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William & Mary Law School


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Contact Information

613 South Henry Street
Williamsburg, VA 23185

Phone: 757.221.3785
Fax: 757.221.3261
Email: lawadm@wm.edu
Website: law.wm.edu
ABA Data: law.wm.edu/admissions/consumer-information/index.php

Historic Roots

Established in 1779, William & Mary Law School is the nation’s oldest law school and one of its most intellectually rigorous. The Law School believes that aspiring lawyers should be citizen lawyers, trained not simply to be excellent legal advocates, but also to be good citizens and leaders of their communities, states, and nation. A small public school, William & Mary combines rich historic roots, a strong national reputation, and a wealth of programs at a very competitive cost. William & Mary Law School not only advances its students’ intellectual development but also provides programs and training that will enable its graduates to use the law for the betterment of society. The Law School is small enough to form a cohesive community where people know one another by name, but it is large enough to offer a wide range of programs and learning opportunities in both traditional and cutting-edge legal disciplines.

The 606 JD members of the 2018–2019 student body earned undergraduate degrees from 301 colleges and universities and represent 47 states; Washington, DC; and 18 countries. The Law School is located a few blocks from Colonial Williamsburg and within a short driving distance of the metropolitan areas of Washington, DC; Richmond; and Norfolk. Visits are encouraged and may include a student tour, class observation, and individual meeting with an admission dean.

Practice-Focused Curriculum

William & Mary’s Legal Practice Program is an innovative and unique three-semester program to develop practical lawyering skills and professional responsibility. During the first year, Legal Practice consists of two classes: Legal Research & Writing and Lawyering Skills. Students work with full-time professional writing faculty and teaching librarians to learn critical legal research and objective and persuasive writing skills. A cornerstone of the program is extensive individual conferencing with writing faculty. Students also participate in simulations where they learn important real-world skills, such as client interviewing, counseling, negotiation, mediation, and oral advocacy from adjunct professors who are judges or full-time practicing attorneys. In addition to the rigorous first-year program, second-year law students take a professional responsibility course and Advanced Writing and Practice, with a practice focus such as pretrial criminal matters, pretrial civil matters, appellate advocacy, or transactional law.

Students may choose from more than 100 upper-level courses covering a broad range of legal issues. The Law School’s Clinical Program offers nine clinics and one practicum:

  • Appellate and Supreme Court
  • Business Law
  • Domestic Violence
  • Family Law
  • Federal Tax
  • Immigration
  • Innocence Project
  • Special Education Advocacy
  • Veterans Benefits
  • Virginia Coastal Policy Center

The program offers approximately 220 positions for 2L and 3L students. Students also may earn academic credit through externships with judges, prosecutors, public defenders, law firms, government agencies, JAG Corps, legislators, civil legal service providers, corporations, and private nonprofit organizations. In 2017–2018, students gained practical experiences through 220 externships.

Through the Law School’s Washington, DC, Semester Externship program, third-year students spend the fall semester in the Washington, DC, area externing for credit at a government agency, court, prosecutor’s or public defender’s office, legal aid office, or 501(c)(3) organization.

In 2017, the James A. and Robin L. Hixon Center for Experiential Learning and Leadership was opened, adding 12,000 square feet to the Law School facility. The Hixon Center provides office and teaching space dedicated to both the Clinical Program and the Legal Practice Program. In addition to faculty offices, the new center contains simulation rooms, interview rooms, classrooms, and an additional Law School moot courtroom. All teaching and meeting spaces feature the most current teaching technology.

Joint-Degree Programs

William & Mary offers two joint-degree programs: JD/MBA and JD/MA in American Studies. The JD/MBA condenses the traditional five-year programs into four years of study. Students may complete the JD/MA in three or four years.

Scholarships/Financial Aid

All admitted students are considered for merit-based aid. For 2018–2019, the Law School awarded $11.1 million in merit- and need-based scholarships to 92 percent of students. In addition to providing research for professors in their upperclass years, students have opportunities to work with the Center for Legal and Court Technology, the Election Law Program, the Institute of Bill of Rights Law, the Law Library, the Puller Veterans Benefits Clinic, the Special Education Advocacy Clinic, and the Virginia Coastal Policy Center.

