Organizations that Educate

American Civil Liberties Union, W&M Chapter

The William & Mary Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union is a student chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). Its goals are twofold: first, to educate students about current constitutional and legislative issues; and, second, to provide students with opportunities to engage in work relating to those issues by serving as a research arm of the ACLU's Virginia chapter. Students engage in research projects for the Virginia chapter and are offered opportunities to assist attorneys on active ACLU cases.

 American Constitution Society

The American Constitution Society (ACS)  for Law and Policy is a national network of progressive law students, lawyers, judges, and policymakers. ACS seeks to promote a vision of the Constitution that emphasizes individual rights, equal access to justice, and the separation of powers. The ACS chapter at W & M supports and influences this progressive vision through an array of speakers, events, and legal projects that are aimed at provoking thought and debate about our Constitution in the 21st century.

Learn more: ACS

Asian-American Law Students Association

The Asian Law Students Association (ALSA) is a cultural, academic, advocacy, and social group dedicated to enriching the lives of all law students at William & Mary, but with a particular focus on Asian Pacific Americans. Our goals are to provide academic support, create a fun social environment, increase the enrollment of minority students, inform people of issues affecting the Asian Pacific American community, and strengthen the relationship between current and alumni ALSA members.

Black Law Students Association

The Black Law Students Association (BLSA) furthers the academic, social, and professional needs and goals of the black law student. BLSA members work together to foster a successful learning environment--focusing on building the skills and confidence of its members. BLSA members also participate in social activities and community service projects. Two of BLSA's most significant accomplishments are its annually hosted events: Law Day and Oliver Hill Weekend. On Law Day, BLSA invites undergraduate minority college students to the Law School to give them an introduction to the school and encourage graduate education. Oliver Hill weekend was established to honor an African-American man who contributed greatly to the legal field. On this weekend, we celebrate our successes of the school year and give out awards.

Learn more: BLSA

Business Law Society

The Business Law Society (BLS) provides a forum for students at the William & Mary School of Law to engage in business law issues.  The Business Law Society's purpose is to promote awareness of business related legal issues within the law school community, and to provide members with opportunities to develop relationships in the business legal community.

Learn more: BLS

Children's Advocacy Law Society

The Children's Advocacy Law Society (CALS) promotes awareness of the legal needs and rights of children and encourages students to become active children's advocates. CALS sponsors programs such as lectures and lunches with visiting scholars and practitioners and also seeks to increase student involvement with organizations that provide legal services for children and that advance children's rights.

Learn more: WMCALS

Christian Legal Society

The Christian Legal Society (CLS) is a national, nondenominational, Christian membership association of lawyers, judges, law professors, law students, and other associates (friends of CLS who do not have a law degree) whose members participate in the broad and rich variety of Christian congregational life and traditions.

Learn more: WMLAWCLS

Criminal Law Society

The Criminal Law Society (CLS) aims to encourage
student discussion and exploration of the Criminal Law practice field. 
This includes those who desire to be defense attorneys, prosecutors, or just
those who have an interest in studying the criminal law aspects of their own
field.  To forward this goal, CLS sponsors events, both individually
and in collaboration with other student organizations, where speakers debate
and discuss topics of interest to those exploring this field.

Learn more: Criminal Law Society

Doctors' Commons Legal History Society

One of the Law School's newest societies, Doctors' Commons Legal History Society, fosters interest in legal history and connects law students to undergraduate and graduate history programs at William & Mary, as well as to the broader legal and historical community in the Tidewater region. Aiming to further this goal of gathering together like-minded lawyers, Doctors' Commons was inspired by the society of the same name, which dates from sixteenth-century. As Charles Dickens said of the London Doctors' Commons in his novel, David Copperfield, it is a "cosey, dosey, old-fashioned, time-forgotten, sleepy-headed little family party." We welcome all to join our "little family party" as we delve into the past and forge new experiences and understandings.

Learn more:

Election Law Society

The Election Law Society is the student organization that works with the Election Law Program to promote education and discussion about issues surrounding the American electoral process. We are a multi-partisan student organization that organizes an annual voter registration drive, an "Election Law 101" education series and multiple social functions throughout the year. In the spring semester, the group hosts its annual symposium, which covers the upcoming elections and the effects that current election laws will have on candidates, campaigns and results.

