One of the final duties of a graduating class at William & Mary Law School is to recognize an outstanding teacher. To that end, the Class of 2016 presented Professor Rebecca Green with the Walter L. Williams, Jr., Memorial Teaching Award at the Law School’s Diploma Ceremony on Sunday, May 15.
Green is Professor of the Practice of Law and Co-Director of the Election Law Program, a joint project of the Law School and the National Center for State Courts. She is also Assistant Director of the Center for Legal and Court Technology.
“This year’s recipient is one of the most considerate, impactful professors at William & Mary Law School,” said Ashley Eick ’16 as she presented Green with the award. “Her passion to her fields of study are only matched by her dedication to her students.”
Eick described how Green sponsors a congenial atmosphere built on respect and trust, making the classroom a place where students freely voice their opinions and their thoughts.
“She expertly mixes legal philosophy with practical realism to keep class discussions fresh and engaging,” Eick said. “Never one to shy away from the tough questions, she pushes her students to think through the real-world problems that we will have to face in our post-grad lives.”
Eick added that Green’s expertise in myriad subjects make her an adviser to many in the school. And she goes out of her way to help students obtain summer jobs, explore their interests, or just talk about their future.
“Her dedication to her students is unwavering,” Eick said. “Her door is always open, and she will always be there to help.”
As co-director of the Election Law Program, Green oversees student-run symposia, election-related research projects, the State of Elections blog, and a speaker series that brings election practitioners to campus. She has also executed numerous grant-funded projects, currently through a Democracy Fund grant to build State Election Law eBenchbooks and a Knight Foundation grant for Revive My Vote, a project to assist Virginians in the voting rights restoration process.
In addition to teaching Election Law, Green also teaches Privacy Law and Alternative Dispute Resolution courses. Green's research interests focus on the intersection of privacy law and elections and the use of alternative dispute resolution in election processes.
Before earning her J.D. at Harvard Law School, Green earned a master’s degree in Chinese legal history from Harvard University and assisted with U.S.-China trade negotiations at the U.S. Trade Representative in Washington, D.C. during the Clinton Administration.
Walter L. Williams, Jr., was a member of the law faculty from 1972 to 1991. A scholar of international law, he taught with “enthusiasm, warmth and good humor,” as noted in the resolution establishing the teaching award in his honor.
“Walter Williams was known for his integrity, devotion, love and service to mankind,” Eick said as she announced Green’s award. “With respect to his reputation, I believe that our class has chosen wisely.”
Thomas Jefferson founded William & Mary Law School in 1779 to train leaders for the new nation. Now in its third century, America's oldest law school continues its historic mission of educating citizen lawyers who are prepared both to lead and to serve.