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Legal Knowledge Podcast

An Institutional History Podcast

Legal Knowledge

Legal Knowledge is a podcast that chronicles the history of the University of Virginia School of Law. In this inaugural season, host Meggan Cashwell and a group of scholars discuss the first hundred years of UVA Law, from Thomas Jefferson’s founding vision in 1819 to coeducation in 1920.

Legal Knowledge is a production of the Arthur J. Morris Law Library at the University of Virginia. Please rate and review Legal Knowledge on your favorite podcast app!

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Season 1

In 1920, the first three women were admitted to the University of Virginia School of Law: Rose May Davis, Catherine Lipop, and Elizabeth Tompkins. Professor Anne Coughlin explores the lived realities of these women, from the small, familiar anxieties about grades and tuition costs, to the bold steps they took to combat gendered notions of inferiority during the early 20th century.



Although women were not admitted to UVA Law as students until 1920, their presence on Grounds helped shape the legal curriculum of the 19th century. Professor Laura Edwards discusses the Black and white women who lived and labored at UVA, and the ways in which they navigated the repressive limitations on their legal power. 



During the Civil War and Reconstruction, UVA Law professors promoted Southern nationalism and defended slavery in and outside the classroom. Professor Liz Varon discusses the role of UVA Law in advancing Lost Cause ideology through its curriculum.



Professor John Barbee Minor led the Law School from 1845 to his death in 1895. Dr. Randi Flaherty discusses Minor's role in not only expanding the law curriculum and UVA Law's regional prominence, but also in promulgating a curriculum that justified slavery and white supremacy.



Slavery was always a part of Thomas Jefferson's vision for the University of Virginia. Professor Justene Hill Edwards discusses the lived experience of slavery on Grounds as well as the intersections of slavery and legal pedagogy at UVA Law.



At its founding in 1819, Thomas Jefferson wanted UVA Law to prepare leaders and lawyers to serve the new nation, but students desired more practical legal training. Professor David Konig joins us to describe the shifting landscape of early nineteenth-century legal education.




Host Meggan Cashwell introduces Legal Knowledge, a podcast that chronicles the history of the Law School at the University of Virginia (UVA).