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The Hour (Sept. 16, 1966)


LITCHFIELD (AP) -- The National Park Service sign at the old Tapping Reeve Law School is going to be modified.

No longer will the dignified old building bear the title of first law school in the United States.

The title belongs to the Marshall-Wythe School of Law at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Va., the park [s]ervice conceded Wednesday.

It agreed to change the shingle at Tapping Reeve's place to make it read: "Tapping Reeve's Proprietary Law School, the first in the United States not associated with a college or university."

W. Melville Jones, dean of William and Mary, said the park service's action was "deeply appreciated and accurately reflects, for purposes of historical [r]ecognition, the status of the famed Tapping Reeve School, which was so influential in New England during the time it was [i]n existence."

William and Mary opened its [l]aw school in 1779, five years [b]efore Reeve [began] taking in [l]aw students in Litchfield. Reeve [d]ied in 1823, and the school he [f]ounded outlived him by only 10 years.


Legal Education, Law Schools, History