William and Mary Law School

Academics

Get ready for an inspiring legal education that produces the best in the profession.

At William & Mary Law School, we believe that we prepare students for the ethical practice of law better than any other program in the country.

It all starts with our philosophy of the citizen lawyer, the Jeffersonian ideal of the lawyer as skilled advocate and devoted public servant. That concept translates into an academic curriculum that emphasizes experiential learning and the "human element" of the law—compassion, ethics and public service.

In our flagship J.D. program, first-year courses do more than cover the basics. In addition to required coursework in civil procedure, constitutional law, contracts, criminal law, property and torts, every 1L is assigned to a "law firm" as part of W&M’s groundbreaking Legal Practice Program. You’ll research, draft memos, negotiate, argue motions, file documents in court and take mock cases to trial. From the very first day, you'll be putting ethical lawyering skills to practice in a supportive academic setting.

Legal Practice continues into the second year of law school, where you’ll use the McGlothlin Courtroom—the most technologically advanced in the nation—to get firsthand experience with the latest courtroom technology.

Starting in the second year, you'll also choose from nearly 100 different elective course offerings. Every aspect of modern law practice is covered, from malpractice to terrorism to white collar crime. Many of the upper-level electives have powerful community service components. Our nine clinics will help prepare you for the practice of law and membership in the profession. Students in our clinics provide more than 14,000 hours annually in pro bono work to underserved clients that include the elderly, children with special needs, and veterans.

All the while, you'll be engaged in learning opportunities outside the classroom through the Law School's more than 40 student organizations and five student-edited journals. Participation in some of these endeavors, such as the National Trial Team and journals, are eligible for credit.

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