Telephone: (540) 458-8504


ABA Approved Since 1923


The school that is now Washington and Lee University was established in 1749. Its name was changed several times in its early years, but the school has been called Washington Academy or College since 1798, when the Trustees took that name in gratitude for an endowment provided by President George Washington. Washington’s gift was then the largest gift made to a private educational institution in America. The University became known as Washington and Lee University in 1871, following the death of General Robert E. Lee, who served as president from 1865 to 1870. It was during General Lee’s presidency, and as a result of his strong commitment to professional education, that the Lexington Law School, founded by Judge John White Brockenbrough in 1849, became affiliated with Washington College. The Law School became an integral part of the University in 1870 and soon flourished under the leadership of John Randolph Tucker, a distinguished constitutional scholar who also served as Member of Congress, Attorney General of Virginia, and President of the American Bar Association. The Washington and Lee University School of Law is approved by the American Bar Association and has been a member of the Association of American Law Schools since 1920. A distinctive feature of the University and the Law School is an honor system which dates from the administration of General Lee and is entirely the responsibility of students.


The School of Law, like the University, has always chosen to be small. The School of Law increased the size of its student body in 1976, when it moved into Sydney Lewis Hall, its present building, but it remains the smallest of the national law schools, in terms of student enrollment, with an entering class each year of approximately 125 students. The full-time faculty numbers 32; 4 faculty members from other divisions of the University and 22 adjunct faculty also offer courses in the School of Law. Sydney Lewis Hall, funded by a generous gift from Frances and Sydney Lewis of Richmond, Virginia, is a modern facility containing classrooms, a moot courtroom, faculty and administrative offices, clinical facilities, and space for student activities. The building contains no classroom capable of seating more than 75 students, thus ensuring small classes. In recent years, approximately 60% of W&L classes have had 20 students or fewer. A carrel or office space is provided for each student, and a computer cluster is available for word processing and legal research. An addition completed in 1992 includes the Lewis F. Powell, Jr. Archives, which contain the papers of Justice Powell and those of several other alumni, faculty, and friends of the Law School, including the late Walter E. Hoffman, Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. The Archives also contain the Bankruptcy Reform Act papers of former Congressman M. Caldwell Butler.


The law library contains more than 440,000 volumes, including microform materials, appellate records and briefs, and government documents. It maintains subscriptions to more than 1,250 journals, over 250 looseleaf reporting services, and more than 500 series of documents issued by international organizations and the U.S. government. Lexis and Westlaw terminals are provided. The stacks, carrels and reading areas are available to students and faculty 24 hours a day, seven days a week.


The Frances Lewis Law Center is the research arm of the School of Law. Each year the Law Center appoints a Frances Lewis Scholar in Residence who spends a semester in residence, working on his or her own research and teaching a seminar. These scholars have included Harold J. Berman of Emory; Hilary Charlesworth of the Australian National University; Richard Delgado of the University of Colorado; Deborah DeMott of Duke University; Herbert Fingarette of the University of California (Santa Barbara); Linda R. Hirshman of Chicago-Kent; Brian P. Levack of the University of Texas; Curtis R. Reitz of the University of Pennsylvania; Victor G. Rosenblum of Northwestern; Yvonne Scannell of Trinity College, Dublin; Thomas L. Shaffer of Notre Dame; and Calvin Woodard of the University of Virginia.


In addition, the Frances Lewis Law Center brings visiting judges and lawyers to the campus for varying periods, sometimes as long as a semester. It 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 an understanding of how law operates in our society and a sensitivity to the ethical imperatives of the profession. Intense faculty-student interaction is encouraged. First-year research and writing is taught in small sections of substantive courses by full-time tenured and tenure-track faculty. The Law School announced in 2008 its creation of a bold new third year curriculum that is entirely 9 experiential, 9 comprised of law practice simulations, real-client experiences, the development of professionalism, and development of law practice skills. The third year program will begin with a two week immersion course in practice skills, one focusing on office and transactional practice skills, the other on litigation and conflict resolution skills. All students will participate in a year-long professionalism program that will include the participation of practicing lawyers and judges and assist students in the development of professionalism in all its aspects, including legal ethics, civility in practice, civic engagement and leadership, and pro bono service. The core intellectual experiences in the third year will be presented entirely through a mix of 9 practicum 9 courses that stimulate legal practice environments, legal clinics, and internships. The practicum courses will be taught by members of the permanent law faculty, adjunct faculty, and visiting 9 professors of practice 9 drawn from the bar and bench. Practicum courses will span the array of traditional legal subject matter. Implementation of the new third year program began in the spring of 2008 and will be phased in until fully operational in the academic year 2010-11.


