William & Mary Law School Dean Davison M. Douglas recently presented the 2012-13 St. George Tucker Adjunct Professorship Award to Craig D. Bell, a 1986 graduate of the Law School's LL.M. Program in Taxation and a partner at McGuireWoods. The award, presented during a luncheon at the Alumni House at the beginning of fall semester, is given annually to a member of the adjunct faculty for outstanding service. Bell serves as managing attorney of the Law School's Federal Tax Clinic.
To illustrate the respect that Bell engenders in students, Douglas shared excerpts from their course evaluations. "Professor Bell is an extremely gifted communicator," wrote one student. "This [clinic] is essential for anyone interested in building litigation skills in the tax field." Another noted, "Professor Bell is a great professor. He is passionate about what he does, and it shows." One wrote, "I felt lucky to be learning from such an experienced and highly respected tax lawyer."
Bell is chair of the tax and employee benefits department in McGuireWoods' Richmond office. He served as a judge advocate general in the U.S. Army for six years and, in the wake of 9/11, was chosen by the Department of Defense to lead the DOD office that provided legal assistance to victims of the Pentagon attack and their families. In 2006 he retired from the Army Reserves at the rank of lieutenant colonel after 26 years of service. He earned his Masters of Laws in Taxation at William & Mary Law School after receiving his law degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo. He also holds a B.S. and M.B.A. from Syracuse University.
A leader in his community, Bell is director emeritus and a past president of the Community Tax Law Project, a nonprofit organization that provides pro bono legal representation to low-income Virginians who are involved in tax disputes. He is a director on the Virginia Endowment Fund of the United Methodist Church and also serves on the boards of the Virginia War Museum and the Henricus Historical Park Foundation.
St. George Tucker (1752-1827), the second professor of law at William & Mary, succeeded George Wythe on the faculty and was a pioneer in legal education. He drafted a formal description of the requirements for a law degree at the College, which included an exacting schedule of qualifying examinations in subjects such as history and government. Tucker's course material was published in 1803 as the first American edition of "Blackstone's Commentaries." For much of the early 19th century, this volume was considered the leading authority on American law. Tucker was also a distinguished judge, serving on both the state and federal benches for more than 30 years.