The Law Library's collections support and enhance faculty and student research, scholarship, and the educational experience. Questions or requests for items to support individual research, scholarship or education should be directed to Jenny Mitchell at   

Collections of specific note are:

Lewis F. Powell Jr. Archives

The Powell Archives comprise three units of special collections: Manuscript Collections (personal papers), the Rare Book Collection and the Archives of the School of Law. The papers of the late Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, Lewis F. Powell Jr., 1929, 1931L, is the centerpiece of almost two dozen manuscript collections. Included here are the papers of Nixon Impeachment Judiciary Committee member, Representative M. Caldwell Butler; three Virginia Federal District Judges; a former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Virginia; a prominent voting rights activist; and former W&L Law faculty members. The Rare Book Collections includes extensive general holdings of rare legal publications, as well as the library of prominent Virginia collector, Judge Charles E. Burks, the bound cases and points of noted Supreme Court Advocate John W. Davis, 1897L, and the Supreme Court Chambers Library of Lewis F. Powell Jr.  The Archives of the School of Law includes retired administrative records; law school publications; student organization records; photos and artifacts; and physical copies of publications by our faculty. The Archives is located at the far end of level 1. For more information, contact the Archivist and Special Collections Law Librarian Jenny Mitchell at

Law School Success Collection

This collection includes a range of titles to help students do their best in law school—not only academically, but also with regard to mindfulness, perseverance, mental health, and work-life balance. These materials are located on level 3A in the Main Reading Room.

Bar Success Collection

This collection consists of a variety of materials written to assist students in studying and planning for the bar exam. These materials are located on level 3A in the Main Reading Room.

Career Strategy Collection

This collection contains materials focused on career exploration, interviewing techniques, time management, personal organization, and professionalism. These materials are located on level 3A in the Main Reading Room.


This collection includes novels, popular nonfiction, DVDs, jigsaw puzzles, and tabletop, card, and outdoor games. These materials are located on level 3 in the Reserve Room.

Reserve Room

This collection consists of a selection of legal study aids, hornbooks, commercial outlines, etc. Additionally, this collection contains reference materials such as dictionaries, thesauri, directories, finding aids, and atlases. These materials are located on level 3 in the Reserve Room. Faculty and student donations to the Reserve Room are always welcome. To contribute, please email

U.S. Government Documents

The Law Library has been a U.S. Government Publications Depository since 1978. The Federal Documents collection consists of administrative decisions, agency reports, congressional publications, U.S. Supreme Court records and briefs, state statutes, congressional and regulatory sources, and U.N. documents. These materials are located in print on level 1A and in microform in the History Room on level 2.

Library Purchase Requests

Law faculty and students may submit library purchase requests or recommendations to

Donations to the Law Library

The Washington and Lee University School of Law Library considers offers of gifts and materials. We welcome books and other information resources which strengthen the collection and support the Law School's instructional, clinical, and scholarly programs. More information can be found in the Law Library's donation policy.

Collection Development Policy

The W&L Law Library Collection Development Policy was revised most recently in 2024. The goal of the Collection Development Policy is to document the current collection philosophies, policies, and practices for the Law Library.