Dean: Rodney A. Smolla (540) 458-8502

Student Services: Sidney Evans (540) 458-8503

Financial Aid: Cynthia Hintze (540) 458-8032

Library: Sarah K. Wiant (540) 458-8540

Placement: Lorri Olan (540) 458-8534

Alumni Affairs: Elizabeth Branner (540) 458-8191




RODNEY A. SMOLLA, (Law Professor), born Pueblo, Colorado, March 13, 1953; admitted to bar, 1979, Illinois; 1996, Virginia. Education: Yale University (B.A., 1975); Duke University (J.D., 1978). COURSES: Constitutional Law. Email: smollar @ wlu.edu


C. ELIZABETH BELMONT, (Law Professor), born Boston, Massachusetts, September 30, 1963; admitted to bar, 1989, Illinois; 1995, California; 2000, Virginia; 2002, West Virginia. Education: Southern Illinois University (B.A., 1986); Loyola University of Chicago (J.D., 1989). COURSES: Legal Clinic. Email: belmontb @ wlu.edu


JOHANNA BOND, (Law Professor), born New Haven, Connecticut, September 14, 1969; admitted to bar, 1996, Minnesota; 1998, District of Columbia. Education: Colorado College (B.A., 1991); University of Minnesota (J.D., 1996); Georgetown University Law Center (LL.M., 2001). COURSES: Torts, Gender and the Law, Human Rights. Email: bondj @ wlu.edu


DENIS JOLY BRION, (Law Professor), born 1939; admitted to bar, 1971, Virginia; 1971, District of Columbia. Education: Northwestern University (B.S., 1961); University of Virginia (J.D., 1970). COURSES: Property Damage, Land Use Regulation, Commercial Law, Law & Economics, Legal Profession. Email: briond @ wlu.edu


DAVID I. BRUCK, (Law Professor), born Montreal, Quebec, May 30, 1949; admitted to bar, 1976, South Carolina. Education: Harvard College (B.A., 1971); University of South Carolina (J.D., 1975). COURSES: Criminal Law. Email: bruckd @ wlu.edu


CHRISTOPHER M. BRUNER, (Law Professor), born Royal Oaks, Michigan, December 2, 1972; admitted to bar, 2002, Massachusetts. Education: University of Michigan (A.B., 1995); Oxford University (M.Phil., 1997); Harvard Law School (J.D., 2001). COURSES: Contracts, Close Business Arrangements, Securities Regulation. Email: brunerc @ wlu.edu


SAMUEL W. CALHOUN, (Law Professor), born 1949; admitted to bar, 1974, Georgia. Education: Harvard (B.A., 1971); University of Georgia (J.D., 1974). COURSES: Contracts, Commercial Transactions, Abortion Controversy Seminar, Consumer Bankruptcy. Email: calhouns @ wlu.edu


ROBERT T. DANFORTH, (Law Professor), born 1957; admitted to bar, 1987, North Carolina; 1988, District of Columbia; 1993, Virginia. Education: Washington University (B.A., 1980); Duke University School of Law (J.D., 1986). COURSES: Trusts and Estates, Estate Planning, Taxation of Trusts and Estates. Email: danforthr @ wlu.edu


