W&L Law Prof Joan Shaughnessy Named to Roger Groot Professorship

Lexington, VA Wednesday, May 23, 2012


Prof. Joan Shaughnessy
Joan M. (Shaun) Shaughnessy, professor of law at Washington and Lee University School of Law, has been appointed the Roger D. Groot Professor of Law.

Shaughnessy has been a member of the law school faculty since 1983. She teaches Civil Procedure, Federal Jurisdiction and Jurisprudence, among other courses. She has written in the areas of Federal Procedure and Complex Civil Litigation, as well as Child Welfare and Jurisprudence. She is a founding member of the Association of American Law Schools Section on Children and the Law.

Shaughnessy has been honored numerous times for her teaching, including by Phi Delta Phi, the Student Bar Association, and the Women Law Students Association, and was twice named the John W. Elrod Fellow in Teaching Excellence. From 1996 to 1999, she served as associate dean for academic affairs, and has chaired many major Law School and University committees. Most recently, she chaired the Dean Search committee, which led to the selection of incoming dean Nora Demleitner.

"The Groot Professorship honors the memory of an extraordinary member of the law faculty," said Interim Dean Mark Grunewald. "Roger Groot embodied fully the personal and institutional values that distinguish W&L and the legal education our students receive. It is most fitting that Shaun Shaughnessy be the inaugural holder of the Groot chair."

The Groot Professorship is a new chair created by the generosity and cumulative effort of almost 400 alumni, faculty, staff and friends of the Law School to honor Professor Roger D. Groot, who died in 2005. Groot taught Criminal Law and Procedure and Property to thousands of students during his 32 years at the School and was a much beloved and respected member of the faculty.

"Roger Groot was a wonderful mentor and role model to me, to many other members of the faculty and to generations of W&L law students," said Shaughnessy. "I am humbled and honored to be named to the chair and deeply grateful to all of the friends and alumni who worked so hard to establish it."

In addition to her tenure with W&L, Shaughnessy has served as a visiting law professor at Washington University, American University, and the Brooklyn Law School. She received her B.A. from the State University of New York at Binghamton and her J.D. from the University of Chicago, where she was associate editor of the School's Law Review. Prior to joining W&L, she was an associate at Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton in New York.

Shaughnessy will give an inaugural lecture celebrating the establishment of the chair this fall.

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