A Brief History

1870
The School of Law is founded as part of Richmond College, with an inaugural class of 30 students. Professor James Neeson is one of the first faculty members at Richmond Law. 

1890
After a period of hardship, classes at the Law School continue as a result of a $25,000 donation from the family of Thomas C. Williams Sr., which established the T.C. Williams Professorship of Law. Learn more about T.C. Williams Sr.

1893
The law library is established in Jeter Hall with a donation of 700 books from Mrs. Harriet Purcell.

1917
The Law School relocates to Columbia Hall on the corner of Grace Street and Lombardy Street in the Fan district of Richmond.

1920
The Law School is named in honor of Thomas C. Williams Sr.

1923
Jane Brown Ranson is the first female graduate.

1954
The Law School joins the University on the Westhampton Campus.

1979
The law library is named in honor of Dean William Taylor Muse.

1984
Okianer Christian Dark was the first African-American tenured faculty member.

1991
The building is renovated and expanded to its present-day size and configuration.

1992
Student carrels are installed in the Law Library, providing a dedicated study space for every student.

1994
1L students at Richmond Law are the first in the nation to be required to use laptop computers.

1995
The Journal of Law and Technology launches as the first exclusively digital law journal in the country.

2011
Wendy Collins Perdue is named the first female dean of the Law School.

2020
The Law School celebrates 150 years.