Honorable Chadwick S. Dotson

Dean of Students and Distinguished Professor of Law

  • D., Georgetown University Law Center (1999)
  • A., University of Virginia (1996)

Judge Dotson received his B.A. from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, VA, and his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C. After graduating from law school, Judge Dotson practiced with the firm of Mullins, Harris, & Jessee in Norton, VA before joining the Wise County/Norton Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office in 2002, first as an Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney, and then as Chief Deputy.

In 2003, Judge Dotson was elected as the Commonwealth’s Attorney for Wise County and the City of Norton. During his term, he prosecuted every major case in the jurisdiction, including two capital murder cases, and directed the criminal investigation of all complex felonies with full oversight of initial investigations, trial planning, motions practice, and discovery. Judge Dotson also conceived and implemented the “Courtroom to the Classroom” program in local public schools. This program consisted of lectures to government/civics classes in all local high schools, followed by an actual session of the General District Court held in each school’s auditorium.

While serving as Commonwealth’s Attorney, Judge Dotson was appointed as a Special Assistant United States Attorney for the Western District of Virginia, in order to enhance cooperation between state and federal law enforcement agencies. He also served as an adjunct professor at the University of Virginia-Wise, teaching undergraduate courses in political science, including “Campaigns & Elections,” as well as two semester-long mock trial courses.

Judge Dotson was elected by the Virginia General Assembly to the General District Court bench in 2007, and he was unanimously elevated to the Circuit Court bench in 2011 (and reappointed in 2019). He has served as the Chief Judge of the 30th Judicial Circuit and presided over the Circuit’s Recovery Court program for the entirety of his tenure on the Circuit bench. In addition, Judge Dotson served a term on the state Drug Court Advisory Board, appointed by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Virginia.

After serving a term on ASL’s Board of Trustees, Judge Dotson joined the faculty as an adjunct in the spring of 2020. He joined the full-time faculty for the fall semester of 2020.


Chad Dotson was born and raised in Southwest Virginia and grew up listening to radio broadcasts of Cincinnati Reds games all summer long. That love of baseball has followed him since, and he has visited 14 MLB ballparks and nearly two dozen Minor League parks over the years. From 2011 to 2015, Dotson was a regular contributor to ESPN.com’s baseball coverage and, since 2014, Dotson has been a columnist for Cincinnati Magazine, writing about Reds baseball. His first book, “The Big 50: The Men and Moments That Made the Cincinnati Reds,” was published in 2018 by Triumph Books (Chicago).

In addition, Dotson enjoys traveling far and wide with his wife and two children, both around the US and abroad, including trips to Italy and China — though the most exciting trip was probably to the Final Four in Minneapolis, where they saw the University of Virginia capture their first national basketball championship in 2019.

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