Learn more: Election Law Society

The Federalist Society

The William and Mary Chapter of the  Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy is a group of law students dedicated to bringing conservative and libertarian ideas into the law school community. The Society sponsors debates, speeches and panels to advance the principles  that the state exists to preserve freedom, that the separation of governmental powers is central to our Constitution and that it is emphatically the province and duty of the judiciary to say what the law is, not what it should be.

The George Wythe Society

Founded in 1921, The George Wythe Society of Citizen Lawyers is the oldest student club at William & Mary Law School.  The Society sponsors educational programs and activities to promote the citizen lawyer ideal as George Wythe envisioned in 1779 as William & Mary’s - and America’s - first professor of law.  The Society also advocates a more profound appreciation of Marshall-Wythe as the first law school in North America.  The Society fosters and encourages a commitment of service, as lawyers, to our community and fellow man.  The Society upholds George Wythe's pledge, "Here we will form such characters as may be useful in the national councils of our country."

I'Anson-Hoffman American Inn of Court

The I'Anson-Hoffman American Inn of Court was formed as one of over 200 American Inns of Court designed to improve the skills, professionalism and ethics of the bench and bar. Based on the traditional English model of legal apprenticeship, American Inns of Court have been modified to fit the particular needs of the American legal system. American Inns of Court help lawyers become more effective advocates and counselors with keen ethical awareness.


If/When/How is a national nonprofit that trains, networks, and mobilizes law students and legal professionals to work within and beyond the legal system to champion reproductive justice. The W&M chapter organizes speaker panels and outreach for organizations like Planned Parenthood.  This organization was formerly known as "Law Students for Reproductive Justice. 

Learn more:

Immigration Law and Service Society 
The Immigration Law and Service Society ("ILSS") at William and Mary aims to serve the immigration needs of the general community here in Williamsburg and beyond. Partnering with numerous non-profits and law firms, ILSS members volunteer at naturalization clinics, give legal presentations on immigration law topics and changes, assist with “Know Your Rights” presentations at the regional detention facility, and hosts a whole array of fundraising drives, including an interview clothing drive for incoming refugees. Finally, it attempts to add to the national conversation on Immigration through hosting symposiums and speakers.

Learn more:  ILSS

Institute of Bill of Rights Law--Student Division

The Institute of Bill of Rights Law Student Division is the student organization that works with the Institute of Bill of Rights Law to promote education and discussion about issues surrounding the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Student members have the opportunity to plan and participate in debates, lectures, and outreach programs to local schools. In the fall semester, members work closely with the Institute staff to host the annual Supreme Court Preview. In the spring semester, the group hosts its annual symposium, which includes a moot court competition for first-year students.

International Law Society

The International Law Society (ILS) promotes the professional and academic pursuits of William & Mary law students interested in all aspects of international law, from transnational insolvency to human rights. The ILS also fosters interaction among students, faculty and visiting scholars from around the world who are concerned with global issues.

Learn more: ILS

J. Reuben Clark Law Society

The mission and purpose of the J. Reuben Clark Law Society is to "affirm the strength brought to the law by a lawyer's personal religious conviction" and "through public service and professional excellence to promote fairness and virtue founded upon the rule of law." The William & Mary student chapter sponsors lectures and its members enjoy networking opportunities with other chapters throughout the world.

Jewish Law Students Association

The William & Mary Jewish Law Students Association (JLSA) is a diverse, non-denominational group open to people of all backgrounds.  JLSA seeks to provide a sense of community, cultural and educational activities, holiday dinners and celebrations, philanthropic ("tzedakah") projects, and a social environment in which students -- as well as interested faculty -- can meet.  Additionally, JLSA hosts forums and invites speakers to address legal issues from a comparative perspective or of particular importance to the Jewish community.

Labor and Employment Law Society

The Labor & Employment Law Society ("LELS") will strengthen the capacity of members to make contributions to the field of labor and employment law by hosting informational events that explore career opportunities, and by providing a forum for students and professionals to discuss relevant contemporary issues affecting the fields of labor and employment law. LELS will facilitate the exchange of ideas, experiences and opportunities by maintaining a network of attorneys and other professionals involved in business, public policy and academia. .

LGBT Equality Alliance

Open to all regardless of sexual orientation, the LGBT Equality Alliance seeks to educate, raise awareness and foster discussion within the Law School regarding legal issues affecting the lesbian, gay, bi-gender and transgender community. LGBT holds many informal social gatherings, attends functions sponsored by such organizations as Virginians for Justice and GAYLAW (a lawyers group based in Washington, DC) and invites guest speakers to campus.

