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College of William & Mary Law School

Virginia Law School Makes History

The William & Mary Law School, America’s oldest law school, has made a historic selection in its search for a new dean.

W&M Law School announced that A. Benjamin Spencer, a nationally renowned civil procedure and federal courts expert and current professor of law at the University of Virginia, will begin his position as dean on July 1. Benjamin Spencer is the university’s first African-American dean. He succeeds current dean Davidson M. Douglas who will return to the faculty.

“William & Mary is thrilled to welcome Ben Spencer as our next dean of the law school,”  President Katherine A. Rowe says in a press release. “Since the beginning of the search process, we sought a leader who values all three aspects of the law: the academy, the bar and the bench. Ben brings that broad view of legal practice, together with a deep appreciation of the ethos of the citizen lawyer that has inspired the oldest law school in the country since its founding.

ACCOMPLISHED LEADERSHIP CAREER

Ben Spencer has had a long career of service, leadership, scholarship, and teaching.

He has taught at UVA since 2014 and recently was a Bennet Boskey Visiting Professor of Law at Harvard Law School.

Ben Spencer’s teaching and scholarship focus on civil procedure and federal jurisdiction, according to UVA.

Prior to his time at UVA, he served as Director of the Francis Lewis Law Center and associate dean for research at Washington and Lee University.

Additionally, Ben Spencer has a foundation in public service. In 2015, he joined the U.S. Army Reserve Judge Advocate General’s Corps as the rank of captain.

“Dean Dave Douglas has done an absolutely terrific job of stewarding the law school through the many challenges of the last decade, advancing its status as one of the nation’s top-tier law schools,” he says in a press release. “I look forward to building on that solid foundation and to make William & Mary law a preeminent law school that develops highly competent and engaged citizen lawyers who serve their clients and communities with distinction, integrity and passion.”

Read more about the announcement here.

Sources: William & Mary, UVA

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