Academic journal article Washington and Lee Law Review

Tribute to Professor Sally Wiant

Academic journal article Washington and Lee Law Review

Tribute to Professor Sally Wiant

Article excerpt

Laura N. Gasaway·

I have known Professor Sarah K. Wiant for more than forty-five years. Our careers have tracked each other's, and we have remained great friends over the years. We met in 1970 at an institute conducted by the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) at American University in Washington, D.C., where we shared a room. We continue to do that until the present, most recently at the 2017 Association of American Law Schools (AALS) annual meeting in San Francisco. Not only do we have parallel careers and remain close friends, but we frequently travel together, last summer a Viking River Cruise to China, which was fabulous! We have two additional Viking cruises planned for 2017.

Sally is well-known, respected, and loved in both law library and law school circles. Professor Wiant began her career as a law librarian in 1970 at Texas Tech University. I was at the University of Houston then, and we were able to get together at state, regional, and national meetings. In 1972, Sally was recruited and hired by Washington and Lee as Assistant Law Librarian, where she received her J.D. degree as a member of the first class that admitted women. Six years later, she became Director of the Law Library and Assistant Professor of Law. Over the years, she modernized the law library, bringing it into the computer era and professionalizing the staff. She was promoted to Associate Professor and then to Professor of Law. Professor Wiant was also responsible for a number of administrative duties for the Law School, such as developing and supervising the Media Department, overseeing the mail, managing the art gallery, and performing various administrative tasks relating to maintaining the building. While serving as Director, she also taught law courses in admiralty, copyright, and trademark law. Since 2010, she has been a full-time law teacher and added torts to her course repertoire, which also includes legal writing.

Professor Wiant treasures her students and has participated in virtually every law school activity at Washington and Lee. She assists students in finding clerkships and full-time jobs. Her students-even from many years ago-stay in touch with her, demonstrating how important she has been in their careers and their lives. Sally has placed and supervised judicial clerkships and the judicial externship program; she also has offered the Intellectual Property Practicum as part of the third-year practice program. She has served on and chaired many law school committees and, as one of the few women faculty members on campus, been a member on more than fifteen university committees over the years.

Not only has she made major contributions to Washington and Lee, but Professor Wiant has been a leader in the AALL. Sally served a three-year term on the AALL Executive Board and has chaired many of the important committees of the association. She was Program Committee chair in 1987-88, the committee responsible for all of the programming for the annual meeting. Additionally, she has chaired the Economic Status Committee, the Special Committee on the Future of AALL, the Copyright Committee, the Bylaws Committee, and the Education Committee, which had tremendous responsibility for all educational workshops, institutes, and programs because the AALL had no professional staffat that time.

For the American Bar Association, she served on at least eighteen site evaluation teams for the Accreditation Committee and several for the AALS. She was a member of the AALS Accreditation Committee in 1991-93 and chaired the Section on Law Libraries in 1990-91. Sally has been active in the Southeastern Association of Law Libraries, the Special Libraries Association, the Virginia Association of Law Libraries, and she was president of the Virginia Special Libraries Association in 1980-81. Professor Wiant has also served on advisory and editorial boards for West Publishing Company, the National Legal Ethics Reporter, and Legal Reference Service Quarterly. …

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