WILLIAMSBURG -- The Order of the Coif, the law school equivalent of Phi Beta Kappa, has voted to establish a chapter at the Marshall-Wythe School of Law at the College of William and Mary, it was announced yesterday.

Law School Dean William B. Spong Jr. said that he learned by telephone from Coif national President Allan D. Vestal of the University of Iowa that the other Coif chapters had approved William and Mary.

Spong indicated that the establishment of the Order of the Coif was one of three major goals that he set when he assumed the deanship. The other two goals were the construction of a new law school building and the accreditation approval by the American Bar Association.

William and Mary filed an application for a Coif chapter in December, 1978, Spong said, but the national organization did not send an inspection team to William and Mary until after the law school building was dedicated in September. The team's visit was in mid-October.

Spong said this is a major achievement for the Marshall-Wythe School of Law. William and Mary becomes the 57th college or university law school to have a chapter chartered.

In Virginia, there are two other law school with Coif chapters: the University of Virginia, where a chapter was established in 1909, and Washington and Lee University, which received chapter approval in 1950.


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Richmond Times-Dispatch at B-4 (April 28, 1981)