Marshall-Wythe School of Law

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A history of the Marshall-Wythe School of Law at the College of William and Mary is available at its website.


The Marshall-Wythe School of Law is located east of campus beside the National Center for State Courts on South Henry Street. It was located in the Old Gymnasium from 1922 to 1931, in James Blair Hall from 1935 to 1968, and in St. George Tucker Hall from 1968 to 1980.

In 1975 Wright, Jones, and Wilkerson designed the new law school. The groundbreaking ceremony for the Law School was held on September 11, 1976, but construction was delayed until March 1978 due to lack of funding. The Law School moved in during the summer of 1980, vacating the spaces in Tucker Hall, the basement of Chancellors Hall, rooms in Dawson Hall, Camm Hall, and Bryan Hall of the Bryan Complex, and the third floor of James Blair Hall. The dedication ceremony for the building was held on Burgesses Day on September 13, 1980.

The Law School has 87,954 square feet of space, and nearly half of the is devoted to the library. Also within the Law School are a moot courtroom, two lecture rooms seating 154 people each, two more lecture rooms seating 85 people each, and smaller seminar rooms for approximately 30 students each.


Note that early professors were the sole faculty member offering instruction in law to students.

1779-1790 George Wythe

1790-1804 St. George Tucker

1804-1813 William Nelson

1813-1818 Robert Nelson

1818-1834 James Semple

1834-1851 Nathaniel Beverly Tucker

1851-1855 George Parker Scarburgh

1855-1858 Lucian Minor

1858-1861 Charles Morris

1861-1921 Law School closed

1922-1923 Oscar Lane Shewmake

1923-1946 Theodore Sullivan Cox

1947-1963 Dudley W. Woodbridge

1964-1969 Joseph Curtis

1970-1976 James P. Whyte, Jr.

1976-1985 William Spong

1985-1993 Timothy Sullivan

1994-1997 Thomas G. Krattenmaker

1997-September 2008 W. Taylor Reveley, III

February 2008-present Lynda Butler, Interim Dean


For research related to the School of Law's curriculum, the below are suggested resources in getting your research started.

  • Legal education in Virginia, 1779-1979 : a biographical approach, [compiled and edited by] W. Hamilton Bryson. Charlottesville : University Press of Virginia, 1982.
  • See University Archives Subject File Collection, Special Collections Research Center, Swem Library, College of William and Mary.
  • College of William and Mary Catalogs and Bulletins.
  • Various College of William and Mary administrative records.
  • To search for further material, see Finding Materials in the SCRC for an introduction to the SCRC Collections Database, card catalogs, Flat Hat-William & Mary News-Alumni Gazette index, etc.


  • University Archives Buildings File (2007), Marshall-Wythe School of Law, Earl Gregg Swem Library, The College of William and Mary.