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 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 goes through W&M's leading Legal Practice Program. You’ll research and draft memos and briefs, learn how to interview clients and negotiate on their behalf. From the very first day, you'll be putting ethical lawyering skills to practice in a supportive academic setting, trained by both full-time legal writing professors as well as by practitioners in the field.
Legal Practice continues into the second year of law school, where you’ll have the opportunity to specialize in an area of practice as you continue to improve your writing and lawyering skills.
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 intellectual property to national security to business and corporate law. Our eight clinics and one practicum will help prepare you for the practice of law and membership in the profession. Students in our clinics provide more than 14,000 hours of service annually 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, is eligible for credit.