The Inn was officially chartered as the I'Anson-Hoffman American Inn of Court XXVII on May 1, 1987, and held its first regular meeting on September 14, 1987, in the new Virginia Court of Appeals building in Norfolk, with William T. Prince as the Charter President. In the years following, the Inn met in several different venues in Norfolk and on the Peninsula, rotating among numerous sites. In 1990, the Inn settled in the Virginia Club in Norfolk, where it remained until 1995, when the Inn moved to the Harbor Club. In 2006, the Inn moved it's Southside meetings to the Norfolk Yacht Club, continuing to hold two meetings a year at William & Mary (the October meeting at the William and Mary School of Law and the May annual banquet at the Wren Building), and one meeting in Hampton.
Since the inception of the Inn, these distinguished lawyers and judges have served as Presidents of the I'Anson-Hoffinan Inn of Court:
- 1987-1989 - William T. Prince, Esq.
- 1989-1991 - Hon. Rebecca Beach Smith
- 1991-1993 - Hon. J. Warren Stephens
- 1993-1995 - John Y. Pearson, Esq.
- 1995-1996 - Hon. Robert G. Doumar
- 1996-1998 - Linda S. Laibstain, Esq.
- 1998-1999 - Morton H. Clark, Esq.
- 1999-2000 - Guilford D. Ware, Esq.
- 2000-2002 - Hon. Raymond A. Jackson
- 2002-2004 - Hon. Wilford Taylor, Jr.
- 2004-2006 - John R. Fletcher, Esq.
- 2006-2008 - Hon. Pamela E. Hutchens
- 2008-1010 - Hon. Rodham T. Delk, Jr.
- 2010-2011 - James L. Chapman, IV, Esq.
- 2011-2012 - Hon. Stephen C. Mahan
- 2012-2013 - Deborah C. Waters, Esq.
- 2013-2014 - Stephen E. Noona, Esq.
- 2014-2015 - Hon. Colleen Kearns Killilea
- 2015-2016 - Hon. James C. Lewis
- 2016-2017 - Hon. Douglas E. Miller
- 2017-2018 - Larry M. Dash, Esq.
- 2018-2019 - Polly Chong, Esq.
- 2019-2020 - W. Ryan Snow, Esq.
- 2020-2021 - Hon. Gary Mills
- 2021-2022 - Christian L. Connell, Esq.
From the very earliest days of the I'Anson-Hoffman Inn, Professor Walter L. Felton, Jr. served as chief organizer, treasurer, institutional memory and cheerleader of the Inn. His commitment to the continued relevancy and success of the Inn, not only for its place in the Hampton Roads legal community, but especially for the student members from the Marshall-Wythe School of Law, has been crucial since its inception and continued to be so until he entered public service in the Office of the Attorney General and later in the Office of the Governor of Virginia. In 2002, Professor Felton was sworn in as a Judge of the Court of Appeals of Virginia.
Through Professor Felton's influence with the College of William & Mary, the annual highlight of each year has been the May meeting in Williamsburg, featuring dinner in the Great Hall of the Wren Building. Speakers have included legislators, the Attorney General of Virginia, a former Virginia Bar Association President and college President, the national president of the American Inns of Court, and the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Virginia, as well as distinguished lawyers in public service.
On several occasions over the years, September introductory meetings, purely social in nature, have been hosted at the homes of C. Flippo Hicks, a former master-member, in Gloucester County, Judge Rebecca Beach Smith in Deltaville, Judge Rodham T. Delk, Jr., in Smithfield, Deborah Waters in Suffolk, Steve Noona in Virginia Beach, Judge MaryJane Hall in Norfolk, James McNider of Hampton, and Richard Garriott in Virginia Beach.
Of additional note, over the years several of the William & Mary law student members have rejoined the Inn as lawyer members after graduating from law school and obtaining employment in the Hampton Roads area.