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At A Glance

Washington and Lee University School of Law

At W&L Law, as the smallest of the nation's top law schools, with a targeted incoming class size for the Class of 2015 of 133 and a current total enrollment of 396, we strive to create a first year experience that is not only challenging, demanding and stimulating but also personal, collegial and humane. We work hard to create a friendly and supportive environment in which students are free to pursue their intellectual curiosities and questions in and out of the classroom. Our dynamic and distinguished professors are accessible and learning at W&L is very much a collaborative experience. The cutthroat competition so often associated with law school is simply not a part of life at our law school. Students work together as they grapple with the challenging legal problems and issues they encounter in their first year courses. And if they still have questions, our faculty are here to help. And with a 9.52-to-1 student to faculty ratio, there is no arm's-length teaching at W&L. During your first year, your largest class will be approximately sixty students, and you will have a small section of twenty students in which you learn a substantive area of the law as well as legal writing from a professor. You will be expected to do a lot of writing and a lot of rewriting even in the first year, but not without feedback from a faculty that is consistently rated among the country's best teaching law faculty.

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Washington and Lee University School of Law's Full Profile

Program At a Glance

Total Program Enrollment 457
Incoming LSAT Scores (25th-75th Percentile) 159 - 165
Incoming GPA (25th-75th Percentile) 3.4 - 3.73
Bar Exam First Time Pass Rate 91.85%
Percent Employed (9 Months After Graduation) 66.92%
Tuition $43,462

Overview

Overview

About Washington and Lee University School of Law

At W&L Law, as the smallest of the nation's top law schools, with a targeted incoming class size for the Class of 2015 of 133 and a current total enrollment of 396, we strive to create a first year experience that is not only challenging, demanding and stimulating but also personal, collegial and humane. We work hard to create a friendly and supportive environment in which students are free to pursue their intellectual curiosities and questions in and out of the classroom. Our dynamic and distinguished professors are accessible and learning at W&L is very much a collaborative experience. The cutthroat competition so often associated with law school is simply not a part of life at our law school. Students work together as they grapple with the challenging legal problems and issues they encounter in their first year courses. And if they still have questions, our faculty are here to help. And with a 9.52-to-1 student to faculty ratio, there is no arm's-length teaching at W&L. During your first year, your largest class will be approximately sixty students, and you will have a small section of twenty students in which you learn a substantive area of the law as well as legal writing from a professor. You will be expected to do a lot of writing and a lot of rewriting even in the first year, but not without feedback from a faculty that is consistently rated among the country's best teaching law faculty.

Reviews

Washington and Lee may be “small in size, but [it] has the resources of a large tier-one law school.” W&L small size means “tiny class sizes” with great “faculty to student ratio[s].” It also fosters a friendly atmosphere where everyone “genuinely care[s] about you and your success.” Other benefits include a “strong alumni presence,” “challenging, but fulfilling” academics, and “the slow atmosphere of Lexington, VA” that “leaves fewer distractions from school.” By far the most raved about aspect of W&L’s School of Law is that it has the “best 3L program in the country” that “has revolutionized legal teaching.” The third year program “focuses heavily on practice preparation and client interaction” and students are “put through an ‘immersion’ course at the beginning of each semester, which is an intense practice-based scenario in litigation (fall semester) and transaction work (spring semester).” This is a great improvement “over the traditional law school curriculum where 3L is basically just a year of spending money and killing time.”“The facilities themselves are good, especially for such a small school,” and “classrooms are equipped with up-to-date technology.” While it's not in the most attractive or state of the art building…the campus as a whole is quite beautiful and homey,” one student observes. Another says “Sydney Lewis Hall is a 1970s monstrosity,” but “the administra­tion is making a concerted effort to renovate the building.” One benefit of Washington and Lee’s facilities is that every student has “their own study carrel” in the “amazing” library. Like the building itself, these carrels may be “a bit old (and cold),” but are still a luxury that not every law school affords. As a 1L explains, “Law school is not a walk in the park but W & L makes it as nice as it can be, in a lot of ways.”Students give high ratings to the staff, saying “everyone from the cafeteria employees to the dean of the school is phenomenal.” “The administration is extremely caring and helpful,” but “the faculty are head and shoulders above the administration.” Students say the biggest strength of the school is the “teachers, teachers, and teachers.” The “brilliant” professors at W&L are “extremely accessible” with a “strict open-door policy that gives the entire school a community feel.” There could be more “diversity among professors” though, and the administration “[sells] more parking passes than there are parking spots.” On the downside, “The Office of Career Planning is widely regarded as an unhelp­ful place.” Professors use “the Socratic method, and classes have always been an environ­ment of tolerance.” “If you want to stay anywhere near sane during law school, this is the place to go,” a 1L concludes.

- The Princeton Review

Academics

Academics

Degree Programs Offered

Graduates Last Year: 0

Description: A program that prepares lawyers educated outside the United States to understand U. S. or Canadian law and jurisprudence.

