A sketch of campus

What is the history and mission of ASL?


Mission & History

Our History

ASL, founded in 1994, began with the pioneering vision of local lawyers and leaders who wanted to bring a law school to Central Appalachia. Regional officials quickly embraced the idea and formed a steering committee to get the ball rolling. ASL's first class of 71 students was admitted in August 1997.

Our Mission

ASL exists to provide opportunity for people from Appalachia and beyond to realize their dreams of practicing law and bettering their communities. We attract a qualified, diverse and dedicated student body, many of whom will remain in the region after graduation and serve as legal counselors, advocates, judges, mediators, community leaders, and public officials. We offer a nationally recruited, diverse, and well-qualified faculty, a rigorous program for the professional training of lawyers and a comprehensive law library. The program emphasizes professional responsibility, dispute resolution, and practice skills. The ASL community is an exciting, student-centered environment that emphasizes honesty, integrity, fairness, and respect for others. We also emphasize community service and provide a resource for people, the bar, courts and other institutions of the region. (Adopted by the Board of Trustees, June, 2013)




Community Service

ASL will fuel your commitment to making a difference in the world. Through our community-service requirement of 25 hours per semester, you’ll volunteer at places like:

  • Animal shelters
  • Carnivals for disadvantaged children
  • Free medical clinics
  • Recycling centers
  • Retirement homes