How to Get In: College of William and Mary Marshall-Wythe School of Law

What can you do to set yourself apart in your application? Admissions officials have the answers

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You should obtain recommendations from professors, instructors, or supervisors well-acquainted with your character and abilities. If you are a student, or have recently graduated, at least one of your recommendations should come from someone who has observed and evaluated you in an academic setting.

7. Can you give a brief description of the life cycle of an application? What's the timeline applicants should expect?

We begin accepting applications on September 1 and our deadline is March 1. William & Mary has a modified rolling admission process. Admission decisions are mailed once the decision is finalized. All applications are reviewed when the files are complete and decision letters are mailed no later than April 1 for first-year applications complete by March 1.

8. Which firms/organizations recruit heavily from your school? Which ones hire the highest percentage of your graduates?

The law firms, government agencies, courts, public interest organizations, and corporations that recruit William & Mary students are diverse in size, mission, practice area, and location. They mirror the diversity of our students' career interests. Most recent graduates work outside Virginia; the Classes of 2007, 2008, and 2009 obtained employment in 37 states, the District of Columbia, and three other countries. A majority of each graduating class accepts positions in private practice, ranging from large multinational law firms to small local firms. Federal and state courts account for 15 percent to 20 percent of recent graduates' jobs, and 10 percent to 15 percent of recent graduates serve federal, state, and local government agencies.

9. What are some of the most common mistakes that applicants make that hurt their chances of being accepted?

Do not use the application process to try and be someone you are not. Know yourself. Be yourself—your best self—throughout the process.

Everyone should read the character and fitness questions extremely carefully. While most schools have very similar questions, everyone crafts their own language and you might have to disclose an incident to one school and not another. If you're unsure, it is always best to err on the side of full disclosure and be as open and honest as possible.

Among the most common mistakes are grammatical and typographical errors in the essays and on the application. It is very important to proofread your application materials. You will be amazed at the number of mistakes that you will find, even if you have read your essays several times.

10. Can you describe the archetypal student for your school?

Our students are academically gifted and well rounded. They have demonstrated leadership in extracurricular activities while at school and work, if applicable. They have already built a track record of community service. They embrace the citizen lawyer philosophy of the Law School and are active members of both their law school community as well as the Williamsburg community.