Dean Smolla Named 2008 Leader in the Law for Curricular Innovation

Lexington, VA Monday, October 20, 2008

Rodney A. Smolla, Dean and Roy L. Steinheimer, Jr. Professor of Law  
Law Dean Rodney A. Smolla has been named a 2008 Leader in the Law for his work on Washington and Lee Law School's innovative third-year curriculum reform. The award comes from the legal publication Virginia Lawyers Weekly and honors lawyers across the commonwealth who are changing practice, advancing the law, improving the justice system and setting the standard for other lawyers.

"I am most pleased to accept this recognition," said Dean Smolla.  "I treat it as an honor earned by Washington and Lee and the many members of our faculty and staff who were courageous in moving forward to advance the cause of legal education in the United States." 

Announced in March of this year, the Law School's new third-year program marks a dramatic departure from traditional legal education by engaging all third-year law students in a broad array of real-world and simulated applications of legal knowledge in order to provide a bridge from the study of legal theory to the actual practice of law. The new program was implemented partially this academic year and will go into full effect in 2010-11. More information is available at

Virginia Lawyers Weekly is the commonwealth's top source of legal information for practicing attorneys, providing a traditional weekly newspaper as well as online news. The newspaper reports all decisions issued by the Supreme Court of Virginia, the Virginia Court of Appeals and the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. News coverage highlights developments in case law, changes to court rules, verdict and settlement reports, bar-discipline notices and all other news vital to Virginia lawyers.

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