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W&L Law Prof Joan Shaughnessy to Deliver Inaugural Groot Lecture

On Sept. 28, Washington and Lee law professor Joan Shaughnessy will deliver the inaugural lecture for the Roger D. Groot Professorship in Law.

The title of Prof. Shaughnessy’s talk is “Two Hunters: Reflections on Mentoring and the Formation of Professional Identity.” The lecture will begin at 4:00 pm in the Millhiser Moot Court Room, Sydney Lewis Hall on the campus of Washington and Lee University. The event is free and open to the public.

Prof. Shaughnessy was named to the Groot chair earlier this year. 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.

In describing the inspiration for her upcoming talk, Shaughnessy notes that Roger Groot had many roles, including that of academic, practitioner and public servant, and that he was an outstanding mentor in all of these roles.

“The best mentors serve not only as role models and guides but also help shape future professionals by personalizing their advice,” says Shaughnessy. “The opportunities to be a fine mentor have been challenged by the changes in the legal profession, and in particular the changes in the scale of law firm environments. Nevertheless, mentoring remains critical to professional success.”

Shaughnessy has been a member of the law school faculty since 1983. She is also a member of the core faculty of the Shepherd Program for the Interdisciplinary Study of Poverty and Human Capability. 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.