William and Mary Law School

Second Edition of Basic Virginia Law for Non-Lawyers Now Available

A group of law students and law alumni released the second edition of Basic Virginia Law for Non-Lawyers in April 2008. This edition reflects two years of revisions covering changes in the law up to the 2007 Virginia Assembly session. The students and alumni are current or past members of the Legal Skills law firm of Lederer & Posey.

The 103-page paperback uses plain language to explain common legal concerns likely to be confronted by Virginians, including motor vehicle registration, landlord-tenant law, state taxation, consumer laws, family life issues, and many other topics of interest to citizens and visitors alike. Because Virginia is also the temporary home of thousands of members of the armed services and their families, the book also includes rules and procedures that apply to the military community.

The publication began as a coordinated pro-bono effort of William & Mary law students and Professor Fred Lederer to compile and explain common legal issues faced by the families of service members deployed in the first Gulf War. The effort culminated in the 1993 release of Basic Virginia Law for Non-Lawyers. Public demand for an updated version has increased in recent years, and the Virginia Law Foundation awarded a grant in 2006 enabling publication of a second edition.

As was its predecessor, the book will be available in public libraries. 

"Basic Virginia Law for Non-Lawyers is an excellent resource for the everyday legal questions that Virginians face," said Jessica Aber Brumberg, a 2006 graduate of the Law School and member of the new edition's board of editors. "The topics are relevant and easy to navigate. In an age of broad Internet research, often necessitating several research steps, this book compiles quick answers in one simple place."

The Virginia Law Foundation has provided more than $22.4 million dollars over the past 23 years to programs that provide civil legal assistance to low-income Virginians, law-related education to the public, and projects designed to improve the administration of justice.

The following students and alumni worked on the second edition. Jessica Aber Brumberg '06, Darren J. Abernethy '08, Samuel R. Brumberg '06, Linda M. Quigley '07 and Woodward L. Rubin '07 served on the editorial board. Nelli Baltabayeva '07, Robert D. Bauer '10, Melody K. Bradley '10, Jessica L. Brewer '10, Timothy T. Brown '09, John A. Calabrese '09, William Y. Durbin '07, Wes C. Eplen '10, Flyn L. Flesher '07, John S. Frankenhoff '10, Hannah C. Garrett '07, Jesse M. Hayes '07, Brandon M. Jordan '07, Amanda M. Karr '10, Svetlana Khvalina '07, Jared M. Mellott '07, Patricia A. Melochick '10, Cliff Moorman '07, Michael J. Pierce '07, Thomas D. Ryerson '10, Christopher F. Shiflet '07, John T. Stapleford '07, Christopher J. Toepp '07, Amy K. Wallas '07, Leondras J. Webster '07 and Joshua J. Wolff '10 served as assistant editors. Professor Fred Lederer and Adjunct Professor Stacey-Rae Simcox '99 managed the project, from inception to printing.

For more information on Basic Virginia Law for Non-Lawyers, or to sponsor placement in a Legal Aid office, contact Stacey-Rae Simcox at 757-221-2494 or srsimc@wm.edu.