Job Opportunities:

Lawyers
Represent clients in criminal and civil litigation and other legal proceedings, draw up legal documents, or manage or advise clients on legal transactions. May specialize in a single area or may practice broadly in many areas of law.

Graduates Last Year: 143

Description: A program that prepares individuals for the independent professional practice of law, for taking state and national bar examinations, and for advanced research in jurisprudence. Includes instruction in the theory and practice of the legal system, including the statutory, administrative, and judicial components of civil and criminal law.

Job Opportunities:

Lawyers
Represent clients in criminal and civil litigation and other legal proceedings, draw up legal documents, or manage or advise clients on legal transactions. May specialize in a single area or may practice broadly in many areas of law.
Judicial Law Clerks
Assist judges in court or by conducting research or preparing legal documents.
Administrative Law Judges, Adjudicators, and Hearing Officers
Conduct hearings to recommend or make decisions on claims concerning government programs or other government-related matters. Determine liability, sanctions, or penalties, or recommend the acceptance or rejection of claims or settlements.
Arbitrators, Mediators, and Conciliators
Facilitate negotiation and conflict resolution through dialogue. Resolve conflicts outside of the court system by mutual consent of parties involved.
Judges, Magistrate Judges, and Magistrates
Arbitrate, advise, adjudicate, or administer justice in a court of law. May sentence defendant in criminal cases according to government statutes or sentencing guidelines. May determine liability of defendant in civil cases. May perform wedding ceremonies.
Law Teachers, Postsecondary
Teach courses in law. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

Joint Degree Programs Offered

JD/MHA 6 years

Faculty Information

Total Faculty 66
Full-Time Faculty 35
Deans, Librarians, and Others Who Teach 6
Part-Time Faculty 25
Faculty Gender 75% Male
24% Female
Student Teacher Ratio 10 : 1

Accreditation

Accredited by American Bar Association

Student Body

Student Body
Gender Breakdown 55% Male
45% Female
Student Diversity
Percentage
White 79%
Multi-racial 1%
International 1%
Hispanic/Latino 2%
Ethnicity Unknown 5%
Black or African American 8%
Asian 3%

Finance

Finance

Sticker Price

On-Campus Off-Campus
Stated Tuition $43,462 Same as On-Campus
Housing $16,123 N/A
Books N/A N/A
Total (before financial aid) $59,585 $43,462

Financial Aid

91% Graduate students receiving financial aid (loans and grants)

$51,767 Average financial aid amount

Admissions

Admissions

Application Information

Deadline for Regular Decision: March 1

Average Age Admitted: 23

Incoming Class

Washington and Lee University School of Law's entering class of 2012 enrolled having these exam grades:

Exam Enrollment Type 25th - 75th Percentile
LSAT Full-Time 159 - 165
LSAT Total 159 - 165

Washington and Lee University School of Law's entering class of 2012 enrolled having these college GPA's:

Enrollment Type 25th - 75th Percentile
Full-Time 3.4 - 3.73
Total 3.4 - 3.73

Admission Considerations

Important: Undergraduate GPA, Personal Essay, Recommendations

Admission Requirements

Required: Recommendations, Personal Essay, Undergraduate GPA, Standardized Test Scores

Optional: Extracurricular Activities, Interview, Work Experience, State Residency

Rankings

Rankings

The Princeton Review

#4 Best Professors

Outcomes

Outcomes

Bar Exam Results

Percent Reporting 70%
First Time Pass Rate 92%
Avg. Pass Rate In This State 81%

Campus Recruitment

Number of Employers Recruiting on Campus 76
First Year Recruitment Time Summer
Second Year Recruitment Time Summer

Employment

Percent Employed (9 Months After Graduation) 67%
Average Starting Salary $57,404
Job Sector Number of Graduates Percent of Graduates
Firm Sized 2-10 10 11%
Firm Sized 11-25 6 7%
Firm Sized 26-50 1 7%
Firm Sized 51-100 2 2%
Firm Sized 101-250 3 3%
Firm Sized 251-500 3 3%
Firm Sized 501+ 8 9%
Business Industry 12 14%
Government 17 20%
Public Interest 4 5%
Federal Clerkship 6 7%
State Clerkship 12 14%
Academia 3 3%
Unemployed Number of Graduates Percent of Graduates
Unemployed, Not Seeking 7 5%
Unemployed, Seeking 25 19%
Pursuing Graduate Degree 6 5%

Top Employment Locations

State Percent Employed
TX 7%
NY 8%
VA 37%
International 1%

Famous Alumni

Well known alumni of Washington and Lee University School of Law include:

  • Lizanne Thomas - Managing Partner, Jones Day
  • Chris Wolf - Cyber Security/ Privacy Expert
  • Lewis Powell - U.S. Supreme Court Justice
  • Robert Grey - ABA President
  • Bob Goodlatte - Congressman and Chair of the House Judiciary Committee

Associations & Memberships

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