The first chair of law in America was established December 4, 1779, at W&M. The College's board of visitors included among others Governor Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and Benjamin Harrison. They elected as the first professor to occupy that chair George Wythe, styled by Jefferson as the American Aristides.
John Marshall studied law at William & Mary under the tutelage of George Wythe in 1780. Marshall's tenure here was brief but potent in forming the character of the person who would lay the foundations of American constitutional law.