At William & Mary Law School, we believe that we prepare professionally ready graduates better than any other program in the country.
It all starts with our philosophy of the citizen lawyer. A degree from W&M Law provides the foundation for our graduates to lead in their communities, motivated by the desire for progress and by the knowledge that members of the legal profession have a special responsibility that comes with their degrees.
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 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 clinics and Virginia Coastal Policy Center practicum help prepare our students 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, immigrants, victims of spousal abuse and veterans.
All the while, you'll be engaged in learning opportunities outside the classroom through the Law School's student organizations and student-edited journals. Participation in some of these endeavors, such as the National Trial Team and journals, is eligible for credit.