Jennifer Kirkland named general counsel at Washington and Lee

Jennifer KirklandWashington and Lee University has named Jennifer Kirkland as general counsel. Kirkland has been serving as W&L’s acting general counsel since Aug. 30, 2017.

W&L President William C. Dudley announced Kirkland’s appointment, which is effective immediately. She succeeds Leanne Shank, who last fall was named general counsel and corporate secretary at the Law School Admissions Council in Newtown, Pennsylvania.

As the university’s chief in-house legal officer, the general counsel supervises the legal and administrative staff of the Office of General Counsel and advises the president, the Board of Trustees, and the university’s officers, administrators and authorized agents and representatives on all legal matters pertaining to their university responsibilities. The Office of General Counsel provides legal representation, preventative legal advice and review, and legal opinions in all areas of law relating to the university’s operations and its mission.

“Jennifer is an expert in education law with 20 years of experience on the legal staff at W&L, which has prepared her exceptionally well to serve as the university’s general counsel,” said Dudley. “I’m pleased and grateful that she is willing to assume this important role.”

Kirkland, who joined W&L in 1997, has practiced education law and employment law for 25 years. She has taught courses in education law for the graduate education programs of the University of Virginia and George Mason University, and has been a panelist, presenter, session coordinator and moderator for numerous programs on legal issues in education and employment sponsored by the American Council on Education (ACE), the National Association of College and University Attorneys (NACUA), United Educators, the Virginia and National Associations of College Registrars and Admissions Officers, and others.

Kirkland received her undergraduate degree in music performance from Indiana University and her law degree from the University of Virginia. She is also a professional musician, performing as a vocalist and keyboard player in a variety of settings and styles.