About Us

Professor Toni Locy

Courthouses make the best beats. Every day the curtain goes up and a drama is acted out. Criminal or civil, courts provide a window on what is important to the American people.

The law has permeated American life so thoroughly that knowledge of the courts and legal principles is essential for any reporter, regardless of whether he or she wants to cover sports, business, entertainment or politics.

To report on the courts and the law, journalists also must understand their role as an important check on the enormous power wielded by the players in the American justice system.

The Preliminary Hearing showcases the work of Washington and Lee University students enrolled in Journalism 280, Covering Courts and the Law, a course designed to introduce them to the U.S. court system, its players, language and impact on the public at large.