On August 14, the J.D. Class of 2026 proudly entered the doors of William & Mary Law School. Their records of achievements, awards, honors, leadership, employment, and service demonstrate great promise and a strong determination to become excellent citizen lawyers.
Members of the class, which numbers 154, hail from 35 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Canada, and China. They have a median LSAT of 166 (75th/25th: 168/162), a median undergraduate GPA of 3.77 (75th/25th: 3.87/3.55) and an average age of 24.
Seventy percent of the class is from out of state.
Twenty-five percent of the class identify as persons of color, with four percent Hispanic/Latino, ten percent Asian, and 11 percent Black/African American.
Ten percent identify as LGBTQ, and 10 percent are first-generation students.
Sixty-three percent have full-time work experience, and eight percent hold advanced degrees, with seven coming in as active-duty military or veteran students.
The total number of applicants was 2,248.
The Class of 2026 attended 107 different undergraduate institutions, 17 in Virginia and 90 in other locations.
The leading Virginia undergraduate institutions were George Mason University, University of Virginia, Virginia Tech, Washington & Lee, and William & Mary,
Other undergraduate institutions with two or more matriculants include: American University, Brandeis University, Brigham-Young University, Bucknell University, Dartmouth College, Florida State University, Franklin & Marshall College, Georgetown University, Hampton University, Howard University, Indiana University at Bloomington, James Madison University, Ohio State University, Tulane University, University of California at Los Angeles, University of Florida, University of Georgia, University of Maryland at College Park, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, University of Richmond, University of Texas at Austin, and Washington University at St. Louis.
Other matriculants are graduates of colleges and universities such as, for example: Amherst College, Bowdoin College, Clemson University, Cornell University, Duke University, Emory and Henry College, George Washington University, Kenyon College, McGill University, Skidmore College, St. John's College, Swarthmore College, University of Southern California, Vanderbilt University, Wake Forest University, and Wellesley College.
In addition to Virginia, the class represents the following states with five or more students: California (13), Florida (7), Georgia (5), Maryland (6), New Jersey (8), New York (5), Pennsylvania (6), and Washington (6).
Predominant undergraduate majors include economics, English, government, history, international relations, philosophy, political science, and psychology. Many other disciplines also are represented such as, for example, accounting, communications, finance, international studies, and sociology.
“I want to congratulate all of you for making it to this point in your legal careers; it’s very difficult to get to this stage,” said A. Benjamin Spencer, Dean and Trustee Professor of the Law School, as he welcomed students. “There’s a lot of work ahead, but you should take pride in this moment, and you should also be proud of the fact that your class has some of the best entering credentials seen in years, if not all time.”
The Law School also welcomed new LL.M. students both on campus and online. All LL.M. students received their initial legal training outside the U.S. and joined William & Mary from across the world, including China, Nigeria, Turkey, and the United Kingdom. For more than 30 years, internationally trained lawyers and law graduates have come to William & Mary Law School to gain an in-depth understanding of the U.S. legal system. The new fully online LL.M. program combines tradition with innovation by expanding to a global audience in a new format.
About William & Mary Law School
Thomas Jefferson founded William & Mary Law School in 1779 to train leaders for the new nation. Now in its third century, America’s first law school continues its historic mission of educating citizen lawyers who are prepared both to lead and to serve.