Peter W. Low

Hardy Cross Dillard Professor of Law Emeritus
(434) 924-7953

After earning his law degree, Peter Low clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren. He joined the Virginia law faculty the next year, 1964, and retired in 2014. For about half of the period from 1965 until 1985, Low served as assistant and then associate dean. In 1989 he was appointed academic associate dean, a position he held until Jan. 1, 1994, when he was named the acting vice president and provost of the University. He became the vice president and provost of the University in July of 1994 and served in that position until Sept. 1, 2001. He then returned to the law faculty. After his return, he continued to serve in various capacities for the next 13 years as the University’s representative to an international consortium of universities (see

Low became the Hardy Cross Dillard Professor of Law in 1975. He was the first recipient of the John V. Ray Research Professorship in Law in 1987, a two-year appointment. His major teaching areas were criminal law and federal courts, in both of which he co-authored widely used teaching casebooks. At various times, he also taught federal criminal law, civil rights litigation, civil procedure, constitutional law, conflict of laws and a number of specialized seminars in one or another of these fields. He taught in the initial session of the Law School’s summer LL.M. program for judges. He lectured frequently to state and local police and FBI agents at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Va., from 1972 to 1982, and served as the academic coordinator for law-related instruction at the academy from 1970 until 2000. He was a member of the faculty at the law session of the Salzburg Seminars in American Studies in 1972, and was a visiting fellow at the Institute of Criminology at Cambridge University in England for six months in 1970. He was also a visiting professor at the University of Pennsylvania and Stanford law schools in the 1970s. He is a member of the Raven Society, and a Life Member of the American Law Institute. He served as Reporter for the Commentaries of the Model Penal Code from 1970 until 1978 and for an American Bar Association Committee on Standards for Criminal Justice in the late 1960s and early 1970s. He was also a Consultant to the National Commission on Reform of Federal Criminal Laws and the Virginia Commission on Constitutional Revision during the same period.