A. Benjamin Spencer
The Section on the Education of Lawyers brings together law deans and professors, members of the judiciary and practicing lawyers in a collaborative effort to improve every phase of legal education in Virginia. In partnership with the Virginia State Bar's Standing Committee on Professionalism and the eight accredited Virginia Law Schools, the section conducts a program annually at each law school focused on enhancing professionalism and civility for law students. The section also publishes a quarterly newsletter, Education & Practice.
In this position, Prof. Spencer intends to expand the activity of the Section by engaging in initiatives such as improving pre-law advising in Virginia, providing additional support to law school curricular reform efforts, and enhancing opportunities for lawyers to obtain and maintain their license to practice law in Virginia.
Speaking about his vision for the Section on Legal Education, Prof. Spencer said, "The Section's core function is to promote constructive action on legal education issues in Virginia by facilitating dialogue among the law schools, the bench, and the practicing bar. I also see our mandate as doing what we can to support efforts to improve legal education in Virginia, so that our law schools are admitting, training, and graduating lawyers who are ready for practice."
Spencer has been a member of the Section's Board of Governors for two years and sees the coming year of his leadership as an opportunity for the Bar to get more directly engaged in supporting the ongoing efforts to make legal education more effective at producing skilled lawyers. His term as Chair will run for one year.
One of the nation's rising stars in the field of civil procedure and federal jurisdiction, Prof. Spencer was appointed last year to serve as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Virginia. In this capacity, he recently argued and won an appeal in the U.S Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit on behalf of the government in United States v. Stewart.