A Short Walk, A Historical Journey

The Law Library invites you to take a few moments to experience the exhibit at the Library’s front entrance on the history of the Law School. We hope that both current and prospective students, as well as our many visitors, will gain a better understanding of who we are, where we have been and how we came to be a top ten law school. Some of the items you will find in the display cases include a letter in Thomas Jefferson’s hand, student notebooks from the 1800’s, a once-renowned golden calf trophy from the annual faculty-student softball tournament, the first Virginia Law Weekly, pictures of Barristers Balls and Libel Shows from as early as the 1950’s and a mason jar with a special meaning to a couple of students from the Roaring Twenties!

In this exhibit, our history unfolds in photographs, books, buildings, statues and other artifacts. The display is designed to present a decade-by-decade timeline of our history, with law school architecture from all eras serving as the backdrop. Replicas of archival documents and period photographs are mounted in the foreground. A reader-rail running along both sides of the room provides further description of the images. Although the space will not be completely finished until new lighting is installed, most of the display’s content is in place.

We appreciate our students’ patience while the project was underway and apologize that we had to barricade the entrance several times during the construction period. But now the noisy part of the work has been completed, and we hope that you will feel that the effort was worthwhile. As we were constructing the exhibit, several law students walking through the area contributed very good ideas for content, including the notion that a bust of Jefferson must be present. Your thoughts on items that would be of interest to you and your colleagues are welcomed. Check occasionally for changes, because we plan to rotate items on the walls and in the display cases. Now, you who are a part of our history, go investigate!

– Taylor Fitchett 

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Arthur J. Morris Law Library

The Arthur J. Morris Law Library is the home of research for students and faculty at the University of Virginia School of Law.

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