Reserve Room Open House

This year’s Reserve Room Open House will be on Thursday, September 27th.  Stop by to see what is available to borrow from the reserve room, take a tour of the law library, or just say hello!  Donuts from Dunkin Donuts will be served at 10:30 AM and a sweet treat in the afternoon at 1 PM.

See you there!



110th Anniversary of the Birth of Justice Lewis F. Powell Jr.

Lewis F. Powell Jr. is justifiably identified with Richmond, Virginia. Aside from his U.S. Army service in World War II and his time on the Supreme Court of the United States, he spent his entire life there — with the exception of his first two months of life. As you can read in the clipping below, an accident of family history resulted in his birthplace actually being Suffolk, Virginia.

SuffolkNews-HeraldPowellBirthIn a short time, however, he was ensconced in the house (see below) in the Forest Hill  district of Richmond that would be his home until leaving for college.

PowellForestHillHomeAt any event, he appeared to have been a happy baby.


Welcome to W&L!

cj1fowgllfc08vzkqpq31mena9cb4m45Welcome to the Library at Washington and Lee School of Law!

Our a physical collection contains over 490,000 volumes and equivalents.  While our focus is U.S. legal materials, our collections include international and foreign law titles, significant materials for research in human rights, legal history, law reviews and legal journals, and study aids.  Our “fun and function” collection provides laptops, iPads, headphones, chargers, puzzles, games, and other items to entertain.  Use the online catalog to search the collections of the both the Law Library and the University Library.

The Law Library provides access to Westlaw, Lexis Advance, Bloomberg Law, HeinOnline, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and many other databases and electronic resources both on and off campus.  Electronic resources are accessible via the Law Library website.

Information about hours, borrowing, and services is also available on the Law Library website. Check out our YouTube and Twitter accounts for the latest information on research and the library.

The law librarians and staff in the Law Library are pleased to welcome you to W&L!  Find us on the second and third floors of the law library.

Caroline L. Osborne
Assistant Dean for Legal Information Services and Professor of Legal Research

Reading Days and Spring Exams Circulation Desk Hours

The law library circulation desk will be staffed according to the following schedule during reading days and exams:

Tuesday-Friday, April 18-21, 8 a.m.-11 p.m.

Saturday, April 22, 8 a.m.-6 p.m.

Sunday, April 23, 1 p.m.-11 p.m.

Monday-Thursday, April 24-27, 8 a.m.-11 p.m.

Friday, April 28, 8 a.m.-6 p.m.

Saturday-Sunday, April 29-April 30, Closed

Monday-Friday, May 1-5, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Saturday, May 6, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Sunday, May 7, Closed

Powell Archives Turns 25



above — Dean Randall Bezanson, Justice Lewis F. Powell Jr., Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, Josephine R. Powell at Dedication of the Lewis F. Powell Jr Archives.

Twenty-five years ago, on April 2-4, 1992, ceremonies, dinners and an academic symposium marked the dedication of the Lewis F. Powell Jr. Archives, and of the addition to the law building known as the Powell Wing. Justice Powell and dozens of his family members, personal friends and professional associates were in attendance. Distinguished speakers included Chief Justice William Rehnquist, Judges J. Harvie Wilkinson and Robert Merhige, Powell SCOTUS clerk and biographer John C. Jeffries, former Virginia Governor Linwood Holton and civil rights legend Oliver Hill. Academics presenting at the symposium included Scot Powe, Jean Love, Judith Resnik, Sanford Levinson and Catharine Wells. (Here are some documents related to those events.)

In the intervening quarter century, the Powell Papers have formed the basis of many books and articles, and contributed to hundreds more. Several documentary films have also used these materials.

The archives’ mission and holdings have both greatly expanded since its inception. Its stacks are now home to more than two dozen manuscript collections, the retired administrative records of the law school, the rare book collection and records of student clinical programs.

The first library unit to have a website, the Archives now delivers, to researchers around the world via the Internet, more than 650 complete SCOTUS case files of Justice Powell, along with selected speeches, writings, correspondence and photos from his papers. Significant portions of other manuscript collections, most notably portions of the M. Caldwell Butler Papers and the complete Newton Baker Scrapbooks, have also been digitized and uploaded to our Scholarly Commons.

The Archives is also responsible for records management within the law school. An Archive-It subscription preserves the ever changing content of the law school website. The Archives also created many temporary physical exhibits. Several of these have been preserved in electronic form, and born digital displays are also available. Most recently, the Archives conceived and had professionally fabricated two permanent exhibits, on the late Dean Roy Steinheimer and on the ABA Presidents who are alumni of W&L Law.

The Archives looks forward to its next 25 years of meeting the challenges of a changing records landscape. Something that will remain unchanged, however, will be the primacy of service to students, faculty, administrators and the researching public.