For The Record

Illustrations by Warren Chapel, R'26, and Katie McBride

One hundred years ago, “law school consisted of learning the content of law and little else,” said Jack Preis, associate dean of academics. For first-year students at Richmond Law, that meant a curriculum without the skills-building courses — like legal analysis, writing, and research — that gained in popularity throughout the 20th century.

It might look like students were excused from learning civil procedure in 1920 as well, but that’s far from the case. “Not only was ‘civ pro’ taught back in 1920, it tended to be even more complex,” Preis said. “For most of Anglo-American history, there was no formal category of law called ‘procedure,’ but there were innumerable rules that we would recognize as procedural.”