Military Law Society

The Military and Veterans Law Society (MVLS) is an organization dedicated to promoting knowledge and awareness of how the military, the government, and the legal system interconnect.  MVLS is not just for those in the military, but is open to all individuals who have an interest in the interface between the armed forces and the law.  As a student-run organization, the members of MVLS work hard to not only educate fellow students on the job opportunitites availble in this field, but also to give back to our veterans and active duty military members who serve and protect.

Learn More: MVLS

Multicultural Law Students Association           

The William & Mary Chapter of the Multicultural Law Students Association (MLSA) is a dynamic and diverse group open to anyone who embraces the benefits of multiculturalism in the legal profession.  MLSA seeks to promote an environment of inclusion, facilitate service to the international community, and effectuate cultural awareness at Marshall-Wythe.  MLSA raises funds and collects supplies for local and international charities in addition to hosting social gatherings.  MLSA also sponsors programs on campus to raise consciousness about issues facing the international and diaspora community.  We invite you to join us.

Speak Up, Speak Loud

Speak Up Speak Loud is a non-partisan, progressive civil activist group dedicated to helping students engage meaningfully in the political process to resist policies and legislation that marginalize, alienate, and oppress members of our school, local, national and international communities. Our efforts include grassroots organizing, legislative advocacy, consciousness-raising events, and activist training.

Sports and Entertainment Law Society

The Sports and Entertainment Law Society cultivates interest in legal issues affecting the sports and entertainment industries. Student-run symposia, round-table discussions, professional networking programs and a good dose of fun through contests and sporting events are all part of the Society's activities. It is a vehicle for improving the understanding of the lawyer's role in the ever-changing world of sports and entertainment.

Student Environmental & Animal Law Society

The Student Environmental & Animal Law Society provides unique opportunities for law students interested in environmental law through professionalism and recreation. The organization raises awareness and involvement in environmental issues; provides networking with practitioners and advice for environmental law careers, practice, and scholarship; encourages stewardship in public policy, environmental advocacy, jurisprudence, and law; and the improvement of environmental policies at the College.  The Student Environmental & Animal Law Society also co-sponsors an annual symposium, hosts socials, nature hikes, cleanups and film viewings for its members.

Learn more: Student Environmental & Animal Law Society

Students for the Innocence Project

Students for the Innocence Project (SFIP) is an education and advocacy organization comprised of students who are passionate about preventing and remedying wrongful convictions. Though we do not complete legal work and are not affiliated with The Innocence Project, we work to educate the law school community about the causes and consequences of convicting the innocent. Our members regularly participate in tours of jails and prisons, and every semester we feature at least one speaker. Past speakers have included University of Virginia Professor Brandon Garrett, an expert on the role of eyewitness misidentification in wrongful conviction, and local exoneree Beverly Monroe, who spent 11 years in prison after being wrongly convicted of murder in the death of her longtime boyfriend.

Student Intellectual Property Society

The Student Intellectual Property Society seeks to introduce students to the many facets of this exciting and expanding area of law. Encompassing patent, trademark and copyright law, this field may appeal to those with engineering, scientific, artistic or literacy backgrounds or interests. Society activities vary from year to year but may include, for example, guest speakers and a trip to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Learn more: Student Intellectual Property Society 

Virginia Bar Association, W&M Chapter

The Virginia Bar Association (VBA) is a voluntary organization of Virginia lawyers committed to serving the public and the legal profession by promoting the highest standards of integrity, professionalism and excellence in the legal profession; working to improve the law and the administration of justice; and advancing collegial relations among lawyers.  At William & Mary, a student-led Council furthers the VBA's commitments by sponsoring networking and educational events, and participating in the state-wide annual Legal Food Frenzy as a charitable contribution to local food banks.
W&M Women’s Law Society

The Women's Law Society was created to provide a network for the women at Marshall-Wythe.  We are always open to new ideas, and never short on enthusiasm or support.  Some of the ways we promote the ladies of the law school are by providing academic mentoring and advice to our younger members, bringing speakers to campus to discuss women's issues, sponsoring fundraising events for local shelters, and hosting social networking events with professionals in the community.  We can do more than just hold the scales of justice.

Learn more: W&M Women's Law Society

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