Apply as a First Year JD

Ready to begin?

We understand that applying to law school can be a daunting task. Here is what you need to know:

Requirements for Admission:
  1. Applicants must have received a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university before enrolling at William & Mary Law.
  2. Applicants must take the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT). 
  3. Applicants must register with the Credential Assembly Service (CAS).
Deadlines: Fall 2024 Application is still open!

 Applications for fall enrollment open September 1. The priority deadline to submit applications is April 1, but applications are accepted until August 1. Applicants applying on or before April 1 should take the LSAT no later than April 2024. For applications submitted between April 1 and August 1, the Law School will accept June LSAT scores on a space available basis. W&M considers an LSAT score valid for a period of three years; therefore, the oldest LSAT score acceptable for the 2024-25 application cycle is June 2021.  


Application Checklist:
  1. Law School Application: Applicants should use the LSAC Electronic Application to complete their application.  
  2. Application Fee of $85 (nonrefundable) 
  3. Required Essays: 500 words each, double spaced, 12 point font required
    • Personal Statement: This personal statement is your opportunity to provide the Admissions Committee with information you believe to be relevant to your admission decision. Topics may include academic interests, significant accomplishments, and educational achievements, and/or any way in which your perspective and experience will enrich the William & Mary Law School community.
    • Why W&M Law Statement:  As the nation’s first law school, William & Mary Law School seeks to enroll a class of talented and engaged students committed to advancing our long-standing tradition of achieving and celebrating academic and professional excellence in an inclusive environment. We recognize the challenges of our history and our responsibility to pursue the realization of justice through the rule of law. This statement is your opportunity to share how your experiences, perspectives, values, and future goals align with William & Mary Law School’s vision and mission.
  4. Resume: A resume of no more than two pages, single sided is required.
  5. Optional Essays: While optional, the below essays can be beneficial in the evaluation of merit-based scholarship aid.  
    • Optional Statement: You are invited to submit an essay that describes your life experiences with an emphasis on how the perspectives that you have acquired would contribute to William & Mary Law School’s intellectual community and enhance the diversity of the student body. Examples of topics include (but are not limited to): an experience of prejudice, bias, economic disadvantage, personal adversity, or other social hardship (perhaps stemming from one’s religious affiliation, disability, race, ethnicity, national origin, age, gender, sexual orientation, or gender identity); experience as a first-generation college student; significant employment history (such as in business, military or law enforcement, or public service); experience as an immigrant or refugee; graduate study; or impressive leadership achievement (including college or community service).  Please be as concise as possible.
    • LSAT, GPA, and/or Character & Fitness Addenda: Context around an LSAT score, grade point average, or a more detailed explanation of a "yes" answer to the Character & Fitness section is accepted. We ask that you devote an individual page to each within your application where necessary. 
  6. Letters of Recommendation: Two (2) letters of recommendation are required.  At least one faculty recommendation is expected unless you have been out of school longer than two years.  If you have questions about this expectation, please contact the Admissions Office. All letters of recommendation must be submitted to CAS. 

  7. Credential Assembly Service Report: Register for the Credential Assembly Service (CAS) and request official transcripts from every undergraduate and graduate school you attended.  LSAC advises applicants to register for CAS and submit all documents at least six weeks prior to submitting your application to law schools. We strongly recommend registering for CAS no later than February 1. Applicants must take their initial LSAT no later than the February test to have a reportable score to be considered for admission.  The CAS code for William & Mary is 5115.
  8. Law School Admission Test: Applicants should take the LSAT no later than April 2024; subsequent exams may be submitted as supplemental material in support of your application.  For applications submitted after the April 1 priority deadline and before August 1, the Law School will accept June LSAT scores on a space available basis. William & Mary Law School conducts a holistic review of every application and considers the LSAT score in the context of the entire application (transcripts, personal statement, letters of recommendation, evidence of leadership, and engagement and other information).  If you feel that one or more of your test scores does not accurately reflect your ability or potential, please use the Miscellaneous Addendum attachment to explain this disparity.  W&M considers an LSAT score valid for a period of three years; therefore, the oldest LSAT score acceptable for the 2023-24 application cycle is June, 2021.  All applicants must have a reportable LSAT score on record with LSAC.
  9. TOEFL/IELTS For International Applicants:  If your first language is not English and English is not the language of instruction at your undergraduate institution, you may submit a score from either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) in addition to the LSAT. 
  10. Virginia Application for In-State Tuition Privileges: Applicants claiming entitlement to in-state educational privileges must complete the Virginia Application for In-State Tuition Privileges, save, and add it as an attachment to the electronic application.  If the admission application has already been electronically submitted, applicants applying for Virginia in-state tuition privileges must complete the form found on the University Registrar's website and return to the Registrar by email (at [[w|domicile]]), mail, or fax.

    Note: Applicants who are active duty military personnel or honorably discharged veterans are eligible for in-state tuition privileges once they have moved to Virginia. Upon moving here, applicants should submit the Virginia Application for In-State Tuition Privileges and their military orders showing permanent duty station (active duty) or their discharge papers (veterans) to the Domicile Office at [[w|domicile]].

Merit-Based Financial Aid/Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

All students are considered for merit-based scholarships automatically upon submission of your application; no additional information will be necessary during the application process. Separate scholarship applications may be made available for certain awards during the application cycle. 
Need-Based Financial Aid Application/Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

Applicants for need-based scholarships and/or educational loans must file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)  It is recommended that every applicant complete the FAFSA form and submit it no later than February 15.  Parental information is not required for graduate students.  The FAFSA Title IV code for William & Mary is 003705. 

Note: A Dean's Certification is not required for first-year applicants.

The successful completion of the J.D. will meet the educational requirements for a licensure in all 50 states and U.S. territories. 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.