W&M Law School is one of five graduate and professional programs at William & Mary, a premier public research university widely recognized for its outstanding academic reputation, beautiful campus, and vibrant community. It has a rich history dating back to 1779.
Located in Williamsburg, Virginia, one hour from Richmond and Virginia Beach and three hours from Washington, D.C., W&M Law School offers a welcoming environment for learning.
Our students come here to pursue excellence and to learn from our passionate teachers and scholars, many of whom are leaders in their field. We offer courses of study for the J.D., combination degrees and LL.M. in American Legal Studies. Our graduates go on enjoy careers throughout the United States and around the world with a wide range of employers.
W&M Law School’s many clinics provide critical legal services to the community in areas such as veterans benefits, immigration, domestic violence and family law. Our Virginia Coastal Policy Center practicum helps students experience the breadth of environmental lawyering while gaining skills that will serve them well regardless of the practice areas they pursue upon graduation.
Opportunity thrives here, with institutes and programs that help to shape law and policy around the world.
Our strong alumni network continues our tradition of the citizen lawyer by leading with integrity in their work and their communities.
Above all else, we are a community that values equity, inclusivity, belonging, and the pursuit of justice.
William & Mary Law School boasts a remarkable history as the nation’s first law school and a reputation for producing lawyers who are not only highly skilled and successful attorneys, but dedicated public servants.
Learn from internationally and nationally recognized faculty through our unique, hands-on legal education. Immerse yourself in the law through involvement with competition teams and journals. Over 50 different organizations will help you stay connected to your peers while maintaining balance and wellness in law school.
William & Mary Law offers two full-time degree programs:
- Juris Doctor (J.D.) – This three-year program is open to first-year, transfer, and visiting law students. You may also pursue the Combination Degree Program with the School of Business, Public Policy, or the American Studies Program.
- LL.M. in American Legal Studies – This one-year program is designed for students who have received law degrees outside of the United States and seek advanced training in American law.
At William & Mary Law School, we believe that we prepare professionally ready graduates better than any other program in the country.
It all starts with our philosophy of the citizen lawyer. A degree from W&M Law provides the foundation for our graduates to lead in their communities, motivated by the desire for progress and by the knowledge that members of the legal profession have a special responsibility that comes with their degrees.
In our J.D. program, first-year courses do more than cover the basics. In addition to required coursework in civil procedure, constitutional law, contracts, criminal law, property and torts, every 1L goes through W&M’s leading Legal Practice Program. You’ll research and draft memos and briefs, learn how to interview clients and negotiate on their behalf. From the very first day, you’ll be putting lawyering skills to practice in a supportive academic setting, trained by both full-time legal writing professors as well as by practitioners in the field.
Legal Practice continues into the second year of law school, where you’ll have the opportunity to specialize in an area of practice as you continue to improve your writing and lawyering skills.
Starting in the second year, you’ll also choose from nearly 100 different elective course offerings. Every aspect of modern law practice is covered, from intellectual property to national security to business and corporate law. Our clinics and Virginia Coastal Policy Center practicum help prepare our students for the practice of law and membership in the profession. Students in our clinics provide more than 14,000 hours of service annually to underserved clients that include the elderly, immigrants, victims of spousal abuse and veterans.
All the while, you’ll be engaged in learning opportunities outside the classroom through the Law School’s student organizations and student-edited journals. Participation in some of these endeavors, such as the National Trial Team and journals, is eligible for credit.
W&M Law School professors are more than merely accessible. They’re personally invested in your education and your success. Their teaching philosophy goes hand-in-hand with the Law School’s belief in the citizen lawyer. The goal is to educate the whole student, something that won’t be accomplished through lectures alone.
Your law professors will be the faculty advisors for your student groups. They’ll be the first people you ask for advice about that summer internship or your first job.
What’s most amazing about this level of student-professor engagement is that our faculty comprises nationally and internationally recognized experts in many fields of law. They’ve written hundreds of notable books, treatises and articles. Our faculty conduct research because they want to effect change; they teach so they can prepare a new generation of W&M lawyers to do the same.
Apart from our full-time faculty, we also boast an impressive adjunct professorship made up of practicing lawyers and public officials with decades of hands-on experience in the practice of law. These professors prove by example that good lawyers are vitally engaged in the life of the local community, state, nation and world.
William & Mary Law School
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