The celebration.

Graduation is a weekend of celebratory events.  The University sets the Commencement date, which typically is a Saturday in mid-May. The Law School hosts a ceremony and reception on Saturday afternoon that honors students who earn an academic award.  On Sunday, the Law School Diploma Ceremony is held in early in the morning.  Many students attend Commencement but it is at the Law School Diploma Ceremony where your name is read, you walk across the stage and your diploma is presented.

Dates, times, places for 2016

May 14, 2016  at 10:00 AM
William & Mary Hall  (business attire for guests; regalia for graduates; seating limited to 4 guests per student - by ticket only)

Awards Ceremony
May 14, 2016 at 3:00 PM
Kimball Theatre  (business attire; seating limited to 3 guests per student)

Awards Reception
May 14, 2016 at 4:45 PM
Wren Yard  (business attire; no guest restriction)

Diploma Ceremony
May 15, 2016  at 8:15 AM
Lake Matoaka (William & Mary Hall rain location)  (business attire for guests and regalia for graduates; no seat limitation)

Law School Reception
May 15, 2016 immediately following Diploma Ceremony held at the Law School

Graduation Pictures

Pictures are taken of the graduates as they cross the stage and randomly during the ceremony.  More information about ordering these photos is found at this link:  GradImages

The Requirements

You must successfully complete:

For the Juris Doctor

A)    these courses:

  • Legal Practice Program: Legal Practice I, II and Advanced Practice
  • Professional Responsibility
  • the first-year curriculum:  Property, Torts, Constitutional Law, Contracts, Civil Procedure, Criminal Law

B)    the writing requirement, which can be satisfied by a seminar or course that requires a significant research paper, by the independent legal writing course, or by the completion of a note (or other substantial individual writing project) of publishable quality for any of the law reviews for which credit is given)

C)    at least 86 semester credit hours

  • no more than six credit hours of "C" or higher earned through an approved course offered by another school within the William & Mary academic community may be applied towards the law degree (Not applicable for Joint Degree candidates).

D)    a minimum of 75% (currently, this is 65 credits) of the required credits (currently, 86 credits are required) through William and Mary Law School courses graded by letter grade

E)    good academic standing

  • achieve no less than a 2.0 average for each upper-level fall and spring semester
  • achieve a cumulative gpa of 2.0 at the end of each upper-level academic year

 F)    full-time status

  • earn a minimum of 20 credit hours in an academic year
  • earn a minimum of 10 credit hours in each fall and spring semester

G)    residency for three academic years

H)    complete the OCS Grad Survey

For the LL.M. in the American Legal System

A)    residency as a full-time student for two semesters
B)    a minimum of 24 credit hours
C)    complete two terms of Legal Writing for LLM students
D)    although not required, the summer Legal Advantage Program is recommended for LL.M. students
E)     a cumulative quality point average of at least 2.0
F)     full-time status by earning a minimum of 10 credit hours in each fall and spring semester

Graduation Rate

Less than .5% of an entering class will not graduate due to academic deficiency.