Third-year Mercer Law students Tessa and Willie Sizemore grew up in and around the courthouse in Leesburg. Their father is a lawyer who owned a general practice before being appointed to the bench as a Superior Court judge in the Southwestern Judicial Circuit in 2005.
The twins claim to be quite competitive and agree that it’s been a good thing for the law school environment.
“Law school can be intimidating and exhausting, and it is nice to be going through it with someone who knows me really well. It has been such a unique experience, and one that I will always cherish,” Tessa said.
Why did you choose Mercer Law?
Willie: Tessa and I knew Mercer was for us after touring in April of 2021. COVID-19 protocol was still very much a thing, and Mercer was one of the only institutions that allowed us to complete an in-person tour. We could tell immediately the community was right for us.
Tessa: Mercer also has a wonderful alumni network across all of Georgia, including the more rural areas of the state, which was important to me. I knew that Mercer would prepare me to be a lawyer in Georgia while giving me lasting friendships through the Mercer Law community.
How would you characterize your Mercer Law experience?
Willie: I would describe my time at Mercer Law as a season of growth. I have been challenged like never before, and I have been lucky to befriend some of my best and brightest peers — three of whom will be groomsmen in my wedding in August of 2024. I am humbled by the blessing these past two years have been.
Tessa: I would say my experience at Mercer Law has been challenging yet extremely rewarding. While there have been late nights and early mornings, I have enjoyed my time here and cannot believe it’s almost over. My professors, advisors and coaches have truly invested in me, and I am grateful for their mentorship. Most of all, I am thankful for all my classmates and for the friendships that I know will last for many years to come.
What extracurricular activities, leadership roles and groups do you participate in?
Tessa: I am involved in Mercer Advocacy Council on the moot court and mock trial teams, and I am a member of the Law Review. I am also on the executive board of the Rural Law Students Association and work as a peer and group mentor.
Willie: I am a member of the mock trial team and vice president of the Rural Law Students Association. Tessa and I competed at the Summit Cup this year as mock trial co-counsel. (Editor’s note: The team placed third in the country at the by-invitation-only competition, and Willie secured the Jurors’ Choice Advocate award.) The last time we were co-counsel on a mock trial team was during our junior year in high school. Dad was our coach.
What kind of law are you interested in practicing? Do you plan on working together after graduation?
Tessa: I will be clerking in Macon for two years after I graduate, and I am unsure exactly what I will do after that. I have always seen myself in some type of litigation. Willie, my dad and I have daydreamed about having a law practice together, so we will see what the future holds.
Willie: I hope I am able to litigate in some respect and do so with my sister (she would no doubt be the brains of the operation). When I asked recently if she would be interested in opening a practice with me, I was not immediately shot down. I count that as hopeful.
How is it to be in postgraduate school with your twin?
Willie: It has been unique and rewarding. We get to support and challenge one another. I know that when I look back on my law school experience, I will think fondly of the time I got to spend with my sister and our friends above all else.
How do you support each other?
Tessa: Willie and I are different in a lot of ways, which I think helps us support each other. Willie helps me grow in the areas where I am weak, and I try to share what I can as well. For example, Willie is an excellent public speaker, so he was a huge help to me as I prepared for moot court and mock trial competitions last year. That is just one example, but we always try to be a sounding board for one another when one of us needs a fresh perspective.
Do you share housing? If so, what is the dynamic? Who does the cooking, and who does the cleaning?
Willie: Yes, and Tessa is the best roommate I have ever had. I don’t know if the same can be said respectively. I try to pull my weight, but, naturally, I can turn a blind eye more easily to mess around the house. I do, however, make sure the grass is cut, our cars are serviced, and the trash is taken out. I also reluctantly clean the dishes on occasion.
Tessa: Willie is extremely handy. He is always willing to hang a picture or make a repair. Of course, neither of us are afraid to say exactly what we think, so fights are inevitable, but it is a great living arrangement.
Tessa and Willie are the youngest of four siblings. Their older sister, Cassie, lives in Albany where she works in marketing and spends her free time painting and caring for her 7-year-old daughter. Their brother, T.J., is in the Navy, and though he recently moved to San Antonio, he spent most of the last 10 years in Japan.
Editor’s note: This story originally appeared in the Fall 2023 edition of the Mercer Lawyer magazine.