Mason Willrich graduated magna cum laude from Yale in 1954 where he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. He received a LL.B. from Berkeley in 1960. There, he served as Revising Editor of the Law Review and was elected to the Order of the Coif. He then joined the firm of Pillsbury, Madison, and Sutro in San Francisco specializing in corporate law and corporate finance. Prior to joining the faculty at UVA, he was assistant general counsel for the United States Arms Control and Disarmament Agency. In 1965, Willrich came to UVA Law to teach such courses as International Organization, Business Planning, Antitrust Law, and Atomic Energy Law. An expert on energy law, in 1975 he published the book Energy and World Politics, and has since authored or co-authored eight additional books on energy and security issues. In the late 1970s, he took leave from UVA to work for the Rockefeller Foundation as Director of their Division of International Affairs and Director of the Program on Conflicts in International Relations. Willrich served as director of the Center for the Study of Science, Technology and Public Policy; chairman of the International Energy Policy Study Group of the American Society of International Law; and a member of the National Academy of Sciences-National Academy of Engineering Joint Board on Energy Studies. After leaving UVA, Willrich became an energy executive and remains active in energy issues, particularly in California.