William and Mary Law School

Frequently Asked Questions

You have questions, we have answers.

Facts & Statistics  |   General Admission Info   |   First Years   |  Financial Aid
International or Foreign-Educated Applicants  |   LL.M.

Facts and Statistics
Where is William & Mary Law School?

The Law School is located at 613 South Henry Street in Williamsburg, Virginia. Williamsburg is about an hour west of Virginia Beach, an hour east of Richmond, and 2.5 hours south of Washington D.C.

How many students apply each year?

While the number varies from year to year, William & Mary Law School has a large applicant pool and admission is competitive. Over 4,400 applications were received for the Class of 2017. Over 4,600 applications were received in total with LL.M., transfer, and visiting applications included.

What is the size of the entering class?

Each class has approximately 200 students.

What is the median GPA and LSAT score of entering students?

For the Class of 2017, the median undergraduate GPA was 3.79 and the median LSAT score was 163.*

How much does it cost to attend William & Mary Law School?
 2014-2015 Virginia Residents   Non-Residents
 Tuition & Fees  $29,800  $38,800
 Living Allowance  $15,605  $15,605
 Books  $1,545  $1,545
 Total Cost of Attendance  $46,950  $55,950

 

How do I apply to be considered for in-state tuition?

Learn more about the qualifications for in-state tuition.

Where may I find more information about student life and the Williamsburg area?

Williamsburg is a fantastic place to work and play. There is an abundance of small-town hospitality, loads of outdoor activities, and a host of big-city amenities that you might not expect to find in a relatively small Virginia town. Student life is enriched by more than 50 organizations and students participate in a wide array of co-curricular programs and activities.

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General Admission Information
What is the application fee?

The nonrefundable application fee is $50.

How do I obtain a fee waiver?

If you receive a waiver for the LSAT or CAS fees from the Law School Admission Council, you automatically qualify for a fee waiver from William & Mary. The waiver will apply automatically. We will also waive the application fee for anyone who served or is currently serving honorably in the armed forces of the United States and for anyone who served or is currently serving a full term of service in the Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, or Teach for America. Please contact the [[lawadmin, Admission Office]] if you have an application fee waiver request and be sure to designate the reason for the request.

Do you accept transfer and visiting students?

Yes. Learn more about applying as a transfer or visiting student.

What is the latest LSAT score you will accept?

Scores from the February LSAT test administration date will be accepted for the initial review. Scores from later tests may supplement the application for applicants not selected for admission initially.

Do you offer interviews?

We do not require interviews. We encourage you to visit the school and meet with an admission officer to answer any questions you might have and to gain information on legal education at William & Mary.

Can I visit the Law School and observe a class?

Yes.

Does the Law School offer joint-degree programs?

Yes. The J.D. degree can be earned jointly with a Master of Business Administration, Master of Public Policy, or Master of Arts in American Studies.

How do the joint degree programs work?

To apply for a joint degree program, you must apply to both of the relevant schools (for the JD/MBA, the Law School and the Mason School of Business; for the JD/MPP, the Law School and the Thomas Jefferson Program in Public Policy; and for the JD/MA, the Law School and the American Studies Program). The schools have separate admission procedures, so you must apply separately to each school and be accepted by each. Once admitted, you then decide which program you will enter for your first year of study and notify both schools. If you choose law for the first year, you will proceed with your first year of the alternate school in year two or year three. You may apply for a joint degree program during your first or second year at the Law School.

Does the Law School have an LL.M. program?

Yes. William & Mary's LL.M. program in the American Legal System provides advanced training for students from outside the United States who are interested in academic careers or who wish to increase their familiarity with the American legal system.

Does William & Mary have a part-time or an evening program?

No.

May I defer enrollment?

An offer of admission is extended for enrollment in a particular year. Deferred enrollment is considered on a case-by-case basis. Requests to defer should include the specific reason for enrollment in a subsequent year. Deferrals, when granted, are typically given for one year. We will accept a deferral of two years for admitted applicants who are subsequently admitted to Teach for America or the Peace Corps.

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First Year FAQ
How do I apply to William & Mary Law School?

Apply with the William & Mary Application through LSAC.

What are the requirements to be considered for first-year admission?

1. Complete application form with electronic certification;

2. Nonrefundable application fee of $50 paid by credit/debit card via LSAC;

3. Personal statement and optional essays;

4. LSAT/CAS score report sent by LSAC with transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate work;

5. Two letters of recommendation or evaluations (from different individuals); and

6. Application for Virginia In-State Tuition Privileges (pdf) if you claim Virginia domicile for tuition purposes.

I have completed graduate work. Will my graduate GPA or my undergraduate GPA be considered?

