Washington and Lee University School of Law, like the University, has always chosen to be small. Sydney Lewis Hall, funded by a generous gift from Frances and Sydney Lewis of Richmond, Virginia, contains no classrooms seating more than 81 students, ensuring small classes. An addition completed in 1992 includes the archives for the papers of Lewis F. Powell, Jr. ’29, ’31L, clinical space, expanded library space, and additional faculty offices and seminar rooms.
The Law Library contains more than 475,000 volumes, including microform materials, appellate records and briefs, and government documents. It maintains subscriptions to more than 2,800 journals and other serial publications, and more than 500 series of documents issued by international organizations and the U.S. government. Students and faculty have direct, unlimited access to Lexis and Westlaw, as well as many other digital resources. The stacks, carrels and reading/study areas of the Library, as well as the online resources, are available for students and faculty, 24/7.
The Frances Lewis Law Center is the research arm of the School of Law. Each year it brings visiting scholars, judges, and lawyers to campus to conduct research and to teach. The Law Center supports research by Washington and Lee faculty and students, and it convenes scholarly colloquia on topics of current legal interest.
The instructional program is designed to provide students with a legal education in the fullest sense - not only the technical tools needed for the practice of law, but also an understanding of how law operates in our society and a sensitivity to the ethical imperatives of the profession. The bold new third-year curriculum created in 2008 is “experiential,” comprised of law-practice simulations, real-client experiences, the development of professionalism, and development of law-practice skills. Students participate in a professionalism program and in practicum courses that involve practicing lawyers and judges, as well as in legal clinics and internships. The study of law is also valuable in preparing students for careers in government, politics, and business. The members of the law faculty are freely available to the students for consultation and advice in connection with their studies. The opportunity for close faculty-student relationships is one of the most valuable features of study at the School of Law.
Washington and Lee University School of Law is accredited by the American Bar Association and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools.
Washington and Lee University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award the degrees of Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Juris Doctor, and Master of Laws. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Washington and Lee University.