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The Papers of A. J. Gustin Priest

Identifier: MSS-79-5


Professional papers mainly related to public utilities and the American Bar Association; academic files related to his teaching at the University of Virginia School of Law and some personal files.


  • Creation: 1919-1972


Biographical / Historical

A native of Nebraska, A.J. Gustin Priest served as a sergeant of infantry during World War I. He earned his B.A. from the University of Idaho, as well as a law degree there in 1921. He practiced law for five years in Boise before moving to New York City for a position with a public utility holding company. After leaving for private practice in 1935, he gained a national reputation representing public utility corporations while a partner in the firm of Reid and Priest. He joined the Virginia law faculty in 1953, and retired from full-time teaching in 1966, continuing as a lecturer & scholar in residence until 1978.

With characteristic vigor, Priest threw himself into teaching, eager to impart his knowledge and expertise in corporate practice to his students. He taught Public Utility Regulations, Corporations, Corporate Finance, Parliamentary Law and Corporate Securities. A lawyer with deep integrity, Priest emphasized to his students the significance of high moral standards in the legal profession. Priest devoted his considerable energy to a number of organizations and causes outside the legal professions, including the world peace movement. He was the first chairman of the national executive council of the United World Federalists. He also served as chairman of the Section of Public Utility Law of the American Bar Association, as president of the Phi Beta Kappa Alumni in New York, and as national president of the Beta Theta Pi college fraternity. He received the Man of the Year award from the United World Federalists and was a life member of the American Bar Foundation. He died in 1978.


10 Cubic Feet (26 boxes)

Language of Materials



Within the series, the correspondence has been filed and labeled as Priest had it, i.e., alphabetically by subject and then chronologically. Items obviously misfiled have been put where they belong. Ambiguities and inconsistencies in the filing system were a result of Priest's having had many secretaries, particularly after he began teaching. Consequently, the researcher is advised to examine the whole series in areas of interests or the entire collection, if time permits.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Hartwell W. Priest donated these files to the Law School in May of 1979.

The Papers of A. J. Gustin Priest, 1919-1972, MSS 79-5
The Papers of A.J. Gustin Priest, MSS 79-5
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Repository Details

Part of the Arthur J. Morris Law Library Special Collections Repository

Arthur J. Morris Law Library
580 Massie Road
University of Virginia
Charlottesville Virginia 22903 United States