A number of eminent leaders in law have been honored with portraits at William & Mary Law School. Count Jayne Barnard, James Cutler Professor of Law, Emerita, as the newest—and the first woman to be thus celebrated.
Barnard’s portrait, commissioned by an anonymous donor and painted by Williamsburg artist Connie Desaulniers, was officially unveiled on Friday, April 13, during the opening festivities of Alumni Weekend 2018. Alumni, students, faculty, staff and friends joined Dean Davison M. Douglas in the Hixon Center’s Penny Commons to celebrate Professor Barnard’s years of service and countless contributions to the Law School.
“It’s such a pleasure to honor a colleague who has meant so much to this law school, to our students and to the profession,” Douglas said. “Today is a day of joy and celebration.”
Joining Douglas in offering remarks was Haynes Professor of Law Paul Marcus, who referred to Barnard as “truly the perfect law professor.” Whether she was taking personal interest in students’ lives, helping found the Business Law Review or chairing every committee with great energy, Marcus said Barnard provided a “voice of reason and wisdom.”
Also offering testimonial was Anita Poston ’74, a partner in the Norfolk, Virginia, office of Vandeventer Black LLP and trustee of The Marshall-Wythe School of Law Foundation. Poston recounted Barnard’s service as President of the Virginia Bar Association, her spirit of adventure in both her personal and professional lives, and her community service and commitment to civil liberties.
Judy Conti ’94 was also on hand, offering a former student’s perspective.
“Jayne didn’t just teach the black letter of the law,” Conti said. “Jayne’s class was as much about political science and corporations in America.”
Conti, who considers Barnard a mentor and friend, praised Barnard for keeping up with so many alumnae, remaining their mentor, donating to organizations they founded or run, and staying so engaged. (Conti was herself co-founder and executive director of the D.C. Employment Justice Center, a legal service provider devoted to workplace justice in the D.C. metro area.)
Barnard spent more than three decades working with the American Civil Liberties Union, fighting for civil rights and civil justice around the country. In September 2010, she was elected President of the ACLU of Virginia, the culmination of a 30-year commitment to the cause.
In addition to being a Cutler Professor, Barnard was the James Goold Cutler Professor of Law and the Herbert V. Kelly, Sr., Professor of Teaching Excellence. She holds a J.D. from the University of Chicago and a B.S. from the University of Illinois. She has written extensively about white-collar crime, securities regulation, corporate finance, and behavioral economics.
Retiring from the Law School in 2015, Barnard now serves as coordinator of academic events and chair of the planning committee for William & Mary’s celebration of 100 Years of Women.
“I am thrilled there will be a woman on our walls, the first of many, because she is a trailblazer, and it’s only fitting that she leads the way,” Conti said. “Jayne is one of the most fabulous women I’ve ever met.”
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.