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 Davison Douglas, who shares with his predecessors Wythe and Tucker a passion for legal education and training citizen lawyers.
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–present: 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