Taking Classes at William & Mary
Some notes on what to expect when you arrive
Final course registration will take place during the orientation week before classes begin. You will first meet with a William & Mary faculty advisor to discuss your selections, and then may make adjustments to your schedule online for the courses that you have chosen.
To find what courses are being offered, enrolling students have to log into the Law School's course catalog, Banner.
Many of our professors use an online learning platform called MyLaw. There, professors post information about the courses such as the syllabus, course documents, and other relevant information. You will also use MyLaw to submit your final exams at the end of each semester. Some classes require papers instead of final examinations; follow your instructor’s directions and method on submitting papers.
Once you log on MyLaw with your W&M user ID and password, you will see the courses in which you are enrolled. Click the course name to navigate to the specific information for that course.
Credit hours and GPA requirements
LL.M. students enrolled in the two-semester program have to take a minimum total of 24 credit hours. LL.M. students enrolled in the three-semester program have to take a minimum total of 34 credit hours. Students in F-1 status enrolled in the three-semester program can only take a maximum of 34 credit hours.
To maintain their full-time status, students must register for a minimum of 10 credit hours and a maximum of 17 credit hours per semester. We strongly recommend that students to enroll in, at least, 12 credit hours per semester in order to have a balanced workload across semesters and to make steady progress towards completing the credit hours required for graduation. Typically, students take 10 to 13 credit hours per semester.
Students must also maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0.
Most classes will be taken alongside J.D. students. Many LL.M. students choose several of the first-year J.D. courses, such as Criminal Law, Civil Procedure, and Torts. Most classes are lectures, but you may also take some seminar courses, which have smaller class sizes and are discussion-based.
Exams are held at the end of each semester following the last day of classes. Exams are written and may consist of essays, multiple choice questions, or a combination of both. Your professor will provide details regarding the exam format. If you attended an institution for your undergraduate education where English is not the primary language used, you will be given additional time to complete your exam.
Grading Policy for LL.M. Students
Please refer to the Law School’s grading policy page to review grading options.
- LL.M. students may elect, in any semester, to be graded on an Honors/Pass/Fail scale, rather than on a letter-grade scale, for all coursework in that semester other than Legal Research and Writing. Students wishing to make this election must communicate that intention by submitting a Grading Election Form to the Law School Registrar, by the end of Add/Drop week in that semester. If the form is not submitted by the deadline, the student will be subject to the standard grading scale in all courses that semester.
- Such an election, once made, is irrevocable and it must be exercised with respect to all coursework in a semester.
- Courses that are offered to all students only on a Pass/Fail basis will not award Honors grades.
- Pursuant to Law School policy, LL.M. students may also convert to a Pass/Fail grade one grade in a course taken during any semester at the Law School except the final semester of study. Students may not convert a grade earned in any required class, including a course taken to meet the writing requirement (e.g. Legal Research and Writing). Students wishing to convert a grade must communicate that intention by submission of the Grade Conversion survey, made available to students during their final semester of study at the Law School.
- The deadline for submitting a Grade Conversion request is November 1 if the final semester of study is the fall semester, and April 1 if the final semester of study is the spring semester.
- Important: Students considering either of these grading options (i.e. Pass/Fail and Grade Conversion) should be aware that eligibility for admission to a state bar, to a J.D. or other educational program, for third-party funding, or for other programs may be affected by the number of courses taken for any basis other than a letter grade.