From its beginnings in 1779 as the first law school in the new nation to the present, the deans of the William & Mary Law School have been leaders and innovators in American legal education. The stage was set by our first professor, George Wythe, who was asked by his former student Thomas Jefferson to begin a program of formal legal education at the College. Wythe was succeeded by St. George Tucker, who had read law under Wythe, and who would during his tenure at William & Mary author the seminal work known as Tucker’s Blackstone, the most important American legal treatise in the early 19th Century. Today the law school is led by A. Benjamin Spencer who, as scholar, an officer in the U.S. Army Reserve Judge Advocate General’s Corps, and a leader in public service, is fully poised to lead William & Mary into the future..

Additional information about the history of the William & Mary Law School is available here.

Directories of Faculty and Administrative personnel, with their tenure, of the William & Mary Law School are available here.


Browse the Law School Deans Collections:

2020–present: A. Benjamin Spencer

2009–2020: Davison M. Douglas

2008–2009: Lynda L. Butler (Interim Dean)

1998–2008: W. Taylor Reveley, III

1997–1998: Paul Marcus (Acting Dean)

1994–1997: Thomas G. Krattenmaker

1993–1994: Paul Marcus (Acting Dean)

1992–1993: Richard A. Williamson (Acting Dean)

1985–1992: Timothy J. Sullivan

1976–1985: William B. Spong, Jr.

1975-1976: Emeric Fischer (Acting Dean)

1969–1975: James P. Whyte, Jr. (Acting Dean 1969-1970)

1962–1969: Joseph Curtis (Acting Dean 1962-1963)

1948–1962: Dudley W. Woodbridge (Acting Dean 1948-1950)

1947–1948: Arthur Warren Phelps

1946–1947: Theodore Sullivan Cox

1942–1946: Dudley W. Woodbridge (Acting Dean)

1932–1942: Theodore Sullivan Cox

1923–1932: John Garland Pollard

1861–1921: Law School Closed

1859–1861: Charles Morris

1855–1858: Lucian Minor

1852–1855: George Parker Scarburgh

1834–1851: Nathaniel Beverley Tucker

1819–1834: James Semple

1813–1818: Robert Nelson

1804–1813: William Nelson

1790–1804: St. George Tucker

1779–1789: George Wythe