Winchester Law School
Winchester Law School was a privately run institution for legal education. Operated by Henry St. George Tucker, Sr., it was open from 1824 to 1831.
In 1824 Henry Tucker was named Chancellor of the Equity Court of the Fourth District, with jurisdiction in Clarksburg and Winchester. Since he had left the Virginia State Senate and a lucrative law practice to accept the judicial appointment, he needed to generate additional income. Because he had previously worked as a law professor, Tucker decided to start a law school.
Using his father St. George Tucker's copies of Blackstone's Commentaries as the basis for his instruction, Henry Tucker lectured three days each week and gave his students regular quizzes to test their knowledge. In addition, he prepared, edited and published Tucker's Notes on Blackstone's Commentaries for the Use of Students. Tucker's Commentaries provided the current state and federal law on each point covered by Blackstone, and was widely used because it focused on United States common law rather than English legal and political theory.
The Winchester Law School was a success, largely because of Tucker's favorable reputation as an attorney and law professor. He had 11 students in the 1824 to 1825 session, and the student body steadily increased until he had over 30 students each term.
- John White Brockenbrough, founder of the Washington and Lee University School of Law
- William B. Campbell, member of the United States House of Representatives and Governor of Tennessee
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- Robert M. T. Hunter, Speaker of the House, United States Senator from Virginia and Confederate States Secretary of State
- William L. Goggin, member of the United States House of Representatives from Virginia
- Zaccheus Collins Lee, attorney and judge in Maryland
- Isaac S. Pennybacker, United States Senator from Virginia
- Henry A. Wise, Governor of Virginia
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- Lee Family Digital Archive, Washington and Lee University, Z. Collins Lee Attends Edgar Allan Poe's Funeral, April 17, 2011
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