Jeffrey Bellin Honored with 2023 Walter L. Williams, Jr., Teaching Award

  • Outstanding Teaching
    Outstanding Teaching  Dean and Trustee Professor of Law A. Benjamin Spencer, at right, presented Bellin with the award during the Law School's commencement ceremony on May 20.  
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Dean and Trustee Professor of Law A. Benjamin Spencer presented Professor Jeffrey Bellin with the Walter L. Williams, Jr., Teaching Award during William & Mary Law School’s Commencement Ceremony at Kaplan Arena on Saturday, May 20.

The award is determined by a vote of the graduating class, and honors the memory of the late Walter L. Williams, Jr., an outstanding teacher, and member of the faculty from 1972 to 1991. Bellin previously received the Williams Award in 2014.

Spencer quoted from a few of Bellin’s teaching evaluations at the ceremony. One student lauded Bellin as “thoroughly prepared, extremely well organized, very engaging, and can make the most complicated areas of law understandable.” Another noted: “This is the kind of class I imagined when I decided to go to law school. He’s also really funny.” A third student summed it up simply by noting “he’s phenomenal.”

The Williams awards are among several recognitions Bellin has received for teaching since joining the faculty in 2012. He was named a University Professor for Teaching Excellence in 2017, received the McGlothlin Award for Exceptional Teaching in 2018, and, in 2019, received a SCHEV Outstanding Faculty Award, the Commonwealth's highest honor for faculty at Virginia's public and private colleges and universities.

Bellin is the Cabell Research Professor and Mills E. Godwin, Jr., Professor of Law. A noted expert in criminal law and criminal procedure, his commentary has been featured in numerous outlets, including CNN, ABC, USA Today, NPR, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post.

He is the author of “Hearsay,” vol. 30B in the esteemed “Federal Practice & Procedure” treatise and numerous other books and articles. Cambridge University Press published his most recent book earlier this year, titled “Mass Incarceration Nation: How the United States Became Addicted to Prisons and Jails and How It Can Recover.”

Bellin is also an elected member of the American Law Institute (ALI).

About William & Mary Law School
Legal education in a university setting began at William & Mary in 1779. Now in its third century, America's first law school continues its historic mission of educating citizen lawyers who are prepared both to lead and to serve.