William & Mary Law School receives a remarkable number of applications for admission, surpassing the available spots in the entering class. The applicants, boasting impressive academic records and LSAT scores, demonstrate high qualifications for admission. However, the Law School acknowledges that while academic potential is crucial, a well-rounded admission process serves the public and the legal profession better. Therefore, the faculty has concluded that solely focusing on academic achievements for selecting the class is not the most optimal approach.
The faculty believes the educational process at the Law School and the legal profession are best served by an admission process that results in the selection of a diverse and talented student body and, to that end, has formulated an admission policy that takes into consideration individual skills and characteristics that might not necessarily be directly related to academic potential.
Factors used in making admission decisions include: (1) the applicant's general academic ability based upon a careful examination of the undergraduate (and graduate, if any) transcript, including factors such as the grade-point average, the quality of the school attended, the difficulty of the major or department in which the degree was earned, the hours spent on outside employment or other time-consuming extracurricular activities, and the length of time elapsed since graduation; (2) the applicant's capacity for the academic study of law based largely upon the LSAT score and writing sample; and (3) other relevant personal qualities and characteristics of the applicant, including factors such as the location of the applicant's permanent residence, the applicant's career goals, economic and educational background and experiences, moral character, leadership qualities, commitment to community service, ability to undertake independent and creative research, and communication skills. The applicant should discuss his or her own characteristics and qualities in the personal statement required as part of the admission process and should seek to have those persons writing letters of recommendation discuss such factors.
The offer of admission to the Law School remains valid only for the specified year mentioned in the admission notice. If an admitted applicant decides not to enroll during that year, they have the option to reapply by submitting a new application for a future year. In such cases, their application will be evaluated alongside other students applying for that particular year. It's important to note that being admitted in one year does not guarantee admission in any subsequent years. Each application is considered independently based on the qualifications and merits for the year it is submitted.
An admitted applicant can request a one year deferral of enrollment. The Law School will consider deferment requests on an individual basis if a written request is submitted with an explanatory statement. Candidates not granted deferred enrollment may reapply for admission in the subsequent year(s).
Applicants who do not enroll at William & Mary or at any other law school may reapply to William & Mary. Reapplying candidates must complete a new application form.
In addition to a bar examination, there are character, fitness, and other qualifications for admission to the bar in every U.S. jurisdiction. Applicants are encouraged to determine the requirements for any jurisdiction in which they intend to seek admission by contacting the jurisdiction. Addresses for all relevant agencies are available through the National Conference of Bar Examiners.