William & Mary Law School: Program and Application Overview

Discover all you need to know about the William & Mary Law School program and application process.

Posted May 12, 2023

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Are you considering pursuing a law degree? With so many law schools to choose from, it can be overwhelming to decide which one to attend. Luckily, William & Mary Law School is a prestigious institution that offers a top-notch legal education. In this article, we will provide you with a comprehensive overview of the program and application process at William & Mary Law School.

Why Choose William & Mary Law School?

There are many reasons why students choose to attend William & Mary Law School. First and foremost, the school has a long-standing reputation for academic excellence and producing successful graduates. In fact, William & Mary Law School is consistently ranked in the top tier of law schools by U.S. News & World Report.

Another reason to choose William & Mary Law School is the small class sizes and personalized attention that students receive from faculty. The student-to-faculty ratio is 8:1, which means that students have ample opportunities to interact with professors and receive individualized feedback on their work.

Finally, William & Mary Law School is located in Williamsburg, Virginia, which is a beautiful and historic city. The campus is located in the heart of the city, which means that students have access to a wide variety of cultural, social, and recreational activities.

One unique aspect of William & Mary Law School is its commitment to public service. The school offers a variety of opportunities for students to engage in pro bono work and community service, including clinics and externships that allow students to work with real clients and gain practical legal experience while making a positive impact on their communities.

Additionally, William & Mary Law School has a strong alumni network that provides students with valuable networking opportunities and career connections. Graduates of the school are highly respected in the legal profession and are known for their leadership, integrity, and commitment to public service.

The History of William & Mary Law School

William & Mary Law School is the oldest law school in the United States, having been founded in 1779. From its inception, the school has focused on providing students with a rigorous legal education that emphasizes critical thinking and practical application.

Over the years, William & Mary Law School has produced many notable alumni, including Thomas Jefferson, John Marshall, and James Monroe. These distinguished graduates have made significant contributions to American jurisprudence and government.

In addition to its impressive alumni, William & Mary Law School has also been at the forefront of legal education innovation. In 1980, the school established the first legal skills program in the country, which has since become a model for other law schools. The program emphasizes practical skills such as legal writing, research, and advocacy, and has helped to prepare students for successful careers in a variety of legal fields.

Accreditation and Rankings of William & Mary Law School

William & Mary Law School is accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA) and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS). These accreditations ensure that the school meets rigorous standards for legal education and that students receive a high-quality academic experience.

As previously mentioned, William & Mary Law School consistently ranks in the top tier of law schools by U.S. News & World Report. The school is also recognized for its numerous specialty programs, including environmental law, international law, and intellectual property law.

In addition to its strong academic programs, William & Mary Law School is also known for its commitment to public service. The school offers a variety of pro bono opportunities for students to gain practical legal experience while serving the community. The Lewis B. Puller, Jr. Veterans Benefits Clinic, for example, provides free legal assistance to veterans seeking disability benefits.

Furthermore, William & Mary Law School has a diverse student body, with students from all over the world and a variety of backgrounds. The school also has a number of student organizations that promote diversity and inclusion, such as the Asian Pacific American Law Student Association and the Black Law Students Association.

Areas of Specialization Offered at William & Mary Law School

At William & Mary Law School, students can choose from a wide variety of specializations to fit their career goals and interests. These specializations include:

  • Business Law
  • Criminal Law
  • Environmental Law
  • International Law
  • Intellectual Property Law
  • Public Service Law
  • Real Estate Law

Each of these specializations offers a unique curriculum that prepares students for careers in their respective fields.

The Business Law specialization at William & Mary Law School provides students with a comprehensive understanding of the legal aspects of business transactions. Students learn about contract law, corporate law, and securities regulation, among other topics. Graduates of this program are well-equipped to work in law firms, corporations, or government agencies.

The Environmental Law specialization focuses on the legal issues surrounding environmental protection and sustainability. Students in this program learn about environmental regulations, natural resource management, and climate change law. Graduates of this program can work in law firms, non-profit organizations, or government agencies that deal with environmental issues.

Curriculum Overview: What You Will Learn at W&M Law

The curriculum at William & Mary Law School is designed to provide students with a broad foundation in legal theory and practical skills. First-year students take courses in legal writing, contracts, torts, civil procedure, criminal law, and property law.

