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William & Mary Tabs First African American Law School Dean

William & Mary in Williamsburg, Va., has tapped A. Benjamin Spencer as the first African American dean to provide leadership for its law school.

In making the announcement Monday in a statement, the university described Spencer, currently a law professor at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, as a nationally renowned civil servant on civil procedure and a federal courts expert.

“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,” said William & Mary President Katherine A. Rowe. “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.”

Spencer, who graduated from Harvard Law School, holds a master’s degree from the London School of Economics.

He begins his new post on July 1.

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