James Madison Professor Emeritus
LL.B., Tulane University School of Law, 1954
A.B., Duke University, 1951
Walter J. Wadlington retired as James Madison Professor of Law in 2003, after a 40-year career at the Law School. His main research and teaching interests are in family law and law and medicine, and he served as Professor of Legal Medicine at the Medical School from 1979 to 2003. He co-teaches Medical Care for Children: Law, Economics, and Health Policy.
As a law student, Wadlington was editor-in-chief of the Tulane Law Review and a member of the Order of the Coif. He then practiced law in New Orleans, served in the Army Judge Advocate General Corps, and spent a year as a Fulbright scholar and tutor at the University of Edinburgh. Before coming to Virginia, he taught for two years at Tulane Law School. He has been a visiting professor at Osgoode Hall Law School of York University in Toronto, and at Louisiana State University, University of North Carolina, and Southern Methodist University law schools. He also has been a visiting fellow at the Australian National University, and the visiting Tazewell Taylor Professor at the College of William & Mary.
Wadlington is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, and of the American Law Institute. Between 1985 and 1991 he directed the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Medical Malpractice Program. He served on the national advisory committee of that Foundation's Clinical Scholars Program from 1988-97 and chaired the advisory board of its program on Improving Malpractice Prevention and Compensation Systems, from 1994-98. He was a trustee-at-large of the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates from 1996-2003. From 1991-95 Wadlington served on the National Advisory Board on Ethics in Reproduction. He has chaired the Virginia State Bar Association Committee on Domestic Relations and was co-chair of the National Task Force on Day-Care Licensing. He was a member of the IOM study committees on Legal and Ethical Issues Relating to Inclusion of Women in Clinical Studies; Effects of Medical Professional Liability on Delivery of Maternal and Child Health Care; Availability of Improved Diagnostic Tests for Evaluation of Social Security Disability; and Environmental Justice. He has served on the board of the American Society of Law and Medicine and the editorial board of the Preservation Law Reporter. In 1988 he was awarded the Distinguished Health Law Teacher Award of the Health Law Teachers Section of the American Society of Law and Medicine.