MARK A. DRUMBL, (Law Professor), born Montreal, Canada, July 17, 1968; admitted to bar, 1996, Ontario. Education: McGill University (B.A., 1989); McGill I.E.P. de Paris (M.A., 1992); University of Toronto (J.D., 1994); Columbia University (LL.M., 1998; J.S.D., 2002). COURSES: International Law, Contracts. Email: drumblm @ wlu.edu


MICHELLE LYON DRUMBL, (Law Professor), born Erie, Pennsylvania; admitted to bar, 1999, Arkansas; 2007, Virginia. Education: Emory University (B.A., 1996); George Washington University (J.D., 1999); New York University (LL.M., Taxation, 2002). COURSES: Tax, Federal Income Tax, Tax Clinic, International Tax. Email: mdrumbl @ wlu.edu


JOSHUA A. T. FARFIELD, (Law Professor), born Durham, North Carolina, March 26, 1974; admitted to bar, 2001, Ohio. Education: Swarthmore College (B.A., History, 1996); University of Chicago Law School (J.D., 2001). COURSES: Sales and Use Tax, Secured Transactions, Commercial Law, Cyberlaw, Contracts, E-Commerce. Email: fairfieldj @ wlu.edu


SUSAN D. FRANCK, (Law Professor), born July 16, 1973; admitted to bar, 1998, Minnesota; 2000, District of Columbia; 2001, England & Wales. Education: Simon’s Rock College of Bard (A.A., 1991); Macalester College (B.A., 1993); University of Minnesota (J.D., 1998); University of London (LL.M., 1999). COURSES: International Economic Law, Alternative Dispute Resolution, Conflicts of Law, Ethics. Email: francks @ wlu.edu


WILLIAM S. GEIMER, (Law Professor), born 1940; admitted to bar, 1969, North Carolina; 1984, Virginia. Education: East Tennessee St. University (B.A., 1962); University of North Carolina (J.D., 1969). COURSES: Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, Juvenile Law. Email: tarheel @ shaw.ca


MARK H. GRUNEWALD, (Law Professor), born 1947; admitted to bar, 1973, District of Columbia; 1979, Virginia. Education: Emory University (B.A., 1969); George Washington University (J.D., 1972). COURSES: Employment Arbitration, Labor Law, Administrative Law, Constitutional Law, Cyber Law, Information and Privacy Law. Email: grunewaldm @ wlu.edu


EDWARD O. HENNEMAN, (Law Professor), born 1937; admitted to bar, 1963, New York. Education: Yale University (B.A., 1959); Harvard (J.D., 1962). COURSES: Estates and Trusts, Estate Planning, Elder Law, Family and Medical Leave Act, Property Damage, Estate and Gift Taxation. Email: hennemane @ wlu.edu


MARGARET HOWARD, (Law Professor), born Rocky Mount, North Carolina; admitted to bar, 1975, Missouri. Education: Duke University (A.B., 1969); Washington University School of Law (M.S.W., 1975; J.D., 1975); Yale Law School (LL.M., 1981). COURSES: Bankruptcy, Commercial Law, Contracts, Creditors’ Rights. Email: howardm @ wlu.edu


LYMAN P. Q. JOHNSON, (Law Professor), born 1951; admitted to bar, 1978, Minnesota. Education: Carleton College (B.A., 1973); University of Minnesota (J.D., 1978). COURSES: Corporate Law, Business Law, Corporate Finance, Securities Regulation. Email: johnsonlp @ wlu.edu


TIMOTHY S. JOST, (Law Professor), born Reedley, California, November 25, 1948; admitted to bar, 1975, Illinois; 1982, Ohio. Education: University of California at Santa Cruz (B.A., 1970); University of Chicago (J.D., 1975). COURSES: Health Care Law, Insurance, Law and Medicine, Personal Property, Real Property. Email: jostt @ wlu.edu


JEFFREY H. KAHN, (Law Professor), born Ann Arbor, Michigan, March 6, 1972; admitted to bar, 1997, Illinois. Education: Duke University (B.A., 1994); University of Michigan (J.D., 1997). COURSES: Federal Taxation. Email: kahnjh @ wlu.edu


