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.



“Lawyers Without Rights” in Hitler’s Germany: New Research and Resource Guide

Through mid-April 2017, the traveling exhibition “Lawyers Without Rights: Jewish Lawyers in Germany Under the Third Reich” will be on display at Washington and Lee School of Law, co-sponsored by the German Federal Bar (Bundesrechtsanwaltskammer) and the American Bar Association.

The W&L Law Library has prepared an online guide at http://libguides.wlu.edu/lawyerswithoutrights to highlight research materials and information resources relating to the themes of the exhibit, focusing on the Nazi use of law to suppress justice, equality, civil rights, prosperity, and professional practice in World War II-era Germany. Leading books, scholarly articles, films, and online resources are identified, described, and linked for easy access.

Please contact a librarian with any related questions.

Spring Into Summer Success – Legal Research Certification – 3/25 – Register Today!

Sharpen Your Research Skills! Attend W&L Law Library’s Spring Into Summer Success Legal Research Certification, Saturday, March 25, from 9:00am to 1:00pm in Classroom A. Open to all 1L, 2L, and 3Ls – lunch provided.

Learn expert tips and strategies from librarians and lawyers to help you succeed this summer and beyond. Instructional sessions taught by our W&L Law librarians will cover legal research methods and resources useful for firm, court, public interest, and government jobs, including practice-area specific materials, legal news resources, legislative and agency info, and more. Efficient use of Lexis, Westlaw, Bloomberg Law, and alternative online sources is also an important focus.

The program includes a panel discussion with insights and advice on legal research and professional success from three experienced practitioners:

  •     Tanishka Cruz, Staff Attorney, Legal Aid Justice Center, Charlottesville, VA
  •     Jim Pickle ’15L, Associate, DLA Piper, Washington, DC
  •     Christopher Russell, Commonwealth’s Attorney, Buena Vista, VA; W&L Law Adjunct Professor

After attending, you are eligible to earn a Certificate in Legal Research to add to your credentials and show value to employers. One lucky attendee will also win a $100 gift card courtesy of Bloomberg Law.

Contact Andrew Christensen, Faculty Services Librarian, at christensena@wlu.edu to reserve your place or for more information.

More On the Contested Convention of 1924

Following up on the previous entry on this subject, national newspapers and magazines have picked up the theme of parallels between the 1924 and 2016 presidential campaigns. The New York Times wrote a piece yesterday and the New Yorker will have a piece in their March 21 edition. Both pieces mention W&L Law alumnus John W. Davis, and the New Yorker comment includes an amusing anecdote involving another of our most distinguished graduates, Newton D. Baker.


Lion of W&L Law, Roy Steinheimer, Dies at 98

Roy Lee Steinheimer, Jr., one of the most important figures in the history of the Washington and Lee University School of Law, died yesterday in Lexington, VA.  Part of W&L President Ken Ruscio note to the University on learning of Roy’s death follows.

“I write with the sad news that Roy Lee Steinheimer Jr., the dean of the Washington and Lee University School of Law from 1968 to 1983, and the Robert E.R. Huntley Professor of Law Emeritus at W&L, died on Thursday, Jan. 8, in Lexington. He was 98.

Roy Steinheimer’s deanship was a pivotal one for Washington and Lee’s Law School. He left a genuine legacy, and more than any other individual shaped the Law School that exists today. His contributions were profound, and we shall be forever grateful for his service and dedication to the University.


During Roy’s landmark tenure as dean, the Law School moved into Lewis Hall, welcomed its first women students, further diversified its student body, and strengthened its national profile.

Roy was born on Dec. 2, 1916, in Dodge City, Kansas, to Roy L. Steinheimer Sr. and Nettie E. Steinheimer. He received his A.B. in 1937 from the University of Kansas and his law degree from the University of Michigan Law School in 1940. He practiced law with Sullivan & Cromwell in New York City for 10 years before returning to the University of Michigan, where he taught from 1950 to 1968.

He came to W&L in 1968 as dean, and after his retirement from that post continued to teach here. In 1985, he was named the Robert E.R. Huntley Professor of Law and taught commercial transactions and consumer protection. He also spent a semester, in 1984, at the University of Alabama as the first occupant of the John Sparkman Distinguished Professorship. He retired from W&L in 1987.

Roy’s primary field was commercial law. He served on the Uniform Commercial Code committees of the American and Michigan state bar associations and lectured widely on the code. He belonged to the American Bar Association, American Arbitration Association and American Law Institute. In 1970, he headed a White House task force that investigated ways to explain the American legal system to children.

He also belonged to the honorary societies of Phi Beta Kappa, Omicron Delta Kappa and Order of the Coif.

Roy wrote many articles and books, including the two-volume “Uniform Commercial Code Forms with Practice Comments” (1969) and the two-volume “Desk Reference to the Uniform Commercial Code” (1964).

Upon his retirement from the deanship in 1983, the law faculty established the Roy L. Steinheimer Jr. Commercial Law Award, which is given each year to the graduating student who has compiled the most outstanding record in commercial law. In 1984, alumni and friends created the Roy L. Steinheimer Jr. Professorship in Law.

When he stepped down from the dean’s post, law students commissioned an artist to paint portrait of Roy, which now hangs in Lewis Hall.

Roy was as well known for his colorful sportcoats as he was for his oft-repeated answer to faculty requests, “My hands are tied,” and for the well-known slogan that an unknown law professor coined after hearing that answer: “I’ve been Royed.”

Known as “The Sky Dean,” he piloted a Beech Bonanza until he was 76 over the skies of the East Coast on recruitment trips. He also flew in Alaska, the Caribbean, Central America and South America. And he raised sheep both in Michigan and Virginia.

He married Jane Powell Patchett in 1949; she died in 1982. Roy married Frances Pugh in 1988; she died in 2008. Roy is survived by Frances Pugh Steinheimer’s daughters, Sarah Pugh Dicks ’86L and Susan Pugh Morten.”