Meet Dean Spencer

More info coming soon.

I always knew that I wanted to practice here be a member of this legal community. So coming back to this area in the law school that's really deeply rooted in the Virginia way and the Virginia bar and now settled here at this law school, which is, of course, the best law school in Virginia. So it's a great place to end up. I'm Ben Spencer I'm the new dean of the law school, and I'm extremely excited to be here.

I grew up in Virginia grew up as a Virginian. And I've always understood that Virginia is a very special place. I've got a large family. So I'm married, and I have nine children, six daughters and three sons. Spent most of my life here. Went away to Morehouse College in Atlanta, studied overseas for a little bit, but always wanted to come back to Virginia. So that's where I've made my career. I've taught at three other Virginia law schools. And I joined the army, I was sworn in in 2015. And I still spend my weekends working on army brief writing to this day.

My great grandmother, her grandparents were slaves. My father's mother, my grandmother, she was a domestic. Her son became a federal judge, she sent him to college, he went to Harvard Law School and became a federal judge, I can imagine that people who are working so hard, under these terrible conditions would be proud to see someone that's their descendant in this position, the first African American Dean in America's first law school.

Justice is imperfect at this point, that's something that is being recognized right now that we don't have full justice for all. Even though that's the promise of the country. Being a lawyer is not just about having a job and earning a living. But it's always been about making a difference, and that's why this law school was founded,. It was founded to create people who would become citizens serving the public, and to be a lawyer with that public spiritedness is really to be an advocate. So what this law school is about is creating advocates who are going to move this country in the direction of fulfilling its promise that there is liberty and justice for all.

The advent of COVID-19 has really presented a challenge for us, we're responding to that challenge by offering extensive remote, high quality instruction. But we're also offering limited in person instruction, under conditions where people are going to be able to maintain health and safety by wearing masks, keeping social distance, and frequent hand washing. The 1Ls, they're just starting. They're new to this place. I'm just starting as well. I am joining this community brand new. So we're all in the same boat. We're all in this together. We're going to be meeting each other for the first time that'd be making new friends. We're new to Williamsburg, Virginia. So don't feel like you're alone. And you've got me on your side. We're in this together. And we're gonna make it through.

Of the William and Mary values. Excellence resonates the most with me. Because that's the number one thing that I think of when I think of William and Mary law school. And so, excellence really is the standard that we live by and it's what William and Mary exudes. That's why I came here. I didn't come here to make this place. Excellent. I came here because it is excellent.

I want our students to have heart, to have soul, to have that commitment to community and to service. That's what's going to be the differentiator for us is that we have the most talented lawyers who care. So wedding those two things. That's what's unique about William and Mary law school that nobody else has. I think this is the best law school in the country. And the world needs to know that. It's a very bright future for this law school and I'm excited to see it through.