FREDERIC L. KIRGIS, (Law Professor), born 1934; admitted to bar, 1961, Colorado; 1964, District of Columbia; 1983, Virginia. Education: Yale (B.A., 1957); University of California-Berkeley (J.D., 1960). COURSES: Contracts, International Law, Conflict of Law, International Organizations. Email: kirgisr @ wlu.edu


LEWIS H. LARUE, (Law Professor), born 1938; admitted to bar, 1962, Virginia. Education: Washington and Lee University (A.B., 1959); Harvard University (LL.B., 1962). COURSES: Constitutional Law, Evidence, Jurisprudence, Federal Jurisdiction. Email: laruel @ wlu.edu


ERIK LUNA, (Law Professor), born Spokane, Washington, June 3, 1971; admitted to bar, 1996, California. Education: University of Southern California (B.S., 1993); Stanford Law School (J.D., 1996). COURSES: Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, Constitutional Law, Advanced Topics in criminal justice. Email: lunae @ wlu.edu


TIMOTHY C. MACDONNELL, (Law Professor), born Brighton, Massachusetts, August 12, 1965; admitted to bar, 1994, Massachusetts. Education: University of Massachusetts (B.A., History, 1987); Suffolk University School of Law (J.D., 1994); The Judge Advocate General’s School (LL.M., 1999); University of Virginia School of Law (LL.M., 2007). COURSES: Clinical Education. Email: macdonnellt @ wlu.edu


ANN MACLEAN MASSIE, (Law Professor), born 1943; admitted to bar, 1971, Georgia. Education: Duke University (B.A., 1966); University of Michigan (M.A., 1967); University of Virginia (J.D., 1971). COURSES: Constitutional Law, Criminal Procedure, Health Law, Law and Medicine. Email: massiea @ wlu.edu


ANDREW W. MCTHENIA, JR., (Law Professor), born 1935; admitted to bar, 1963, District of Columbia; 1963, Virginia. Education: Washington & Lee University (A.B., 1958; LL.B., 1963); Columbia University (M.A., 1960). COURSES: Clinical, Contracts, Remedies, Social Legislation, Law and Psychiatry, Office Practice. Email: mctheniaa @ wlu.edu


RUSSELL A. MILLER, (Law Professor), born Cleveland, Ohio, March 24, 1969; admitted to bar, 1995, Arizona. Education: Washington State University (B.A., 1991); Duke University (M.A., 1994; J.D., 1994); Johann Wolfgang Goethe University (LL.M., 2002). COURSES: Constitutional Law, Comparative Law, International Law. Email: millerra @ wlu.edu


DAVID K. MILLON, (Law Professor), born 1953; admitted to bar, 1983, Massachusetts. Education: Ohio State University (B.A., 1975; M.A., 1976); Cornell University (M.A., 1978; Ph.D., 1982); Harvard University (J.D., 1983). COURSES: Business Organizations, Corporations, English Legal History. Email: milliond @ wlu.edu


JAMES E. MOLITERNO, (Law Professor), born Youngstown, Ohio, August 21, 1953; admitted to bar, 1980, Ohio, U.S. District Court, Northern District of West Virginia and U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio. Education: Youngstown State University (B.S., 1977); University of Akron (J.D., 1980). COURSES: Professional Responsibility, Evidence, Civil Procedure, Practice of Law. Email: moliternoj @ wlu.edu


BRIAN C. MURCHISON, (Law Professor), born 1952; admitted to bar, 1980, District of Columbia. Education: Yale (B.A., 1974; J.D., 1979). COURSES: Administrative Law, Communications Law, Communicative Torts, Torts. Email: murchisonb @ wlu.edu


MARY ZANOLLI NATKIN, (Law Professor), born Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, October 4, 1957; admitted to bar, 1985, Virginia. Education: University of California (B.A., 1979); Washington and Lee (J.D., 1985). COURSES: Clinical, Academic Support, Writing. Email: natkinm @ wlu.edu


