper in Washington, DC, told the audience the award honored Reveley's "many contributions as a Citizen Lawyer and his advancement of the Citizen-Lawyer ideal while dean of the Law School."

Bunch and Smith, Lavallee said, helped to shape a charitable organization that has a goal "as huge as it is straightforward: to the degree that underdeveloped countries lack the educational resources they need, Global Playground aims to provide them."

Bunch serves as Global Playground's chairman and practices law at Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll in Washington, DC. He is also the founder and executive director of Ascanius: The Youth Classics Institute and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Northeast Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages.

Smith, who clerks for Judge Richard L. Gabriel of the Colorado Court of Appeals, is a director of the charity and serves as its secretary.  He practiced law in New York City earlier in his career and served as a clerk to Judge Beverly B. Martin of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.

This is the second award created by the Law School Association to recognize public service.  The first, the Citizen Lawyer Award, is also given annually at graduation and recognizes a graduate or friend of the Law School who has demonstrated a lifetime commitment to citizenship and leadership.

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Walter L. Williams, Jr. Memorial Teaching Award

At the Law School's May 15 graduation ceremony, Professor Susan Grover received the Walter L. Williams, Jr., Memorial Teaching Award, an award given by the graduating class to a member of the faculty in recognition of outstanding teaching. Grover was also recently named a University Professor for Teaching Excellence by the College of William & Mary.

The award was presented by Rica Hudson Calhoun ’11 on behalf of the graduating class. Calhoun spoke of Grover’s commitment to her students, and their sense that she cared about each of them inside and outside the classroom.  “Through her selfless contributions to her area of law, the legal community, and the students of Marshall Wythe,” said Calhoun, “Professor Grover has made all our paths a little easier. Her passion and commitment to equality serve as an example we should all strive to emulate.”

Grover joined the law school faculty in 1988. She received her J.D. from Georgetown University Law School and an A.B. from Hollins College. She clerked for Chief Judge Spottswood W. Robinson, III of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and Judge Oliver Gasch of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. In the fall of 1999, Grover served as the Distinguished Visiting Professor of Teaching Effectiveness at the Franklin Pierce Law Center. She is a member of the Board of Directors for Virginia Lawyers Helping Lawyers and a member of the American Bar Association’s Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs. She teaches Civil Procedure; Civil Rights Law; Employment Discrimination Law; Law and Society; and Women and the Law.

The award is named for Walter L. Williams, Jr., a member of the faculty from 1972 to 1991. Following his death after a long illness, a faculty resolution lauded his numerous contributions as a scholar of international law, professor and colleague. Williams taught with "enthusiasm, warmth and good humor," the resolution noted, and was loved and admired by students.

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Lawrence W. I'Anson Award

Brandon L. Boxler '11 and Garrett D. Urban '11 received Lawrence W. I' Anson Awards, the highest awards given to a graduating student, or students, by the law faculty, during graduation on May 15.

In his remarks Dean Davison M. Douglas told the audience that the award recognizes "strong evidence of great professional promise through scholarship, character, and leadership."

Boxler graduated third in his law school class and served as the lead notes editor of the William & Mary Law Review. He was a member of the Moot Court team that won the 2009 Vanderbilt First Amendment Competition and also was part of the Trial Team group that won the 2010 Gourley Competition. After graduation, he will clerk for Judge Edward E. Carnes of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit and then will join the firm of Arnold & Porter in Washington, DC.

Urban, the class valedictorian, graduated with a 4.1 grade point average. The dean noted that Urban finished his first year of law school with a GPA of 4.2. "Garrett, you slipped a bit - let's talk," Douglas joked. 

Urban was a senior notes editor of the William & Mary Law Review and was a recipient of the American Bankruptcy Institute's 2010 Medal of Excellence in Bankruptcy. In the coming year he will clerk for Judge Rebecca Beach Smith of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.

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George Wythe Award

Third-year student Tamar Jones ‘11 received the George Wythe Award, given in recognition of outstanding and selfless service by a member of the student body, during the Law School's graduation ceremony on May 15.

Dean Davison M. Douglas noted that Jones is a first generation American; her father is Jamaican and her mother was born in England to Jamaican parents. Jones graduated from Cornell University then worked for several years as a paralegal in New York City and Richmond before entering law school. 

Although Jones had not been involved with student government prior to law school, her classmates recognized her talents and elected her president of the Student Bar Association. “During her tenure,” said Douglas, “Tamar showed wonderful leadership skills, dealing with a range of important issues to the law school. She has also been involved with many other law school activities, including Moot Court, the Journal of Women and the Law for which she was an Articles Editor, and the Student Hurricane Network, an organization that travels to New Orleans to help with rebuilding efforts after Hurricane Katrina.”

The award is named in honor of George Wythe, a leading revolutionary-era statesman, who was the College of William & Mary's – and the nation's – first professor of law.

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Thurgood Marshall Award

Graduating student Laura Jacobson received the Thurgood Marshall Award for distinguished pro bono work during the Law School’s graduation ceremony on May 15. The award goes to a member of the graduating class who exhibits the ideals of distinguished public service exemplified by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall (1908-1993) and who shows a powerful commitment to public service.

“Although many of our students have demonstrated a profound commitment to public service,” said Dean Davison M. Douglas, “Laura Jacobson stood out among her peers with overwhelming support in the nomination process.”

Jacobson came to William & Mary Law School with a deep commitment to public service. A fluent Spanish speaker who had spent time living in Central America, “Laura had a particular desire to serve the Spanish speaking immigrant population in Williamsburg,” said Douglas. “During her first year here, she founded a new student organization, De Vecino a Vecino (neighbor to neighbor) that addresses the educational and legal needs of that population.”

One classmate wrote of Jacobson’s work: “Through Laura’s efforts, De Vecino has given presentations on legal rights and civil liberties in Spanish; matched law students up with primary school students who need tutoring in English and other subjects; and recruited law students to help conduct intake clinics at immigration detention centers.  She has helped meet underserved needs in our community and created opportunities for law students to enrich their experience here.” 

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John Marshall Award

Vice Dean and Professor Eric Kades received the John Marshall Award during the Law School's graduation ceremony on May 15.  The award honors a faculty or staff member who has demonstrated “character, leadership, and a spirit of selfless service to the Law School community.”

Kades has won several teaching awards, including the 2004 Walter Williams Teaching Award, and for the past three years has served as Vice Dean for the Law School. Dean Davison M. Douglas noted, “In that role, he has displayed superb judgment, wonderful instincts about what is best for the law school, a willingness to make hard decisions, and a quiet selflessness – all of which has made him an effective leader in our community.”

Kades joined the William & Mary Law School faculty nine years ago and is a nationally known scholar on property rights and economic development. He graduated from Yale Law School, where he was an Articles Editor on the Yale Law Journal. He clerked for Judge Morton I. Greenberg on the Third Circuit, and began his teaching career at Wayne State University in Detroit. Kades is the author of numerous law review articles that have appeared in North Carolina, University of Pennsylvania, Rutgers, and Yale Law Reviews/Journals, and in the Law & History Review and Law & Social Inquiry.

The John Marshall Award honors the example of John Marshall (1755-1835), who served as the fourth Chief Justice of the United States. Marshall was among the first students to study law under the tutelage of George Wythe at William & Mary.

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