Washington and Lee University School of Law

Sydney Lewis Hall, Lexington, VA 24450 | Google Map


Founded 1819 | ABA Accredited 1923

Washington and Lee University School of Law was established in 1849 by Judge John W. Brockenbrough. Today, W& L is one of the nation’s smallest law schools with a total enrollment of approximately 400 students and a low student-to-faculty ratio. Located in Lexington, VA, the school recently ranked among the top 30 law schools in the nation according to U.S. News & World Report.

One of cornerstones of W&L is its student-run Honor System (the “System”) which has been in place since 1905. The System fosters trust between W&L students, which makes it easier to focus on learning the law. Because of the spirit of trust that the System creates, W&L students enjoy comforts such as, the freedom of taking exams without a proctor and flexible exam schedules during their second and third years.

With respect to the curriculum at W&L, each year of study has a distinct educational function. First year students engage in required foundation courses. Other than a few required courses and a writing requirement, second-year students are free to choose from various electives in more engaging and challenging areas of the law. With respect to the third year, W&L recently revised its curriculum. The new third year curriculum moves students away from traditional coursework towards a process in which students learn through the engagement of simulated and actual client experiences. This process is intended to assist W&L students with the transition into practice. The school also offers a wide variety of clinical, externships and other programs for students interested in further hands-on learning experiences.


Lewis F. Powell, Jr., Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States John Otho Marsh, Jr., Secretary of the Army & United States Congressman Bob Goodlatte, United States Congressman from Virginia Tom Sansonetti, Assistant United States Attorney General, Wyoming Attorney Paul S. Trible, Jr., Former U.S. Senator from Virginia, President of Christopher Newport University




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