Collection Development

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 Jennifer Mart-Rice 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   


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 3 in the Third Floor Reading Room.   

Career Placement Collection

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

Escape Hatch

This collection contains books and videos with legal themes and focus on providing faculty and students with recreational reading/viewing materials. These materials are located on level 3 in the Third Floor Reading 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 contact Jennifer Mart-Rice at   

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 & Donations

Faculty may submit library purchase requests and/or recommendations to Jennifer Mart-Rice at

All faculty and student donations to the library collection are welcome. Please contact Jennifer Mart-Rice at to arrange pick-up and acceptance.