Jan 28, 2023  
2022 - 2023 Graduate Catalog 
    
2022 - 2023 Graduate Catalog

Juris Doctor (J.D)


Juris Doctor Total Required Hours: 86


86 credit hours (of which 65 must be for a W&M Law letter grade).  Additionally, the American Bar Association specifies that no more than 20 percent of the required credit hours may be taken in any one semester.  At William & Mary, this means students may not take more than 17 credits in any one semester. 

Length of Program


This is a full-time program of legal education.  As such, the American Bar Association specifies that it must be completed in no fewer than 24 months and no more than 84 months from the date of matriculation as a degree-seeking first-year law student.

Legal Practice Program


  • William and Mary Law School’s Legal Practice Program helps students gain the writing, oral communication, and professional skills they’ll need to be great lawyers. The Legal Practice Program is a required three-semester course of study. A second or third year student with particular skill in legal writing is assigned to each section to teach the ins and outs of proper legal citation. Practicing attorneys in a variety of fields will teach the Lawyering Skills course, providing close guidance on how to interview a client, conduct a negotiation, and other skills necessary to the successful practice of law. Throughout the program, our students will gain the confidence they need as they enter the job market. And beyond the Legal Practice Program, students can continue to develop their writing and practice skills through electives, clinics, and externships.
  • Students who have been identified, based on academic performance, as likely to benefit from additional bar exam preparation studies will be required to enroll in the Law School’s Advanced Legal Analysis and Doctrine LAW 361  during their third-year as a condition of graduation. The Dean’s Office will be responsible for identifying and contacting such students and granting exceptions to the requirement, on a case-by-case basis for good cause.

Required Writing Experiences


  • In the first year: Legal Research & Writing I and II
  • In the second year: Advanced Writing and Practice OR any courses designated as Law Writing Requirement (LWWR)

Graduate Employment Survey


You will not be certified to graduate without completing and updating the Survey.

Note:


Curricular requirements are subject to change.

Concentrations (optional)


Introduction

This policy provides overall requirements and guidance for students who pursue a concentration as part of the J.D. program at the Law School. Concentrations indicate focused coursework and experiential learning or independent research in a particular area of study beyond the required curriculum. Students who successfully complete the concentration will receive a notation on their Law School transcripts.

Requirements

The requirements for particular concentrations are included in the Appendices and may be revised from time to time, depending on the course and instructor availability.

Each concentration requires successful completion of (1) two or more foundational courses, (2) three or more approved courses, and (3) an independent research paper or an experiential course. The number of courses required in (1) and (2) is specific to the individual concentration being pursued; students must meet their particular concentration’s requirements as noted in the Appendices. Students may petition the Vice Dean to approve, in his or her discretion, courses not included in the Appendices if the course is substantially related to the area of concentration.

A student will be deemed to have satisfied the requirements for completion of the concentration only upon approval of the Concentration Completion Form by the Assistant Dean for Academic Services. The Form must be submitted by February 1 for May graduates, by May 1 for August graduates, and by September 1 for December graduates. The Assistant Dean for Academic Services may provisionally approve completion if the Form indicates that the concentration’s requirements will be completed through pending coursework or a pending research paper.

Other Policies

Students pursuing a concentration register for courses in the same manner as other students and do not receive priority registration in a course. Accordingly, students are encouraged to consider in a timely manner course selection and plans for fulfilling concentration requirements and to prioritize concentration courses in their registration process.

Students may pursue a maximum of two concentrations. Students who pursue two concentrations must complete the requirements for each independently and may not count a single course or experience as satisfying two concentrations.

Students may use a single course to satisfy both the Law School’s six-credit experiential learning requirement and the experiential course option in Group C of a concentration.

Students may elect the third year student P/F grade conversion option for a graded course that meets a concentration requirement.

Students are responsible for ensuring that they have met all concentration requirements. Any questions or concerns in this regard, or any identification of errors or ambiguities in the Appendices, should be brought to the Assistant Dean for Academic Services as soon as possible.

The Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs may, in his or her discretion, interpret this Policy as required. Amendments to the Appendices, including additions to or removal of available concentrations, may be affected by the Assistant Dean for Academic Services in consultation with faculty teaching in the concentration. Not all courses will be available each year. In the sole discretion of the Assistant Dean for Academic Services, a course other than those listed in Groups B and C may be counted toward those requirements.

 

 

Business Law Concentration


Required Courses: at least 7


Students must complete courses in the following groups, as noted:

Business Law Group A:

Complete all three of the following courses with course attribute BLWF:

Business Law Group C:

Complete at least one of the following experiential learning courses with course attribute BLAW or a two-credit independent research paper on a business law topic (with prior approval):

  • Business Law-Related Externship (two or more credits)
  • LAW 704 Independent Research (2-credits with prior approval Vice Dean)
  • Journal note (with Vice Dean advance approval)

Criminal Law and Procedure Concentration


Required Courses: at least 7


Students must complete courses in the following groups, as noted:

Criminal Law and Procedure Group A:

Complete all three of the following courses with course attribute RLWF:

Criminal Law and Procedure Group C:

Complete at least one of the following experiential learning courses with attribute CRIM, or a two-credit independent research paper on a criminal law topic (with prior approval):

Environmental Law Concentration


Required Courses: 6 to 9


Environmental Law Group A:

Complete two or more of the following courses with attribute NLWF:

Environmental Law Group C:

Complete at least one of the following experiential learning courses with attribute ENVR, or a two-credit independent research paper on an environmental law topic (with prior approval):

Intellectual Property Concentration


Required Courses: at least 7


Students must complete courses in the following groups, as noted:

Intellectual Property Group A:

Complete three or more of the following courses with attribute ILWF:

Intellectual Property Group C:

Complete at least one of the following experiential learning courses with attribute INTC, or a two-credit independent research paper on an intellectual property law topic (with prior approval):

International Law Concentration


Required Courses: at least 7


Students must complete courses in the following groups, as noted:

International Law Group A:

Complete two of the following courses with attribute TLWF (one of which must be International Law):

International Law Group C:

Complete at least two credits of courswork with attribute of INTN, OR LAW 691  Advanced Applied International Research for two credits, OR at least one international law-related externship (two or more credits), OR a two credit independent research paper on an international law topic, OR note written for law journal with Vice Dean advance approval.

Public Interest and Social Justice Concentration


Students must complete courses in the following groups, as noted:

Required Courses: at least 7


Public Interest and Social Justice Group A:

Complete one course with attribute SJWF from each of the three following subgroups:

Public Interest and Social Justice Group C:

Complete at least one of the following with attribute SJSP:

  • 2-credit minimum Externship - The following Externships qualify towards the Concentration: Judicial, Federal Government, Nonprofit Organization, Prosecutor, Public Defender, State/Local Government, U.S. Attorney, and Virginia Attorney General. Students must obtain pre-approval from the  Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in order for externships not listed to count towards the concentration.

Political Law Concentration


Students must complete courses in the following groups, as noted:

Required Courses: at least 7