William & Mary Law School’s first-year class recently chose Professor Eric A. Kades as recipient of the inaugural 1L Professor of the Year Award for outstanding teaching. Rebecca K. Jaeger J.D. ’20 presented the award to Kades on behalf of the class at the Law School’s Diploma Ceremony on May 13. “We collectively chose a professor who is not only incredibly knowledgeable in torts and property, but also one who truly goes above and beyond for his students,” she said.
Kades is the Thomas Jefferson Professor of Law. This is his fifth teaching honor. His prior recognitions at William & Mary include the Walter L. Williams, Jr., Teaching Award, conferred annually by the Law School’s graduating class, and the Alumni Fellowship Award for Outstanding Teaching.
To illustrate how he helps and inspires students, Jaeger spoke about her experience as a student in Kades’s spring semester Property Law class. She recalled how he knew each student’s name by heart on the very first day which made “a cold call just a bit better,” she joked. He made the class enjoyable by incorporating engaging hypothetical scenarios and illustrations provided by news stories in his lectures. He answered questions posed by a steady stream of students during office hours and helped Jaeger understand subrogation by drawing a diagram on his iPad. On the Saturday morning of the final exam, he was there “bright and early” to hand out exams to the class. “I won’t say that made the exam any better,” she told the audience, “but it meant a lot that Professor Kades was there to get us started.”
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.