William and Mary Law School


The celebration.

Graduation is a weekend of celebratory events.  The University sets the Commencement date, which typically is a Sunday in mid-May. The Law School hosts a ceremony and reception on Saturday afternoon that honors students who earn an academic award.  On Sunday, the University Commencement begins about mid-day.  The Law School Diploma Ceremony is held in late afternoon.  Many students attend Commencement but it is at the Law School Diploma Ceremony that your name is read, you walk across the stage and your diploma is presented.

Dates, times, places for 2014

Awards Ceremony
May 10, 2014 at 3:00 PM
Kimball Theatre  (business attire; seating limited to 3 guests per student)

Awards Reception
May 10, 2014 at 5:00 PM
Wren Yard  (business attire; no guest restriction)

May 11, 2014  at 10:30 AM
William & Mary Hall  (business attire; seating limited to 4 guests per student - by ticket only)

Law School Light Luncheon Reception
May 11, 2014 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Law School

Diploma Ceremony
May 11, 2014  at 4:00 PM
Lake Matoaka (William & Mary Hall rain location)  (business attire; no seat limitation)

Graduation Pictures

Pictures are taken of the graduates as they cross the stage and randomly during the ceremony.  More information about ordering these photos is found at this link:  GradImages

The Requirements

You must successfully complete:

For the Juris Doctor

A)    these courses:

  • Legal Practice Program: Legal Practice I, II and Advanced Practice
  • Professional Responsibility
  • the first-year curriculum:  Property, Torts, Constitutional Law, Contracts, Civil Procedure, Criminal Law

B)    the writing requirement, which can be satisfied by a seminar or course that requires a significant research paper, by the independent legal writing course, or by the completion of a note (or other substantial individual writing project) of publishable quality for any of the law reviews for which credit is given)

C)    at least 86 semester credit hours

  • no more than four credit hours of Law 759 Private Practice/In-House Counsel Externship may be counted towards the 86 required semester credit hours
  • no more than six credit hours of "C" or higher earned through another school within the William & Mary academic community may be applied towards the law degree (Not applicable for Joint Degree candidates).

D)    a minimum of 75% (currently, this is 65 credits) of the required credits (currently, 86 credits are required) through William and Mary Law School courses graded by letter grade

E)    good academic standing

  • achieve no less than a 2.0 average for each upper-level fall and spring semester
  • achieve a cumulative gpa of 2.0 at the end of each upper-level academic year

 F)    full-time status

  • earn a minimum of 20 credit hours in an academic year
  • earn a minimum of 10 credit hours in each fall and spring semester

G)    residency for three academic years

For the LL.M. in the American Legal System

A)    residency as a full-time student for two semesters
B)    a minimum of 24 credit hours

  • at least 15 credit hours must be earned in law school courses
  • nine credit hours in non-law courses approved by the Program director may be applied to the LL.M. degree provided a grade of "C" or higher is earned
  • no more than six credit hours may be earned from graduate legal research and writing projects supervised by a member of the law faculty
  • although not required, the summer Legal Advantage Program is recommended for LL.M. students

C)        a cumulative quality point average of at least 2.0
D)       full-time status by earning a minimum of 10 credit hours in each fall and spring semester

Graduation Rate

Less than .5% of an entering class will not graduate due to academic deficiency.