Sarah K. Wiant Professor of Law, Emerita

Phone: 540-458-8543


Office: 425 Lewis Hall 

CV  •  Scholarly Commons  •  High Res Photo

Area of Expertise

Admiralty, Copyrights and Patents, Trademarks and Unfair Trade Practices


BA, 1968, Western State College of Colorado

MLS, 1970, University of North Texas

JD, 1978, Washington and Lee University


Professor Wiant has an extensive history with the Washington and Lee University School of Law. She first joined the community as an Assistant Law Librarian in 1972. At the same time, she became a member of the first class of women and completed her degree in 1978. After finishing her J.D., she became the Director of the Law Library and an Assistant Professor of Law. She moved to Associate Professor of Law in 1984, while maintaining her role as Director of the Library. She has held her position of a full Professor of Law since 1993. Professor Wiant stepped down from her position as Director in 2010, and has continued to teach fulltime.

Wiant's scholarship focuses on Copyright Law, Intellectual Property, Trademarks, Unfair Competition, and Admiralty Maritime Law. She has published extensive work in Copyright Law, including two books: Libraries and Copyright: A Guide to Copyright Law in the 1990's, and Copyright Handbook. Her numerous book chapters can be found in the series of Specialized Legal Research, as well as in Developments in Copyright Law, and the Encyclopedia of Library and Information Science. She has written articles and columns for publications such as Virginia Lawyer, AALL Spectrum, and the National Paralegal Reporter.

Professor Wiant has led a distinguished career as a Professor of Law for Washington and Lee. Her teaching material has recently shifted from her primary research foci to first-year Torts and Legal Writing, making her one of the first Professors new law students meet and get the chance to work with at Washington and Lee School of Law. Throughout the course of her career, she has taught courses in Copyright, Trademarks, and Admiralty Law, as well as supervised the Judicial Externship Program. Professor Wiant continues to offer the Intellectual Property Practicum as part of the third year practice program.

Wiant has also been very active in the American Association of Law Librarians throughout her career. In addition to being elected to the Board of AALL, she has chaired or served on most committees of the AALL, including being the Chair of the Economic Status Committee, the Annual Program Committee, the Special Committee on the Future of AALL, and the Education Committee. Additionally, Professor Wiant has fulfilled roles for the Association of American Law Schools, American Bar Association, Southeastern American Association of Law Libraries, Special Libraries Association, Virginia Association of Law Libraries, Virginia Special Libraries Association, and the Virginia State Library.

Professor Wiant is in-demand as a speaker on the intersection between Copyright Law and libraries, and is call on to testify on proposed changes to the Copyright Law. She is available to be interviewed on Copyright Law and Trademarks.

Recent Publications

- See Prof. Wiant's full list of publications at her Scholarly Commons page.