Collection Summary

Creator: Gordon, Jr., Thomas C.
Title: The Papers of Judge Thomas C. Gordon, Jr.
Accession: MSS 04-1
Description: 3 boxes, 11 paintings; 3 linear feet
Location: SC - Basement
Photograph Collection: View 0 digitized photographs
Digitized Content: 0 objects
Use Restrictions: There are no restrictions.

Collection Description & Arrangement

The Justice Thomas C. Gordon Papers were donated to the Special Collections Department of the Law Library in March 2004 by the law firm of McGuire Woods. They contain memoranda and correspondence with the University of Virginia School of Law, the Supreme Court of Appeals of Virginia, the Virginia Law Review and McGuire Woods. The use of language is a recurrent topic in this collection. There are extensive articles and newspaper clippings about the use of plain English and legal writing as well as a collection of Gordon's speeches and notes.

Biographical & Historical Information

Thomas Christian Gordon, Jr. was born in Richmond, Va. the July 14, 1915.  His parents were Thomas Christian Gordon and Ruth Nelson (Robins).  He attended the University of Virginia receiving his B.A. in 1936 and his L. L. B from the Law School in 1938. Gordon was admitted to the Virginia Bar in 1937.  From 1938-1940 was an associate for the Richmond law firm of  Parrish, Butcher & Parrish; from 1940-1965 and 1972 - 1983 became associate and partner of the law firm of McGuire, Woods and Battle where his specialty was business law, and was president of the Virginia Bar Association from 1963-1964.  In 1965 he was nominated as an associate justice of what is now the Supreme Court of Virginia.

Justice Gordon was a lecturer at the University of Virginia Law School (1970-1972) and at the Marshall-Wythe School of Law (1979-1981).  As a student at Virginia Law School he was part of the editorial board of the Virginia Law Review.  He was trustee and president of the Crippled Childrens Hospital of Richmond.  Served to maj. AUS, 1941-1945.  He was part of the Fellow American Bar Foundation and member of the American Bar Association. He retired from the law in 1981 and pursued his love to paint, took lessons at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and became an accomplished artist.  He died May 17, 2003.

Acquisition Information

Date Received 2004
Donor Information The Justice Thomas C. Gordon Papers were donated to the Special Collections Department of the Law Library in March 2004 by the law firm of McGuire Woods.

Content List

Box 1:

  • 1986; Legal Writing.  Associates Orientation Program, Fredericksburg, Va. [Handouts]
  • 1970-1981; Legal Writing. Correspondence and Memoranda.
  • n.d.; Legal Writing, Oral Writing and Opinion Writing. [Miscellaneous Articles]
  • 1968, 1979; Magazine and T. V. Program Reviews.  Correspondence
  • 1965, 1973; McGuire Woods LLP.  Correspondence
  • 1969 and n.d.; Printed Materials with Gordon’s Handwritten Notes [and some] Miscellaneous Funny Materials.
  • 1966-1974; Speeches and Notes. [ black notebook]

Box 2:                                 

  • 1978-1979, 1997; Sullivan and Other Acts re Plain Language
  • 1965-1971, 1983, 1991; Supreme Court of Appeals of Virginia.  Correspondence and Memorabilia.
  • 1969-1971; Virginia Law Review.  Correspondence
  • 1965-1970, 1973; University of Virginia School of Law.  Correspondence
  • 1970- 1971, 1973; University of Virginia School of Law Seminar. [ black notebook with Gordon’s teaching notes]
  • 1965, 1970-1980.  Writing.  Correspondence. [Includes correspondence with Justice Lewis F. Powell, Edward Wood, Hardy C. Dillard, Emerson G. Spies]
  • 1973-1980; Writing - General.  Miscellaneous articles and newspaper clippings.


  • 1980; Applied Lawyering Notebook. [William and Mary]
  • 1981; Continuing Legal Education for Associates
  • 1979; Intensive Writing Course. [William and Mary]
  • 1984-1991; Lectures on Legal Writing.
  • 1965-1983; Speeches


  1. Caravati, 1986 [WB 314]      
  2. The James at the Pony Pasture, 7/1986 [Klaus Reading Room] 
  3. Mussing [Art closet]
  4. White on Red [Lib. 2nd floor]
  5. Japanese Garden, 6/1986 [Klaus Reading Room]
  6. Two Apples, 10/1987 [Lib. 2nd. Floor]
  7. Edibles, 11/1985 [Klaus Reading Room]
  8. Autumn Scene at Virginia House, 12/1989 [Klaus Reading Room]         
  9. Shedy in Black [Art closet]
  10. Cloths, Lamp and Pottery, 1989 [Lib. 2nd. Floor]
  11. Basket of Unknown Objects, 12/1989 [Lib. 2nd. Floor]

Associated People

Use Policy

Access There are no restrictions.
Use Restrictions There are no restrictions.
Preferred Citation

Papers of Judge Thomas C. Gordon, Jr., MSS 04-1, Box Number Special Collections, University of Virginia Law Library

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