On March 5, 1824, Henry St. George Tucker was elected by the General Assembly of Virginia to be the judge of the circuit superior court of chancery to sit in Winchester and Clarksburg. Tucker had built up a very successful law practice in Winchester, where he had settled in 1802 upon his admission to the bar. He had also built up a large family; he had six sons and two daughters as well as three children who died young. The elevation to the bench resulted in an increase in professional status, but it also resulted in a substantial decrease in income. In order to remedy this financial development without ethical prejudice to his professional development, he opened a law school. This solution was, no doubt, an obvious one, as his father, the eminent Judge St. George Tucker, had done the same in 1790, when he became the professor of law and police in the College of William and Mary. On April 11, 1831, Judge Henry Tucker was elected to a position on the Court of Appeals of Virginia. This required him to be in attendance in Richmond, and that made necessary the closing of the Winchester Law School. Tucker's law school was successful from its inception until its termination, but little is known about it today. It is the purpose of this article to describe a successful venture in American legal education during the early days of the republic.
Co-authored with E. Lee Shepard
W. Hamilton Bryson & E. Lee Shepard, The Winchester Law School, 1824-1831, 21 Law & Hist. Rev. 393 (2003).