At William & Mary Law School we review all aspects of the application package including any graduate work. Because all applicants have an undergraduate record, the undergraduate GPA allows some level of comparison among applicants for admission.

What specific courses should I take to prepare for law school? Does William & Mary prefer any particular major?

The Law School does not require any specific course of study. William & Mary Law School students have studied almost every imaginable subject. Generally, successful law students possess the ability to read, comprehend, and analyze complex material. Many applicants have focused their studies in the fields of philosophy, political science, government, economics, or English, but these are only a few of the paths that students may take to prepare for a successful law school experience.

Will any past indiscretions prevent me from being admitted to William & Mary Law School?

Not necessarily. We understand that an applicant may have received misdemeanor, felony, and/or disciplinary charges. Without knowing the specific details, it is impossible to determine whether a past indiscretion will have meaningful ramifications on the admission decision. Of course, it is crucial that the applicant disclose those charges and provide a straightforward, honest, and fully forthcoming explanation.

Whom should I ask to write my letters of recommendation?

Your letters should be completed by professors, instructors, or supervisors who know you well enough to be familiar with your character and abilities. If you are a student, or have recently graduated, we recommend that at least one of your recommendations come from a professor who can speak to your academic abilities.

May I submit more than two letters of recommendation?

Yes.

May I submit a resumé with my application?

Yes.

Does William & Mary Law School require a Dean's Certification for first-year J.D. applicants?

No.

What information should I include in my personal statement?

Your personal statement should provide information beyond the accomplishments listed in your application. This writing sample provides an opportunity to demonstrate the ways in which you can contribute your talents and experiences to the Law School. The topic is up to you. For more information about personal statements, we suggest this blog post on the topic.

Is there a word limit on personal statements?

No, but brevity is encouraged.

I do not perform well on standardized tests or I have mitigating circumstances explaining my poor GPA. Should I explain this in my personal statement?

No. We recommend that you use your personal statement to provide information to support your law school application request, not to explain a perceived deficiency. A supplemental statement may be submitted to address test or academic performance.

When do you begin accepting applications?

September 1.

When is the application deadline?

March 1.

When will I receive a decision?

William & Mary's admission process includes a full-file review. All applications are reviewed once a file is complete, and applicants will be notified of decisions once they are finalized. Many applications will go through multiple reviews. All applications complete by March 1 will receive a decision by April 1.

Is there an early action program?

No.

Does applying early help my chances of admission?

Applying early facilitates the process; however, the application arrival date is not the deciding factor and applying early does not significantly increase one's chances of gaining admission.

When should I receive a decision after submitting my application?

The amount of time required for review will vary for each applicant. Decisions are communicated after they are finalized, and all decision letters will be mailed no later than April 1 for first-year applications complete by March 1.

What are the factors considered for admission to William & Mary Law School?

Please see our admission policy.

If I take the LSAT more than once, how will you consider the scores?

William & Mary Law School will evaluate the LSAT portion of the application by using the highest reported score.

Does William & Mary Law School require seat deposits? Are they refundable?

William & Mary requires a $500 nonrefundable seat deposit. The $500 will be credited to the first semester tuition bill.

My GPA and/or LSAT are below the median. Do I still have a chance of gaining admission?

Yes. William & Mary Law School seeks a diverse and talented student body and while your GPA and LSAT are two important measures of your academic achievement and potential, we realize that they only tell part of the story. We review all aspects of an applicant's file, including but not limited to your personal statement, community involvement, work experience, leadership, recommendations, course selection, etc. While we carefully review your GPA and LSAT, they are only two of many factors that aid in our decision making process.

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Financial Aid FAQ
Is financial aid available?

Yes.

What forms must I submit to be considered for financial aid?

Only your admission application is needed for merit-based awards. The Free Application for Student Aid (FAFSA) must be completed for need-based awards and all educational loans.

What is the Federal Code for William & Mary as required on the FAFSA?

The FAFSA Title IV code for William & Mary is 003705.

How do I go about obtaining federal student loans? What about private loans?

Federal unsubsidized and Grad PLUS loans are available. You need to submit your FAFSA with the William & Mary code in order to be packaged for aid by the William & Mary Office of Student Financial Aid. Follow the directions provided to complete the loan application process.

What is the average amount of assistance provided to William & Mary Law School students?

The average scholarship is $13,624 and the average fellowship is $13,000 for the Class of 2017. Ninety-one percent of the 2014-2015 student body receive scholarship and/or fellowship assistance.

