Driven to Give
William Shawn, BA '70, JD '73, is the new chairman of the Dean's Circle whose members give at least $2,000 yearly to GW Law.
In the eyes of William H. Shawn, the new chairman of GW Law's Dean's Circle fundraising organization, it's easy to justify financial support of an alma mater.
"It only requires the realization that you are a product of your environment, and that environment includes your school," says Mr. Shawn, who received his BA from GW's Elliott School of International Affairs in 1970 and his JD from GW Law School in 1973.
The seeds for Mr. Shawn's career were planted growing up in Europe. His mother was European and his father was a military officer who worked for the U.S. Embassy in Rome and NATO in Paris, generating Mr. Shawn's interest in international affairs and cultures. When his family returned to America, he decided to attend college in Washington, D.C., and chose GW.
Mr. Shawn's GW degrees proved their value immediately after graduation. After a stint in the federal government's honors program, he entered private practice and made partner less than five years after graduating. His practice became international when he left his partnership with a large New York firm and founded the office that later became ShawnCoulson after he had been twice elected chairman of one of the world's leading networks of independent law firms.
With offices in Brussels, London, and Washington, ShawnCoulson serves commercial clients worldwide in contentious and complex multinational litigation, labor and employment, intellectual property, mergers and acquisitions, and government affairs.
Mr. Shawn also used his GW education and experience to publish scholarly articles and serve on numerous legal professional and community associations and foundations, including membership on GW Law School's Board of Advisors since 2000.
"Before joining the board, I took a good look at who I had become, and I had to attribute it to GW. I realized that, next to my family, the most important influence in my life was GW. Besides, GW also provided financial support for tuition, room and board when I was a student, so I decided it was time to do more to support the school.
"Being on the board has been a lot of fun, and the board's growth and contribution to GW have been absolutely phenomenal. It's been an amazing resource to the deans," Mr. Shawn notes.
"As a board member, I've been very impressed by how GW has evolved since I was a student. Back then, GW had a lot of commuting students and a modest campus; it didn't engender the level of alumni enthusiasm found at other leading universities. But since then, and particularly with presidents Steve Trachtenberg and Steven Knapp, and Law School Deans Mike Young and Fred Lawrence, the school and its law school have been transformed. It has attracted better students and faculty, and excelled in its scholarly output and recognition. It's great to behold and really makes you proud to have a part in that.
"Every alum continues to benefit with GW's increasing prestige. Countless times in my international travels, I'm amazed at how well-known GW is among lawyers, judges, government officials, and business people in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East," he says.
As the new chair of the Dean's Circle, Shawn sees a great way for alumni to be introduced to the rewards of giving to their school. To become an annual member of the circle, alumni need only contribute $2,000 yearly to the Law School.
"I hope all alumni understand what the school has done for them and why it is more important than ever, given today's cost of education, to invest in GW and to be a part of its success. We know a tradition of giving is a key attribute of a great institution," Mr. Shawn says.
"We can all help this effort by enjoying reconnecting with classmates and professors, and creating new connections while helping GW," he adds.
Speaking of new connections, Mr. Shawn is adding an adjunct professorship to his GW support. In January he began teaching a law school course on professional responsibility and legal ethics.
When he isn't working, teaching, helping GW, or spending time with his wife and children, Professor Shawn is probably surfing, cycling, or auto racing.
The Law of Business is Business
(Left to right) J. Richard Knop, JD '69, Thomas A. Early, JD '80, David Simon, Lawrence E. Mitchell, John A. Buchman.
A panel discussion on the topic, "The Law of Business Is Business" was the kick-off event for the fall 2010 Board of Advisors meetings. Focused on the ever-evolving world of business law and its synonymy with the business sector, the candid presentations by the panelists were the basis of further in-depth conversations during the meetings.
Chaired by Lawrence E. Mitchell, Theodore Rinehart Professor of Business Law and executive director of the Center for Law, Economics & Finance (C-LEAF), the panelists were John A. Buchman, vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary, E* Trade Bank; Thomas A. Early, JD '80, senior counsel, corporate finance practice, Dickstein Shapiro LLP; J. Richard Knop, JD '69, founder and managing member, FedCap Partners, LLC; and David Simon, chief patent counsel, Intel Corp.
Aiding GW's Scholars
Hyman M. and Jeanne K. Goldstein
Law students interested in innovative methods of conflict resolution have the opportunity to qualify for a full-tuition merit scholarship, thanks to a $1.2 million bequest to the Law School.
Hyman M. and Jeanne K. Goldstein Scholarship Fund, endowed upon Ms. Goldstein's recent passing, will provide at least two full-tuition merit scholarship awards each year to students enrolled in GW's Law School. The Goldstein Scholarship Fund supports students who share Mr. Goldstein's interest in innovative methods of conflict resolution as a more cost-effective option compared with traditional arbitration.
"This bequest exemplifies the forward-thinking philanthropic spirit of Hyman and Jeanne Goldstein, and it provides important impetus to the university's Power & Promise Fund scholarship initiative," says former Dean Frederick M. Lawrence. "The Goldstein Scholarship Fund will allow GW to attract students who demonstrate the potential for acquiring the knowledge and skills necessary to become effective mediators. The Goldstein scholars also will be expected to mentor future scholarship recipients and support others in carrying out Hyman's ideals."
As a lawyer in private practice in Washington, D.C., Hyman M. Goldstein, LLB '19, LLM '20, specialized in business, personal and estate law from the mid-1920s until his death in 1965. Mr. Goldstein predicted that the increased cost of education and a greater focus on winning in the courtroom would lead to more litigation—a trend that would create crowded court dockets and frustrated, unhappy clients. Instead, Mr. Goldstein advocated a system in which reasonable solutions could be accomplished through collaborative and amicable work with clients and attorneys outside the courtroom.
"Clients, friends, and family all looked to him for advice not only in matters of business, but in life," said Morton Goldstein, JD '61, Hyman's nephew. "He had great vision. He saw things happening in the law profession long before the rest of us did."
The GW Law School has raised more than $8.4 million in scholarship funds for the Power & Promise Fund, which ensures that qualified students, regardless of financial resources, can take advantage of a GW education.
Dean's Dinner 2010
Members of GW Law's Board of Advisors, Intellectual Property Advisory Board, Government Contracting Industry Advisory Board, Center for Law, Economics, & Finance (C-LEAF) Board of Advisors, and donors to the Law School at the Dean's Circle level bid farewell to Dean Frederick M. Lawrence and his wife, Kathy, at the Fall 2010 Dean's Dinner.
Interim Dean Gregory E. Maggs, Robert K. Tanenbaum, JD '82, and Steven L. Schooner, LLM '89, Nash & Cibinic Professor of Government Procurement Law and co-director of the Government Procurement Law Program.
The Honorable Charles T. Manatt, JD '62, and his wife, Kathleen.
Leslie L. Megyeri, JD '68, with former Dean Lawrence and Interim Dean Gregory E. Maggs
G. Franklin Rothwell, IV, JD '56 and his wife, Henrietta, with former Dean Lawrence.