Professors Aaron-Andrew Bruhl, Neal Devins, Tara Leigh Grove, and Timothy Zick are among 20 talented and trailblazing professors from William & Mary to receive the 2017 Plumeri Award for Faculty Excellence, the university announced today.
The award was established in 2009 thanks to a generous gift from Joseph J. Plumeri II ’66, D.P.S. ’11. Read more about Mr. Plumeri and all of this year's Plumeri Award recipients.
"The ultimate goal of the Plumeri Awards is to promote and reward the innovation and creativity of our faculty, who serve as the foundation for the university's excellence,” said Provost Michael Halleran. “Invariably, recipients of Plumeri Awards express what a significant difference their awards make in their teaching and research. That difference can be felt across campus and beyond."
Law School Honorees
Aaron-Andrew P. Bruhl
Professor of Law
Bruhl is highly regarded as a top instructor and scholar at William & Mary Law School. He joined the faculty in 2015, and he has already made a tremendous impact. His students value the way he simplifies complex issues, cares deeply about student learning, and ensures that student questions get answered, whether in or out of class. Since joining William & Mary, he has taught Civil Procedure, Federal Courts, Administrative Law and Legislation. Bruhl also excels in his scholarly endeavors. He has produced nearly 20 full-length articles in his career and a number of shorter pieces as well, on topics ranging from statutory interpretation to Supreme Court practice to judicial confirmation proceedings.
His work has been featured in respected law journals, including the University of Chicago Law Review, Duke Law Journal, Notre Dame Law Review, NYU Law Review and Michigan Law Review. His dedication to academic pursuits, the success of his students and service to the institution have earned him recognition as one of the most promising and valued professors at William & Mary Law School. He holds a doctorate in law from the Yale Law School, a master’s in philosophy from the University of Cambridge, and is a member of the American Law Institute.
Neal E. Devins
Sandra Day O’Connor Professor of Law, Robert E. and Elizabeth S. Scott Research Professor of Law, Professor of Government; Director, Institute of Bill of Rights Law
Devins is one of the most prolific scholars at William & Mary Law School. His articles on constitutional law and the federal courts regularly appear in the nation’s top law reviews, and he is a frequent commentator in the media on constitutional issues of the day. Students appreciate his thoughtful and practical approach in his first-year Constitutional Law class and his inventive Supreme Court seminar, which allows students to meet judges and lawyers involved in the country’s cutting-edge legal issues. As director of the Institute of Bill of Rights Law (IBRL), he organizes the Law School’s annual Supreme Court Preview, bringing leading Supreme Court lawyers and journalists to Williamsburg to discuss the court’s docket. Through the IBRL and the Dunn Civil Liberties Project, which he also directs, Professor Devins ensures that students and faculty have the opportunity to engage with lawyers, judges and litigants on the country’s contested legal questions. He is also dedicated to the Williamsburg community, assisting the William & Mary Child Care Center and serving on the Board of Directors of AVALON. As one of the university’s most respected and hardest-working faculty members, it is only fitting he be honored for the third time with the Plumeri Award. He holds a doctorate in law from Vanderbilt Law School.
Tara Leigh Grove
Cabell Research Professor of Law
Grove is a consummate scholar and teacher. Since coming to William & Mary Law School in 2011, she has demonstrated a deep concern for the text, structure and history of the U.S. Constitution and for the administration of the federal court system. Her ability to provide an engaging and interesting, yet still challenging, environment for debating the merits of constitutional law and federal judicial proceedings has earned her respect from her students. Her scholarship is impressive, with over 60 presentations across the country and published articles in respected journals such as the Harvard Law Review, Columbia Law Review, NYU Law Review and more. She has earned several awards for her work, including the Alumni Fellowship Award and the Federalist Society’s 2016 Paul M. Bator Award, a national award presented to an outstanding legal scholar under the age of 40. Her expertise in the constitutional separation of powers and federal judiciary is world renowned by the legal and media communities, having been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, CBS News and Newsweek; it is no surprise that she is receiving the Plumeri Award for a second time. She holds a doctorate in law from Harvard Law School.
Miles E. Godwin, Jr. Professor of Law
Zick, who joined the law faculty in 2008, is a leading expert on the First Amendment. His books Speech Out of Doors: Preserving First Amendment Liberties in Public Places and The Cosmopolitan First Amendment: Protecting Transborder Expressive and Religious Liberties, have made important contributions to our understanding of freedom of speech and religious freedom. Zick’s intense and deeply thoughtful approach to teaching constitutional law and the First Amendment provides students with an environment where real-world issues are the focus. Students emerge from his classroom with a better understanding of and appreciation for the Constitution and First Amendment freedoms.
Zick consistently receives high marks from students, who praise his balanced presentation of constitutional issues. A prolific author, Zick has published dozens of law review articles. He is working on a third book, The Dynamic Free Speech Clause, which is under contract with Oxford University Press. Zick also serves the William & Mary Law School community tirelessly, having participated on seven different committees and as a faculty advisor since arriving on campus. The value of his scholarly work to William & Mary and beyond is evident; this is his third Plumeri Award in total. He holds a doctorate in law from Georgetown University Law Center.
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.