In subsequent years, students have the opportunity to choose from a wide variety of elective courses that are tailored to their interests and career goals. These courses cover a range of topics, including constitutional law, environmental law, international trade law, and more.

Additionally, William & Mary Law School offers a number of specialized programs and clinics that allow students to gain hands-on experience in specific areas of law. These programs include the Institute of Bill of Rights Law, the Election Law Program, and the Virginia Coastal Policy Center.

Furthermore, the law school has a strong emphasis on public service and encourages students to participate in pro bono work and community service projects. Students can also take advantage of the school's numerous externship opportunities, which allow them to work with judges, government agencies, and non-profit organizations.

Application Process for William & Mary Law School

If you are interested in applying to William & Mary Law School, there are several steps that you will need to follow. First, you will need to submit an online application through the Law School Admission Council (LSAC) website. You will also need to submit your LSAT scores, transcripts, letters of recommendation, and a personal statement.

Once your application is complete, it will be reviewed by the admissions committee. If you are selected for an interview, you will have the opportunity to speak with a current student or faculty member and learn more about the school.

How to Write a Standout Personal Statement for W&M Law

Your personal statement is a critical part of your application to William & Mary Law School. It is your opportunity to showcase your writing skills and explain why you are interested in attending the school.

To write a standout personal statement, be sure to focus on your strengths, experiences, and goals. Highlight your unique background, achievements, and interests. Also, be sure to explain how attending William & Mary Law School will help you achieve your career goals.

Tips for Preparing for the LSAT

The LSAT (Law School Admission Test) is a standardized test that is required for admission to most law schools, including William & Mary Law School. To prepare for the LSAT, you should:

  • Take practice tests to familiarize yourself with the format and types of questions.
  • Consider taking a prep course to improve your skills and confidence.
  • Set aside dedicated study time each week leading up to the test.

Remember, your LSAT score is an important factor in the admissions decision, so be sure to take the test seriously and prepare accordingly.

Financing Your Education: Scholarships, Grants, and Loans Available at W&M Law

Attending law school can be expensive, but there are many resources available to help you finance your education at William & Mary Law School. These resources include:

  • Scholarships and grants
  • Student loans
  • Work-study programs

Be sure to research these options and apply for financial aid early to ensure that you receive the resources that you need to pay for your education.

Student Life at William & Mary Law School

William & Mary Law School offers a vibrant and supportive community for students. There are many student organizations and activities that you can participate in, including:

  • Moot Court
  • Sports and wellness activities
  • Legal clinics and pro bono opportunities
  • Lunchtime speaker series and other events

Additionally, the school has a beautiful campus with many amenities, including a law library, study spaces, and student housing.

The Career Services Center at W&M Law: Preparing for Life After Graduation

The Career Services Center at William & Mary Law School offers many resources to help students prepare for their legal careers. These resources include:

  • Individual counseling sessions
  • Resume and cover letter reviews
  • Mock interviews
  • Networking events
  • Job fairs and on-campus interviewing opportunities

The Career Services Center is committed to helping students achieve their career goals, whether it be in private practice, public interest, government, or other fields.

Alumni Success Stories: Where Are They Now?

William & Mary Law School has a strong alumni network that includes many successful lawyers, judges, and government officials. Some notable alumni include Chief Justice John Marshall, former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, and former Virginia Governor Tim Kaine.

Many alumni stay involved with the school by serving as mentors, guest lecturers, or members of the alumni association. These connections can be valuable resources for current students and recent graduates.

Faculty Spotlight: Meet the Professors at William & Mary Law School

The faculty at William & Mary Law School are some of the most respected and accomplished legal scholars in the country. They are committed to providing students with a rigorous academic experience and helping them achieve their career goals.

Some notable faculty members include Professor Jay Butler, who is an expert in criminal law and evidence, and Professor Tara Grove, who specializes in constitutional law and federal courts. The faculty at William & Mary Law School are dedicated to fostering an environment of intellectual curiosity and academic excellence.


Attending William & Mary Law School can be a rewarding and challenging experience that prepares you for a successful legal career. From a rigorous curriculum to a supportive community, there are many reasons why students choose to enroll at William & Mary Law School. We hope that this article has provided you with a comprehensive overview of the program and application process at this prestigious institution.

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