Dean Rodney A. Smolla Named to Steinheimer Chair in Law

Lexington, VA Monday, September 29, 2008


Rodney A. Smolla, Dean and Roy L. Steinheimer, Jr. Professor of Law  
Washington and Lee University Provost June Aprille has announced that Dean Rodney A. Smolla of the School of Law has been named to the Roy L. Steinheimer, Jr., Professorship in Law.

"While Dean Smolla's new appointment recognizes his outstanding personal accomplishments as a scholar, teacher, and leader in higher education, I also want to congratulate the faculty at the School of Law for all they have accomplished together under Dean Smolla's leadership for the Law School and for Washington and Lee," said Aprille.

Established in 2004 by alumni and friends, the professorship honors Roy L. Steinheimer, Jr., who served as dean of the School of Law from 1968 to 1983. The first dean to come from outside of the W&L faculty, Steinheimer instituted admissions policies that made the law school a stronger national institution with a more diverse student body. Sydney Lewis Hall also was planned and constructed during Steinheimer's tenure as Dean. 

"Dean Roy Steiheimer, known affectionately to many as the 'Sky Dean' for his tireless efforts to promote and lead Washington and Lee during his transformative years as Dean of the Law School, is a giant in the School's history," said Dean Smolla.  "It is an honor to hold the chair established to recognize his extraordinary contributions to this school and our profession."

Dean Smolla is nationally recognized as a scholar, teacher, advocate, and writer. His wide-ranging scholarship includes four legal treatises, a casebook on the First Amendment, a coauthored casebook on constitutional law, and scores of articles in the nation's top law reviews. He also writes widely for general audiences, including popular books such as Deliberate Intent and Jerry Falwell v. Larry Flynt. His commentary appears frequently in national print and electronic media, including a recent analysis of the Wall Street bailout plan in Slate and an editorial about W&L's new third-year reform in the Legal Times.

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