William and Mary Law School

Electives

In your first year, all courses are chosen for you. But in your second and third years, you have a wide range—a very wide range—of optional courses to choose from. Some advice about the process of course selection might therefore be helpful.

Philosophies and strategies for course selection vary widely. Some believe that a student's selection of electives should be entirely an academic exercise, with a student choosing courses that she would enjoy or that would provide her with a broad-based education. Others believe that a student should choose courses that will prepare him to practice in a particular area. Still others think that a student should select courses that will help prepare for the Bar exam, believing that the Bar exam reflects the collective wisdom of learned professionals and should be used as a guide.

There's no right philosophy or strategy. If you're interested in a particular area of law, then one strategy is to choose courses in that area. If you don't know what you're might want to do after graduation, then take a variety of courses in many different areas of law. If you intend to take a Bar, you should take the courses that may prepare you best for that exam. You should also feel free to take courses simply because you think you'd enjoy them.

However you go about choosing courses, keep in mind the basic academic requirements for graduation.