Supporting the Citizen Lawyer Ideal
Since it was established as the nation’s first law school in 1779, William & Mary has been dedicated to preparing students to not only become skilled legal practitioners, but also emerge as citizens and leaders in their communities, states and nation — upholding the citizen-lawyer ideal of William & Mary alumnus Thomas Jefferson.
The Law School boasts an accomplished faculty whose members are not only nationally known legal scholars but also exceptional classroom teachers. Innovative resources include the Center for Legal and Court Technology, home to the most technologically advanced courtroom in the world; the Institute of Bill of Rights Law, with its signature Supreme Court Preview; and the state-of-the-art Wolf Law Library.
The spirit of the citizen lawyer is nurtured in students through opportunities for public service. Our summer public service fellowships enable students to assist non-profit and governmental organizations throughout the world. During the school year, our students also help individuals navigate the legal system through clinics devoted to legal aid, domestic violence and federal tax law. Our Veterans Disability Clinic, which opened in January 2009 as part of the Virginia Commonwealth University–William & Mary Health Policy and Law Initiative, is helping our nation's servicemen and women to fully access their military benefits.
Although the oldest American school of law, William & Mary has a law alumni body numbering less than 7,000. The Law School depends upon the generosity of alumni, friends and the legal community, among others, to fulfill its mission. Thanks to private support, we are able to provide scholarship aid, attract and retain outstanding faculty, support student-sponsored civic leadership initiatives such as the George Wythe Society of Citizen Lawyers, and improve our resources, technology and facilities.