HARI M. OSOFSKY, (Law Professor), born Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, June 17, 1972; admitted to bar, 1999, California. Education: Yale College (B.A., 1993); Yale Law School (J.D., 1998); University of Oregon Department of Geography (Ph.D., 2006-Present). COURSES: Property Damage, Environmental Law, Climate Change. Email: osofskyh @ wlu.edu


JAMES M. PHEMISTER, (Law Professor), born 1944; admitted to bar, 1969, Ohio; 1977, Virginia. Education: Purdue University (B.S., 1966); Northwestern University (J.D., 1969). COURSES: Evidence, Pretrial Advocacy, Trial Advocacy. Email: phemisterj @ wlu.edu


DOUGLAS RENDLEMAN, (Law Professor), admitted to bar, 1968, Iowa; 1977, Virginia. Education: University of Iowa (B.A., 1963; M.A., 1965; J.D., 1968); University of Michigan (LL.M., 1970). COURSES: Civil Procedure, Conflict of Laws, Creditors Rights, Property Damage, Remedies. Email: rendlemand @ wlu.edu


ADAM F. SCALES, (Law Professor), born 1969; admitted to bar, 1994, Minnesota. Education: University of Massachusetts (B.A., 1991); University of Michigan (J.D., 1993). COURSES: Torts, Civil Procedure and Jurisdiction, Insurance, Legal Philosophy. Email: scalesa @ wlu.edu


SEAN B. SEYMORE, (Law Professor), born Massachusetts, August 25, 1971; admitted to bar, 2006, Massachusetts. Education: University of Tennessee (B.S., 1993); Georgia Institute of Technology (M.S., Chemistry, 1996); University of Notre Dame (Ph.D., 2001; J.D., 2006). COURSES: Patent Law, Torts, Law & Science. Email: seymores @ wlu.edu


JOAN M. SHAUGHNESSY, (Law Professor), born 1953; admitted to bar, 1980, New York. Education: State University of New York at Binghamton (B.A., 1975); University of Chicago (J.D., 1978). COURSES: Civil Procedure, Complex Litigation, Evidence, Federal Courts, Jurisprudence. Email: shaughnessyj @ wlu.edu


A. BENJAMIN SPENCER, (Law Professor), born Atlanta, Georgia, November 11, 1974; admitted to bar, 2002, District of Columbia. Education: Morehouse College (B.A., Political Science, 1996); The London School of Economics (M.Sc., Criminal Justice Policy, 1997); Harvard Law School (J.D., 2001). COURSES: Civil Procedure. Email: spencerb @ wlu.edu


ROY L. STEINHEIMER, JR., (Law Professor), born 1916; admitted to bar, 1941, New York; 1951, Michigan; 1974, Virginia. Education: University of Kansas (A.B., 1937); University of Michigan (J.D., 1940). COURSES: Commercial Law, Consumer Protection.


SCOTT EDWIN SUNDBY, (Law Professor), born 1958; admitted to bar, 1985, California. Education: Vanderbilt (B.A., 1980); Cornell (J.D., 1983). COURSES: Capital Punishment, Constitutional Law, Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure. Email: sundbys @ wlu.edu


JOSEPH E. ULRICH, (Law Professor), born 1938; admitted to bar, 1961, Kentucky, Virginia. Education: Washington & Lee University (A.B., 1959; L.L.B., 1961). COURSES: Business Bankruptcy, Commercial Law, Creditors Rights, Future Interests, Torts.


SARAH K. WIANT, (Law Professor), born 1946; Education: Western State College (B.A., 1968); University North Texas (M.L.S., 1970); Washington and Lee University (J.D., 1978). COURSES: Admiralty, Intellectual Property, Torts. Email: wiants @ wlu.edu


ROBIN FRETWELL WILSON, (Law Professor), born Oceanside, California, June 30, 1966; admitted to bar, 1995, Texas. Education: University of Virginia (B.A., 1989; J.D., 1995). COURSES: Bio-Ethics, Domestic Relations, Health Law, Insurance Regulation and Business. Email: wilsonr @ wlu.edu