Our History and Archives
John Tayloe Lomax
Our Faculty: A Legacy of Excellence in Legal Scholarship and Education
Beginning with John Tayloe Lomax in 1826, the law faculty of UVA have been experts in their fields and outstanding teachers, building the Law School's reputation as one of the finest in the country. Some laid the school's solid foundation as administrators. Others advanced from UVA to positions of importance in the federal government, many as judges in the federal and international courts. UVA professors have published many of the preeminent casebooks in their fields and helped develop new avenues of legal scholarship.
Notable Alumni, Distinguished Careers
Over the decades our graduates have developed distinguished careers as justices, congressmen, ambassadors, educators, businessmen and women, and community leaders in many fields. Here we feature some of their accomplishments.
A Poet's Answer to Equity Pleading: The Story of an Extraordinary Exam
Blake, A Poet's Answer to Equity Pleading coverIn June of 1932, Thomas W. Blake, Jr., a second year law student and banjo player, wrote an exam in Equity Pleading. Though Blake never went on to complete his degree, his exam earned a place in Special Collections at the law library.
The Law Library, 1976
The UVA Law School Library: From Jefferson's Quill to the Digital Age
Among the more than 7,500 works Thomas Jefferson selected to start the new University of Virginia Library were a collection of law books that would grow to become one of the nation's preeminent legal research libraries.
Phi Delta Phi program (1903)
(click on images for larger view)
The library serves as the repository for certain law school administrative records and publications. (Official student records are retained elsewhere in the University.) Of primary significance are the records of the Dean's Office dating from the 1930s through the tenure of Dean Richard A. Merrill (1980-1988). In addition there are records of associate deans, the admissions office, the library, the alumni association, and the graduate degree program for judges. A number of faculty committees are documented from the 1960s, as well as some student organizations' activities. There is a growing collection of nineteenth and early twentieth century student notebooks, exams, and other records of the educational experience. Publications include archival copies of the journals published by student organizations, a complete set of the Law Weekly, The Barrister, Virginia Law School Report, UVa Lawyer, and similar works.
Locating Archival Records
Contact a member of the special collections staff to learn specifically what archival records are available and open to research. Some of these collections require advance permission for access. Law school publications are identified in the library's VIRGO catalog by a call number beginning with the letters "VL."
The Special Collections staff are curators of the law school's substantial collection of photographs. Now numbering over nine hundred images, they have been acquired and preserved for many years, the earliest dating from the 1880s. Particularly rare and valuable, for example, are class photos from the late nineteenth century, and group shots of attendees at the Virginia Bar Association meetings in the early 1900s. Also included are photos of faculty and students, speakers or other visitors of the law school, alumni, and law school rooms and buildings.
Approximately 500 pictures relating to the Law School can be found in the University of Virginia's Visual History Collection.