Personalized Career Advising

The Office of Career Services (OCS) partners with students and alumni in their pursuit of meaningful careers by providing personalized career advising and opportunities to develop the skills necessary to compete effectively in the job market. OCS advisors have a wealth of experience in legal practice and career advising and work with students individually to capitalize on their strengths, interests, and experiences in their job searches.

OCS maintains relationships and develops employment opportunities with a broad range of employers, including law firms; federal, state, and local government agencies; public interest organizations; prosecutors’ and public defenders’ offices; businesses and corporations; and courts. Employers recruit William & Mary students for summer internships and postgraduate positions through on-campus interviews, off-campus interview programs around the country, job postings, and résumé forwards. OCS annually sponsors a wide variety of programs and events to assist students with their career and professional development. In addition to practical, skills-focused workshops, OCS brings speakers to campus to discuss a broad range of employment settings and practice areas, covering both legal and nontraditional career paths.

With more than 8,700 alumni located in all 50 states; Washington, DC; Guam; Puerto Rico; US Virgin Islands; and 49 countries, OCS helps students access a robust alumni network that is highly engaged in assisting students with their search. Students can also participate in the Co-Counsel Program, sponsored by the Office of Development and Alumni Affairs, which pairs a student with an alumni mentor.

Public Service Fellowships and Loan Repayment

To assist students working in government and public service internships, the Law School offers a flourishing summer fellowship program. For summer 2018, the Law School awarded more than $310,000 in fellowships to 117 students to assist 103 organizations in 15 states; Washington, DC; and 11 countries, including Cambodia, China, the Czech Republic, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Laos, Lithuania, the Netherlands, South Africa, and Switzerland.

The Loan Repayment Assistance Program provides up to $5,000 in loan forgiveness annually for a maximum of three years to selected graduates working full time for civil legal service organizations, public defenders, prosecutors, government agencies, JAG Corps, legislative offices, or 501(c)(3) organizations.

Faculty

William & Mary Law School professors are more than merely accessible. They’re personally invested in each student’s education and success. The faculty’s goal is to educate the whole student, something that is not accomplished through lectures alone.

Law professors are faculty advisors for student groups and the first people students ask for advice about summer internships or first jobs. What’s most amazing about this level of student-professor engagement is that the faculty comprises nationally and internationally recognized experts in many fields of law. They’ve written hundreds of notable books, treatises, and articles. Faculty members conduct research because they want to effect change; they teach so they can prepare a new generation of William & Mary lawyers to do the same.

Apart from full-time faculty, the Law School boasts an impressive adjunct professorship made up of practicing lawyers and public officials with decades of hands-on experience in the practice of law. These professors prove by example that good lawyers are vitally engaged in the life of the local community, state, nation, and world.

Global Perspectives

William & Mary is privileged to have an impressive core group of professors who specialize in international and comparative law as well as three robust international law programs. The International Law Society promotes the professional and academic pursuits of law students interested in all aspects of international law, from transactional insolvency to human rights. The Human Security Law Center offers students the opportunity to learn about the interplay between national defense and the protection of civil rights. The Center for Comparative Legal Studies and Post-Conflict Peacebuilding serves as a focal point for research and study on comparative legal practices and the mechanisms used to reestablish justice after war and internal strife. The Center also sponsors summer international internships around the globe.

William & Mary JD students are offered the opportunity to study abroad during a semester of their third academic year. Our current exchange programs are found in select countries around the world.

The Law School also offers an LLM in the American Legal System to students who have received their law degrees from outside the United States. LLM students take courses with JD students and enrich the classroom experience with the inclusion of their unique legal traditions.

Specialized Programs and Research

Through the acclaimed Institute of Bill of Rights Law, the Law School has become one of the preeminent institutions studying the U.S. Constitution’s Bill of Rights. The institute sponsors lectures, symposia, and publications through which nationally known scholars explore important constitutional issues.