When is tuition due?

Tuition will be due in August for the fall semester and January for the spring semester.

Can I apply for Virginia residency status after my first year of law school?

Yes. Learn more about obtaining residency.

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International or Foreign-Educated J.D. Applicants
How do I submit transcripts from a college or university outside the United States or Canada?

Use the LSAC Credential Assembly Service (CAS) for international transcripts. For information on this service, visit the LSAC website.

Do you require TOEFL from international students? What is the minimum score requirement?

J.D. applicants are required to take the LSAT. The TOEFL is not required for international JD applicants.

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LL.M. FAQ
What is the LL.M. Program in the American Legal System?

This two semester program provides advanced training for students from outside the United States who wish to increase their familiarity with the American legal system.

How do I apply to the William & Mary Law School LL.M. program?

We prefer applicants to apply online through LSAC; however, we will accept the paper application which can be located on the LLM admission site.

When do you begin accepting applications?

September 1.

When is the application deadline?

February 1.

When should I receive a decision after submitting my application?

Applications will be reviewed as they become complete, and most decisions are emailed in early March.

What are the requirements to be considered for admission?

1. An applicant must have a law degree from a country outside the United States from a college or university that is accredited and recognized by the relevant educational authority in that country.

2. A final transcript and degree certificate from those who have received their law degree prior to their LLM application.  Those who will graduate after the application is submitted must submit their most recent transcript and, if admitted, the final transcript and degree certificate will be required prior to the start of classes. 

Important Note: If you plan to sit for a bar examination in the United States, you need to obtain an additional set of "official" transcripts showing your degree conferral to submit with your bar application.

3. An applicant must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) if (a) the applicant's native language is not English and (2) the applicant did not obtain a law degree from an educational institution in which the language of instruction is English.  William & Mary will not consider TOEFL scores more than two years old at the time of application.

4. Two letters of recommendation from law professors, employers or other people who can attest to your professional or academic capabilities.

What factors are considered for admission to the LL.M. Program?

In an attempt to create a qualified and well-rounded entering class, William & Mary Law School considers a variety of factors including general academic ability (using factors such as academic transcripts, strength of school and schedule), extracurricular activities and work experience, capacity for legal study, and other relevant personal qualities and characteristics.

Does William & Mary Law School require seat deposits for the LL.M. Program?

Yes, William & Mary requires a $250 nonrefundable seat deposit for the LL.M. Program. The $250 will be credited to the first semester tuition bill.

If admitted to the program, how do I get a visa?

Instructions for obtaining a certificate of eligibility (I-20 or DS-2019) from the College of William & Mary will be included with the admission materials.

What is the minimum TOEFL score you will accept?

The minimum acceptable scores for admission on the TOEFL are 600 (paper-based total); 250 (computer-based total); and 100 (Internet-based total). In certain exceptional cases, William & Mary may accept a student with a slightly lower TOEFL score; however, an applicant with such a score should re-take the TOEFL to attempt to raise their score.

How do I submit transcripts from a college or university outside the United States or Canada?

Use the LSAC service for international transcripts or include them (with translations) with your paper application.

Is there a word limit for answers to the essay questions on the application for the LL.M. Program?

No. Please feel free to submit a statement that is long enough to express whatever you believe we should know.

How much does it cost to attend William & Mary Law School?
 2014-2015  Non-Residents       
 Tuition & Fees  $38,800
 Living Allowance  $15,605
 Books  $1,545
 Total Cost of Attendance  $55,950

 

Are scholarships available to LL.M. students?

Scholarships for the LL.M. Program are limited and are based on merit. The probability of receiving aid through the Law School depends on the availability of funds and applicant qualifications. Students must be prepared to pay necessary travel, living and educational expenses from outside sources.

What additional aid is available to international students?

Although some scholarships are offered to LL.M. students, most of our students use individual or family savings and resources to fund their LL.M. Program expenses.  Some International students have been funded by their employers for career enhancement.

EduPASS, a private service which is not affiliated with the College of William & Mary, offers a fairly comprehensive site of information for international students interested in study in the U.S.  EduPASS began as the international student section of FinAid! The Smart Student Guide to Financial Aid.  Information covers many topics of interest to international students, such as sources of financial aid, scholarships for international students and loans for international students.  For more information, visit their website.

*LSAT/UGPA percentiles were calculated by the Law School Admission Council based on matriculant lists provided by William & Mary to the ABA. Numbers are based on enrollment information as of September 1, 2014. Official data will be verified by LSAC in late fall 2014.

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