Wake Forest Historical Museum

LOCATION: 414 N. Main Street Wake Forest, NC 27587 CONTACT: 919-556-2911

Wake Forest Law School


In September 1893, Wake Forest College opened a School of Law. Its first students enrolled in 1894. Inaugural Dean N.Y. Gulley taught at the school for 44-years. His tenure yielded steady growth and a legendary state bar admittance rate.

Committed to educating all who wanted to learn, Gulley ignored a trustee directive and allowed women to begin auditing classes in 1915. Two women students passed the state bar examination in 1927. By 1931, approximately half of North Carolina attorneys had been school by N.Y. Gulley. Other talented scholars taught during these years and contributed immeasurably to the school’s success.

New professional standards influenced the school and culminated in its 1935 admittance to the American Association of Law Schools. World War II brought innovations. On June 1, 1943, the law schools of Wake Forest College and Duke University joined programs and began a two-year degree course. The joint school ceased when the war ended, but the program remained until the war’s veterans were educated.

Able post-war leadership from Deans Robert E. Lee and Carroll W. Weathers– with support from outstanding faculty including Professor E.W. Timberlake, Jr., and Dr. I Beverly Lake, Sr., helped solidify the Law School’s prominence in this state and beyond.

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This entry was posted on July 23, 2013 by in Exhibits and tagged , , , .

Hours & Info

Tues-Fri: 9am-noon & 1:30-4:30pm
Sun: 2pm-5pm

Closed: Saturday and Monday

Call us at 919.556.2911

Free Admission

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Atlas Ray, owner of a legendary store in the Harricanes, was among those remembered at the WFHA program on country stores. Just received several reels of 16mm film. Looks like 1950s home movies of the Demon Deacs in the Billy Barnes days!!! From the April 1961 Wake Forest phone book... instructions on how to use a dial telephone, how to dial a number, how to interpret ringing and busy signals, and what to do on a party line. Anyone else remember those days? This amazing photo from Sanford Bailey shows just HALF of the folks at the 1954 Powell Family Reunion!!!