Commencement Ceremony & Reception
- Ceremony: 10 a.m. Friday, May 11, Georgia State Sports Arena, 125 Decatur St., Atlanta, GA 30303
- Reception: Noon-2 p.m. Friday, May 11, College of Law, 85 Park Place NE, Atlanta, GA 30303
Jessica Williams-Vickery (J.D. ’18), editor-in-chief of the Georgia State University Law Review, is more of a carrot than a stick kind of person when leading others toward a goal.
“The stick doesn’t work for me, and I assume it doesn’t for others,” she said.
Her success with that approach contributed to being this year’s Scholarship and Leadership Award recipient.
“All the people on the Law Review board and the members are self-starters, and it’s an honor to encourage them,” Williams-Vickery said. “I see this role as an opportunity to work alongside my peers when they may need extra help. It’s called managing, technically, but it feels more like teamwork.
“I believe people are more excited to do the work when you give them respect and the space to do a task and show them by your actions that you believe they are capable.”
Editing the Law Review consists of several rigorous layers, but a goal this year was to improve its procedures. This included such things as changing when footnotes are entered to ensure consistency, and helping second-year members become proficient more quickly by having third-year students available to answer questions.
To improve community among members, two social chairs were added. They also helped re-institute the annual bowling competition between Law Review, Moot Court and STLA.
Details of their third goal—increasing the Law Review’s online presence—are being finalized. “We are hoping that moving the Law Review into the 21st century will be our parting gift as a board,” Williams-Vickery said.
As chair of the 25th annual Public Interest Law Association (PILA) auction, she led in raising more than $17,000, which sponsors students volunteering in unpaid public interest jobs during the summer.
Finding the first-year mentoring program “extraordinarily helpful” when she began law school, Williams-Vickery mentored others her remaining years. “Someone did that for me, so it was a privilege for me to do that.”
She’s had lots of support. Her husband has been “the bearer of many burdens” for her.
Her family has been confident she was law school material. “They teased me from the get-go about my righteous indignation,” Williams-Vickery said. “Now it’s ‘you’re such a lawyer.’”
Not yet, she replies, but almost.