Interesting Facts

- Belva Lockwood was the first woman to argue a case in front of the Supreme Court.

- Wimodaughsis, founded by Emma Gillett, was a club whose name incorporated wife, mother, daughter, and sister. It was incorporated under the D.C. code as an educational society. The club provided various courses such as French and Journalism.

- Pauline Floyd, a WCL graduate, was the youngest female lawyer to be admitted to practice before the Supreme Court.

- Tea was traditionally served in the "tea room" beginning in 1926 under Dean Grace Hays Riley, when WCL was located at 1315 K Street. The tea cost 5 cents a cup and was served in a kitchen in the school from 4:30 until 5:15. It was intended to "improve student morale" and provide an informal atmosphere for students and faculty members to get to know each other.

- Although a novice among law schools, WCL was quickly established as a quality institution that prided itself on providing opportunities for those historically outside the mainstream of the legal profession. Under the deanship of Mussey and then Gillett, enrollment at WCL grew considerably. As a result, WCL was continually looking for new, more spacious quarters; between 1898 and 1924, the law school moved no fewer than seven times.

- By the early 1920s, economic consideration and growing pains convinced some law school trustees and alumni to favor a merger with The George Washington University. Recalling the treatment that she and her students received from the institution, Mussey opposed the prospect and fervently urged the law school to maintain its unique character and independence. With the help of Gillett and the rest of the WCL community, Mussey organized an endowment and fund-raising initiative that resulted in the purchase of a facility on G Street. It became the law school's home for the next thirty-eight years.

- The G Street location, was the former residence of Captain Archibald Butt, who was lost in the Titanic accident.

- Paul Sperry was the first male to enroll in WCL. He was Mrs. Mussey's law clerk, and for many years pastor at the church of the Holy City.

- Miss Annabel Mathews, a 1921 WCL graduate, was the first woman appointed by the President of the U.S. to serve on the Board of Tax Appeals. Her appointment was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on February 5, 1930. Her position was viewed with special interest, because it was considered the highest salaried position ever held by a women in the Government Service in Washington.

- Justice Wiley B. Rutledge was a U.S. Supreme Court Justice who was also a member of the Board of Trustees at WCL.

- The last female dean of WCL was Helen B. Arthur. She resigned in 1947.

- The Day School closed in 1942, because the draft left only two students in the Day Division. It re-opened in 1946.

- Mrs. Rebecca Love Notz, the WCL librarian in 1939, also held a full-time position as the Library of Congress' Federal Law Section of the Legislative Reference Service.

- The Mussey Law Congress, was the name of the student organization established December 19, 1935, which was created to "give law students a forum in which to learn active appellate practice and procedure, and the art of public address".

- There were five members of the 1979 WCL Jessup team: David Facciolo, David Dunn, Patrice Fitzgerald, David Smith, and Nadil Kardosh.

- The Matrix was the name of a student newspaper, which derived its name from a civil law document, from the first draft of which all copies had to be made.

- Presidential candidate Ralph Nader was the commencement speaker in 1979.

- Green and gold were the colors on the first school flag. Purple was added later.

- F.R.E.D. was the 1969-70 avant garde student newpaper.

- Lex Rexis (Law of King) was the name given to the dog of Dean and Mrs. Myers.

- WCL has had 10 student newspapers: The College Grit, The WCL Newsletter, The Student Bar Sheet, The WCL Newspaper, The Legal Eagle, The Innuendo, FRED, The Matrix, The Hairy Hand, and currently The Jurist.


- Washington College of Law Brochure: 1896-1996 Celebrating a Century of Excellence. University Publications, American University, 1996

- Other information was found in the Pence Law Library archives.