Leslie Devan Smith, Jr.: The First African American Law Student at Washington and Lee University
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.
Leslie D. Smith Jr., Washington and Lee University School of Law, Integration, Desegregation, Higher Education
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