Biographical Information

Oscar Wilder Underwood, Jr. received his LL.B. from the University of Virginia Law School in 1913. His father was UVA alumnus and Virginia Senator, Oscar Underwood, Sr. Underwood, Jr. was President of the Jefferson Society, Editor of Corks and Curls, and a member of the Raven Society. Prior to joining the faculty at UVA, he had a distinguished legal career in Birmingham, AL, Washington, D.C., and Paris, France. He served in Europe during World War I and rose to the rank of Captain. After WWI, he joined the Washington, D.C. law firm, Covington, Burling, and Rublee, before forming his own law firm, Underwood and Kilpatrick, in 1926. During FDR’s first administration, he was appointed Commissioner for the United States for the General Claims Commission.  In this role, Underwood resolved claims between the United States and Mexico, from 1934-37. He began his UVA Law School teaching career as a Guest Lecturer in Wills in 1939. Underwood joined the full-time faculty at UVA Law School in 1940, when he began teaching courses in Procedure, Federal Jurisdiction, Office Practice, Equity Pleading, International Law, Evidence, Contracts, and Trial Practice. Underwood retired in 1950 and wrote in his farewell letter, “I hope that I shall see my faculty associates often at my home…But I shall miss the students. To me the students were always more interesting than the books.” He died in 1962.

Guest Lecturer
Faculty, Alumni
Faculty Presence: 
1940 to 1950