The Law School’s McGlothlin Courtroom is one of the nation’s most technologically advanced educational trial and appellate chambers, offering students the opportunity to receive hands-on training in the use of technology. The courtroom has a wide variety of features, including major court-record systems, evidence-presentation technologies, assistive and foreign-language interpretation systems, and critical infrastructure designs. The Law School is home to the Center for Legal and Court Technology (CLCT), a worldwide leader in researching the use of technology in courtrooms. CLCT aims to improve the administration of justice through the use of technology and involves students in ongoing projects and research, including their emphasis on artificial intelligence and the law.

The Law School’s Property Rights Project facilitates the exchange of ideas between scholars and practitioners by encouraging scholarship on the role of property rights in society. Other innovative programs at the Law School include the Election Law Program, which provides assistance to judges who are called upon to resolve difficult election law disputes; the Center for the Study of Law and Markets, which seeks to advance the understanding of the role of legal institutions in promoting well-functioning markets in a free society; and the George Wythe Society of Citizen Lawyers, a program focusing on constructive citizenship.

Active Student Involvement

Scholars and practitioners frequently cite articles from our five student-edited academic journals: the flagship William & Mary Law Review, the William & Mary Bill of Rights Journal, the William & Mary Business Law Review, the William & Mary Environmental Law and Policy Review, and the William & Mary Journal of Race, Gender, and Social Justice. In 2018, more than 330 students participated in our journals.

Our competition teams, which have competed domestically and overseas in recent years, include Moot Court, National Trial, Alternative Dispute Resolution, and Transactional Law. More than 40 other student organizations reflect the diverse interests of the student body.

Applicant Profile

The following grid includes applicants who were admitted for all terms in academic year 2017. By comparing your LSAT score and GPA with those of the admitted applicants whose data is reflected on this grid, you can get a general sense of your competitiveness at this school.

Note:

  1. Law schools consider many other factors beyond the LSAT score and GPA.
  2. The data in the grid is from a previous application year and may not reflect fluctuations in applicant volume that affect admission decisions.
  3. The data includes deferrals. Deferrals are defined as “admitted applicants who were granted a postponed enrollment for a subsequent term.”
  GPA    
LSAT
Score
3.75+
Apps
3.75+
Adm
3.50–
3.74 Apps
3.50–
3.74 Adm
3.25–
3.49 Apps
3.25–
3.49 Adm
3.00–
3.24 Apps
3.00–
3.24 Adm
2.75–
2.99 Apps
2.75–
2.99 Adm
2.50–
2.74 Apps
2.50–
2.74 Adm
2.25–
2.49 Apps
2.25–
2.49 Adm
2.00–
2.24 Apps
2.00–
2.24 Adm
Below 2.00
Apps
Below 2.00
Adm
No GPA
Apps
No GPA
Adm
Total
Apps
Total
Adm
175–180 1 0 1 1 3 3 2 2 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 8 7
170–174 24 24 32 31 19 18 15 13 5 4 3 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 5 103 97
165–169 116 115 113 106 95 89 59 50 23 14 20 12 6 2 1 0 0 0 21 20 454 408
160–164 316 292 368 161 258 94 136 48 72 15 22 2 6 0 6 0 0 0 67 26 1251 638
155–159 251 194 349 17 243 10 141 5 59 0 29 1 11 0 4 0 0 0 43 1 1130 228
150–154 103 48 132 5 113 4 83 2 64 0 20 0 9 0 5 0 0 0 18 0 547 59
145–149 41 1 73 0 62 0 66 0 32 0 25 0 24 0 2 0 1 0 14 0 340 1
140–144 17 0 19 1 19 0 28 0 14 0 12 0 5 0 1 0 1 0 8 0 124 1
135–139 3 0 2 0 7 0 10 0 10 0 7 0 3 0 2 0 0 0 4 0 48 0
130–134 1 0 1 0 6 0 0 0 4 0 3 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 19 0
125–129 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0
120–124 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 873 674 1090 322 826 218 541 120 284 34 141 17 67 2 21 0 2 0 182 52 4027 1439

Apps = Number of Applicants
Adm = Number Admitted
Reflects 100% of the total applicant pool; highest LSAT data reported.