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Born in 1919 in Greenville, South Carolina, Neill H. Alford, Jr., received his B.A. from The Citadel in 1940. He served in the infantry in Europe during World War II, earning a Bronze Star and the Combat Infantry Badge for his service. He returned to the United States in March 1946 and was discharged from active duty at the rank of lieutenant colonel. He served in the Army Reserve from 1946 to 1969, commanding a civil affairs unit in Charlottesville for many years. He retired at the rank of colonel in 1969.
Alford obtained his LL.B. in 1947 from the University of Virginia. Alford began his long teaching career at the University as soon as he earned his degree in 1947 and became a full professor in 1956. Professor Alford's professional interests included administrative law, international law, tort law, insurance law, legal history, ethics, and trusts and estates. He was a Sterling Fellow at Yale from 1950-51 and a Ford Fellow at the University of Wisconsin in 1958. From 1956-58 he served as Special Counsel to the Virginia Code Commission. In 1966 he received a J.S.D. from Yale University, the same year he became Henry L. and Grace Doherty Professor of Law. During the 1961-62 academic year, he held the Chair of International Law at the Naval War College. From 1964 to 1971 Alford served as chairman of the Law School Architectural Committee supervising the design of Phase I of the Law School building on the North Grounds. He was special counsel to the Rector and Visitors from 1972 to 1974. From 1974 to 1976 he was dean and Joseph Henry Lumpkin Professor of Law at the University of Georgia. Upon his return to the Law School, Alford became Percy Brown, Jr. Professor of Law. He held this post until his retirement in 1990, after which he continued to practice law. He served as a reporter of opinion for the Virginia Supreme Court from 1976 to 1985 and also as the chairman of the board of the University Press of Virginia from 1970-74 and 1987-89. In 1990, he received the University of Virginia's Raven Award in recognition of excellence in service and contributions to the university. He served as a visiting professor to Washington University in St. Louis, Ohio State, and Washington & Lee law schools. The author of many legal works, Alford is perhaps best known for his Cases and Materials on Decedents' Estates and Trusts. He died in 2007.
Alford's professional papers are available in Special Collections.
Cases and Materials on Decedents’ Estates and Trusts (with John Ritchie and Richard W. Effland) (Foundation Press, 1955; 2d ed. 1961; 3d ed. 1967; 4th ed. 1971; 5th ed. 1977).
Modern Economic Warfare: Law and the Naval Participant (56 Int’l L. Stud., 1963) (Naval War College, 1967).
The Annual Survey of Virginia Law: Insurance, 42 Va. L. Rev. 1172-1177 (1956).
The Annual Survey of Virginia Law: Wills, Trusts and Estates, 43 Va. L. Rev. 1180-1188 (1957).
The Annual Survey of Virginia Law: Wills, Trusts and Estates, 44 Va. L. Rev. 1405-1414 (1958).
Fact Finding by the World Court, 4 Vill L. Rev. 37-91 (1958).
The Influence of the American Civil War upon the Growth of the Law of Decedents’ Estates and Trusts, 4 Am. J. Legal Hist. 299-354 (1960).
Voluntary Foreign Aid and American Foreign Policy: The Element of State Control, 46 Va. L. Rev. 477-515 (1960).
Marshalling Assets of an Estate (with John A. Mackenzie), in Administration of Decedents’ Estates 10-27 (Virginia State Bar and Virginia State Bar Association, 1963).
Collecting a Decedent’s Assets without Ancillary Administration, 18 Sw. L.J. 329-384 (1964).
The Cuban Quarantine of 1962: An Inquiry into Paradox and Persuasion, 4 Va. J. Int’l L. 35-73 (1964).
The Disposition of Assets upon Failure of a Charitable Trust or Corporation: Policy Relationship to Enforcement of Charities, 9 Utah L. Rev. 217-253 (1964).
The Legality of American Military Involvement in Viet Nam: A Broader Perspective, 75 Yale L.J. 1109-1121 (1966).
The Thirteenth Annual Survey of Virginia Law: 1967-1968: Wills, Trusts and Estates, 54 Va. L. Rev. 1664-1683 (1968).
The Fiduciary in Estate and Trust Administration in Virginia in the Twentieth Century (with Thomas S. Word, Jr.), in Administration of Decedents’ Estates II-1 to II-15 (Virginia State Bar and Virginia Bar Association, 1971).
Settlor Controls over Living Trusts, 13 Ga. St. B.J. 71-75 (1976).
Review of Bishop, International Law, Cases and Materials, 4 J. Legal Educ. 480-482 (1951).
Review of Pound, Justice According to Law, 7 Reading Guide 14-15 (1952).
Review of Shiffer, The Legal Community of Mankind, 10 Reading Guide 94-95 (1955).
Review of Stone, Legal Controls of International Conflict, 41 Va. L. Rev. 283-285 (1955).
Review of Sparks, Contracts to Make Wills, 42 Va. L. Rev. 1045-1048 (1956).
Alford Traces History of Charitable Concepts, Va. L. Wkly., Sept. 27, 1962, at 1-4; Form of Modern Charity Based in American Past, Va. L. Wkly., Oct. 4, 1962, at 1-4; reprinted in 14 Va. L. Wkly. Dicta 1-14 (1962-63).
Development of Cy-Pres Traced in Britain, U.S, Va. L. Wkly., Apr. 4, 1963, at 1-2, 4; reprinted in 14 Va. L. Wkly. Dicta 20-25 (1962-63).
Review of Fifoot, ed., The Letters Of Frederic William Maitland, and Bell, Maitland, A Critical Examination and Assessment, 21 Reading Guide 28-30 (1966).
The Right of Silence (reviewing Levy, Origins of the Fifth Amendment), 79 Yale L.J. 1618-1630 (1970).
The Psychology of Testation (reviewing Shaffer, Death, Property, and Lawyers), 25 Vand L. Rev. 281-286 (1972).
Foreword, in Rennard Strickland, Fire and the Spirits: Cherokee Law from Clan to Court ix-x (University Of Oklahoma Press, 1975).