2020-2021 School of Law Catalog 
    Jul 22, 2024  
2020-2021 School of Law Catalog archived


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 Wilbur C. Hall Law Library maintains an extensive collection of more than 400,000 digital and print titles related to law.  It provides an array of services in support of the education and scholarship of our students, faculty, and patrons. Dedicated to provide anytime/anywhere information, it provides information support of the highest quality to our students, faculty, members of the University community and other patrons. The Law Library provides a variety of study spaces including individual carrels, reading rooms, study rooms and areas for collaborative work.  The spaces include specifically designated quite zones for individual study.  Library resources are available to members of the Washington and Lee University community twenty-four hours a day.

The Frances Lewis Law Center, which is separately endowed, is the research arm of the School of Law.  The Law Center (1) pays for research assistance; (2) funds faculty summer research grants; (3) sponsors incubator lunches; (4) provides publication support; (5) funds faculty roundtables; (6) supports junior faculty exchanges; (7) hosts faculty workshops; and (8) provides funding and logistical support for symposiums.

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.  In addition to the Juris Doctor program, the law school is approved to offer the Master of Laws degree.

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 Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award bachelors degrees, the master of laws, and juris doctor degrees. Contact the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools 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.

Whenever changes in Law School course offerings or requirements occur, students are notified by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs of the School of Law.  The individual student assumes full responsibility for compliance with all academic deadlines and requirements.  Current course offerings are available on the Law Records and University Registrar’s website.

Additional Policies and Procedures: Not all University policies and procedures affecting students are described in this catalog. For further information, please refer to the Student Handbook.