Member School Highlight – Washington and Lee University School of Law

Location: Lexington, Virginia
Founded: 1849
Joined AALS: 1920
Dean: Melanie D. Wilson

Founded in 1849, Washington and Lee University School of Law is one of the smallest top-tier private law schools. The school is located in a college town in the majestic Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, a three-hour drive from Washington, DC, and within an hour of several other metropolitan areas.

At W&L Law, students encounter a sequence of learning experiences rooted in the basic assumption that each year of law school should present new and different challenges while pushing students further along the continuum from beginning law student to lawyer-to-be. This allows W&L Law to produce lawyers better positioned to provide valuable service to their clients and employers from the outset of their careers.

W&L Law is well-known for its curricular innovations. It was one of the first schools to introduce small-section legal writing classes and add a transnational law course in the first year of law school. During the second and third years, students broaden their knowledge of the law, selecting from a wide array of more specialized courses and further honing their writing skills. They also take their first steps into actual practice, combining the demanding study of legal doctrine and analysis with simulated and real practice experiences. Through these unique opportunities to learn in context, our students graduate truly prepared for the legal profession.

Current students and recent graduates who received grants from the Path to Public Interest Program (PPIP) to support their work in public interest positions.

W&L Law announced the creation of a program to guarantee financial support for current students and graduates interested or serving in public interest and government careers. The Path to Public Interest Program (PPIP) will supply over $330,000 annually toward employment in public service positions.

Public interest internships for current law students are typically unpaid, and recent graduates working in public interest positions do so at salaries below that of their counterparts in the private sector. For rising 2L students, in particular, supporting their summer employment is critical for gaining experience and developing skills that lead to future opportunities in both the public and private sectors. The program guarantees financial support for current students and graduates interested or serving in public interest and government careers.

“Attorneys who commit to serving in the public interest are a critical part of a fair and just society,” said Dean Melanie Wilson. “We want to ensure that we are exposing students to these careers and supporting those who choose this professional path.”

Please click here if you are interested in viewing the past member highlights.