William & Mary

Paul Marcus Awarded Kelly Professorship for Excellence

Upholding the citizen lawyer ideal.

  • Paul Marcus, Kelly Professor for Excellence in Teaching
    Paul Marcus, Kelly Professor for Excellence in Teaching  Beginning with Paul Marcus, the Kelly Chair will be held for a two-year term by a member of the W&M Law School faculty.  Photo by Colonial Photography
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As senior partner with Jones, Blechman, Woltz & Kelly in Newport News, Va., Herb Kelly Sr. ’41, B.C.L. ’43, LL.D. ’93 was a well-known defense attorney who possessed a quick wit and a profound respect for the law — and his community.
“He was very successful in private practice and used his wealth, his expertise, and his influence in good ways,” says Paul Marcus, who was recently appointed to the first Herbert V. Kelly Sr. Professorship for Excellence in Teaching. “It would be a great honor to receive this professorship in any case, but it is particularly an honor having known Herb Kelly and admired him so much.”

Kelly, who practiced law until his death in 2007, made a $500,000 commitment during the
Campaign for William and Mary to recognize Law School faculty who are excellent teachers. Beginning with Marcus, the Kelly Chair will be held for a two-year term by a member of the Law School faculty. Each recipient will have funds that can be used to generate a creative dialogue about legal education.

Among Marcus’ plans is a conference that will allow members of the Law School community to talk about their shared educational values and goals. In addition, he will invite law professors from around the country to the Law School to share their insights about the ingredients for excellent teaching.

The Kelly Professorship, accordingly to then-law dean and current William & Mary Interim President Taylor Reveley, was created “to nurture the extraordinary teaching for which the Law School is well known.”

Marcus’ own teaching efforts have been well received by William and Mary Law students. “As a teacher, he is first and foremost fully engaged in what he is saying during the entire class,” says Melissa Peters J.D. ’01. “His strong interpersonal skills help him to get students involved and talking during class, not just taking notes.”

Reveley notes that Marcus is a highly respected expert on criminal law who possesses an uncommon gift for teaching. “His thoughtful approach to legal education sparks student involvement,” he says. “It is evident from his teaching evaluations that his work with students — both inside and outside the classroom — helps shape them as people and as lawyers.”