Powell Archives Web Exhibits

Leslie Devan Smith, Jr.: The First African American Law Student at Washington and Lee University

Title

Leslie Devan Smith, Jr.: The First African American Law Student at Washington and Lee University

Authors

John N. Jacob

Files

Download A final proof of the exhibit. (282 KB)

Download "Ring-tu Phi" issue with admissions policy article and editorial, October 1964. (2.0 MB)

Download Obituary of 1966 W&L Class President who established the first scholarship fund for African American students at the school. (13 KB)

Download Leslie D. Smith's application to W&L School of Law. (495 KB)

Download Transcription of Leslie Smith's admissions personal statement. (13 KB)

Download Richmond and Roanoke press accounts of admission of black students at W&L, 1966. (7.5 MB)

Download Associated Press story about black student admission at W&L as printed in the "Washington Post", August 20, 1966. (666 KB)

Download Clippings from Lexington and Roanoke press about admission of black students at W&L, 1966. (10.6 MB)

Download Leslie Smith's signature in the W&L Matriculation Book, 1966. (457 KB)

Download 1968 staff of the magazine "The Washington and Lee Lawyer." Ironically, Smith is almost touching the memorial to Jockey John Robinson, the benefactor who left African slaves to the university in his will. (80 KB)

Download Smith as co-president of the Young Democrats meeting, December 1968. (150 KB)

Download Smith's "small section" of his 2L class, 1968. (69 KB)

Download Smith's entry in "The Placement Issue" of "The Lawyer", 1968. (51 KB)

Download 1969 staff of the magazine "The Washington and Lee Lawyer." (174 KB)

Download W&L Law Class of 1969 (141 KB)

Download Leslie Smith receiving his law diploma from W&L President Robert E. R. Huntley, June 1969. Photo from 1971 "Calyx." (176 KB)

Download Smith's correspondence with W&L, 1966-1970. (913 KB)

Download Press accounts of Smith's murder. (190 KB)

Download Program from Smith's funeral. (173 KB)

Download Smith's tombstone in Chuckatuck, Virginia (56 KB)

Download Dean Steinheimer's and Bill Washburn's letters of condolence to Smith's family, 1971. (150 KB)

Download Leslie Smith's brother, Bobby, wrote this tribute that was included the the "Calyx", the W&L yearbook, of 1972. (40 KB)

Download Leslie Smith's murder is still an open case. Anyone with information should contact the Washington, DC Metropolitan Police Department. (96 KB)

Download For an unknown number of years, there was a Leslie Smith Memorial Lecture given at W&L. (540 KB)

Download Oral History Interview with Smith's law school roommate, Ken Satlin. (626 KB)

Download Photo of the finished exhibit, May 2019. (9.3 MB)

Download Draft text for physical Leslie Smith exhibit, February 2019. (15 KB)

Download Some of Smith's classmates stand in front of the exhibit during their 50th class reunion. L.to r.: Bob Harrison, Ed Dickson, J.D. Humphries, Val McWhorter, Pete Hendricks, Dave Redmond and Jay Adams. (91 KB)

Description

The Washington and Lee University School of Law had long intended to tangibly honor its first African American graduate, Leslie D. Smith. Early in 2019, with the 50th anniversary of Smith's graduation fast approaching, Dean Brant Helwig led a committee charged with producing a permanent exhibit in Smith's honor.

Law School Archivist, John Jacob, and Dean Helwig did preliminary design work for the display. Gropen, Inc. of Charlottesville, Virginia enhanced the design and fabricated the exhibit. It was installed in time for the 50th Reunion of the class of 1969, held in April 2019. The exhibit is located in the lobby of the Millhiser Moot Court Room in Sydney Lewis Hall.

This online exhibit is a companion to the physical one. It contains images and text from that exhibit, as well as materials that could not be included. Anyone who has photos or other materials relating to Leslie Smith's life and is willing to share them is encouraged to contact the Law School Archives.

Exhibition Date

4-2019

Keywords

Leslie D. Smith Jr., Washington and Lee University School of Law, Integration, Desegregation, Higher Education

Disciplines

Civil Rights and Discrimination | Constitutional Law | Education Law | Law and Gender | Law and Society | Legal Education | Legal History | Legal Profession

Leslie Devan Smith, Jr.: The First African American Law Student at Washington and Lee University

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