Only two other law schools can claim more ABA presidents than W&L – Harvard with 18 and Columbia with 10. Just over 6,300 people have graduated from W&L, which means that one in 1,000 has served in one of the most important positions in the legal profession.
Robert J. Grey, Jr. '76L was sworn in as the 128th president of the American Bar Association August 9, 2004. He is the sixth alumnus of Washington and Lee University School of Law to serve in this important position. A partner in the Richmond, Va., office of Hunton & Williams, Grey's practice has focused on administrative matters before state and federal agencies, mediation and dispute resolution, and legislative representation of clients.
Lewis F. Powell, Jr. 1929, 1931L
88th president, 1964-65
In 35 years of practice at the Richmond firm of Hunton & Williams, he became both its chief rainmaker and leader in pro bono work. His legacy as ABA president is most evident in the Legal Services Program and the Constitutional amendment on presidential succession. Powell served as an associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, 1972-1987. Most closely associated with the Bakke decision, his ability as a consensus builder made him a powerful swing vote on the Court.
Ross L. Malone, Jr. 1932L
82nd president, 1958-59
Deputy attorney general of the United States, 1952-53; vice president and general counsel to General Motors, 1967-74; W&L board of trustees, 1967-74; rector, 1974; and Law Council chair. Malone was one of the principal drafters of the 25th Amendment dealing with presidential succession. He posthumously received the highly prestigious ABA Medal.
Scott M. Loftin 1899 LL.D.
58th president, 1934-35
General counsel for the Florida East Coast Railway, 1931-1941; Attorney General's Advisory Committee on Crime, 1934. He was a member of the National Conference on Commissioners on Uniform State Laws.
John W. Davis 1895
45th president, 1922-23
W&L professor of law, 1896-97; U.S. congressman (D-W.Va.), 1911-13; solicitor general, 1913-18; and U.S. ambassador to Great Britain, 1918-21. He ran as the Democratic presidential candidate in the 1924 election against Calvin Coolidge. At the time of his death in 1955, he had argued more cases (141) before the Supreme Court than anyone else in the 20th Century.
Henry St. George Tucker 1876
27th president, 1904-05
W&L professor of law, 1897-1902; dean of the Law School, 1899-1902; and acting president, 1900-01. U.S. congressman (D-Va.), 1889-96, and again from 1921-32.
Other ABA presidents with ties to W&L include R. William Ide III a 1962 graduate of the College (and graduate of the University of Virginia Law School) who served as the 117th ABA president, 1993-94, and John Randolph Tucker, the first dean of the W&L School of Law (1893-97), who served as the 15th ABA president, 1892-93.