University of Virginia Library

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Professor of Common and Statute Law.

Professor of Civil, International, and Constitutional Law and Equity.

This Department is organized with a view to acquaint the student
FAMILIARLY AND PRACTICALLY with the principles of his profession. The
instruction is as thorough as possible, and is given partly through textbooks
and partly through lectures, with daily examinations upon both.

A Moot-Court, in connection with other instruction, tends to perfect
the student in the details of practice Under the immediate supervision
of the professors, he is required to pronounce opinions upon supposed
cases; to devise and institute remedies by suit or otherwise; to conduct
suits at law and in equity from their inception through all their stages;
to draw wills, conveyances, and other assurances; and in short, to perform
most of the functions of a practising lawyer.

The Department comprises two schools, each of which is divided into
two classes, and the course of study is as follows:


Prof. John B. Minor, LL. D.

Junior-Class.—Blackstone's Commentaries. Minor's Institutes of Common and
Statute Law, namely:

  • Vol. I, The Rights which relate to the Person.

  • Vol. II, The Rights which relate to Real Property.

  • Vol. III, The Rights which relate to Personal Property.

Senior-Class.—Stephen on Pleading. Minor's Institutes of Common and Statute
Law, namely:

Vol. IV, The Practice of the Law in Civil Cases, including Pleading; Minor's
Synopsis of Criminal Law; Lectures on the Law of Executors.

☞ For reference, Virginia Code (1873); Revised Statutes of United States.


Page 45


Prof. S. O. Southall, LL. D.

Junior-Class.—Vattel's International Law, Lectures on Government, Federalist.

Senior-Class.—Smith's Mercantile Law; Greenleaf's Evidence; Barton's Suit in
Equity; Adams' Equity, with Lectures.

In the Department of Law, the degree of Bachelor of Law is conferred
upon those who, upon examination conducted in writing, manifest
an intimate acquaintance with the subjects taught in ALL THE
CLASSES; and to those who, upon like examination, exhibit a competent
knowledge of International and Constitutional Law, and of the Science
of Government, a certificate of proficiency is awarded.

In order to obtain the degree, the whole of the foregoing course must
be completed HERE, no preliminary examination being had upon entering.

The course is designed for two sessions, and in general, it is not prudent
to devote less to it, the future professional success of the student
depending much upon his full mastery of it. It is a maxim sanctioned by
long and wide experience, that "he who is not a good lawyer when he
comes to the bar, will seldom be a good one afterwards." And in order
to such thorough acquaintance with the elements of the law, thought is
requisite as well as reading; and for the purpose of thought, there must
be TIME to digest, as well as INDUSTRY to acquire. One cannot expect
to gorge himself with law, as a boa constrictor does with masses of food,
and then digest it afterwards; the process of assimilation must go on, if
it is to proceed healthfully and beneficially, at the same time with the
reception of the knowledge. So the athlete judges, who wishes to train
the physical man to the most vigorous development, and the intellectual
athlete cannot do better than imitate the example.

But whilst the student is advised, as a general rule, to avoid the
attempt to complete the course in a single session, yet, if he chooses to
essay it (as some do successfully), he is admitted to stand the graduating
examinations, and if he attains the standard required, he is entitled to
his degree.

The expenses of the Law Student, as appears from page 56 of this
Catalogue, amount to about $361 for a session of nine months, commencing
1st October; or if he messes, to about $271 per session.