Aaaaaaaaand We’re Back!

Student studying in the library

It’s been a hot minute since we’ve been here, but we’re back and ready to roll with the new recruitment year for the Class of 2023! You may have seen that our application went live on September 1st, and we’re so excited to start reading your applications! If you haven’t even started to think about your application, though, this post is for you. Here are a few things that you’ll need to know before submitting your application to W&M Law for the Class of 2023.

Application Dates & Deadlines

While almost all of this information can be found on our website, it’s handy to have it all in one place here, too. There are two ways that you can apply to W&M Law.

  1. Regular Decision – Free to apply and open now!
    Application Closes: March 1
    Required Pieces: LSAT, Undergrad Transcripts, and 2 Letters of Recommendation sent through CAS; Personal Statement; Resume; Optional Addenda for LSAT/GPA/Why W&M Law/Diversity & Inclusion
    Last LSAT Accepted: January 2020
  2. Early Decision – Binding contract required for submission, free to apply and open now!
    Application Closes: January 15
    Required Pieces: Signed Early Decision contract; LSAT, Undergrad Transcripts, and 2 Letters of Recommendation sent through CAS; Personal Statement; Resume; Optional Addenda for LSAT/GPA/Why W&M Law/Diversity & Inclusion
    Last LSAT Accepted: November 2019

FAQs & Definitions

  1. Can I apply before I take my LSAT?
    Yes! There is a space on our application where you can indicate your plans to take a future LSAT, and we will wait to evaluate your application until we receive those scores. This includes those who have an LSAT on file already but plan to retake the LSAT. Remember, though, that all applications must be COMPLETED by the deadlines listed above for consideration, so don’t plan to take an LSAT after the application deadline!
  2. What does “binding” mean in the Early Decision application?
    When you apply Early Decision, you are stating that you will attend William & Mary Law if admitted – in short, you are bound to upholding that contract. The contract you sign states that you will withdraw all other applications you have submitted if you are admitted through the Early Decision application; this means that if you aren’t 100% sure that we’re you’re go-to pick, you should apply Regular Decision.
  3. Do I have to submit another application if I don’t get admitted Early Decision?
    No! Any student who applies Early Decision will still be considered for Regular Decision admission. What this means is that your application and all materials will still be valid for admission to the Class of 2023, but you will no longer be held to the Early Decision contract you signed, and can continue to consider other law schools once you’ve received your admission decision from William & Mary Law.
  4. Is the resume required?
    100%, absolutely, yes. You wouldn’t apply to a job without a resume, why would you apply to a professional school without one? And they are looked at, we promise you. So please don’t send us a list of things you did by academic year, or pages with 20 point font to make it look longer than it really is. Use the resources available to you at your undergraduate institution, or have a co-worker or supervisor advise you on your resume before you submit it.
  5. Can I take the February LSAT if I’m applying Regular Decision?
    No; January 2020 is the last LSAT score that we will accept for Regular Decision applications, so please plan accordingly. Like you, law schools don’t receive those scores until weeks after the exams take place, and so to allow for a full evaluation of all applications in a timely manner, a completed application, including LSAT scores, is required by the application deadline.
  6. I’m a splitter – can I get admitted to William & Mary Law? 
    The most loaded of all questions we get. When we receive your application, we’ll be able to give you a better idea! It’s a holistic review process for a reason; it depends on a number of things, and a lot of the other material required for your application can help, or hurt, your overall chances. We don’t have a chart that determines admissibility based solely on GPA and LSAT scores. If we did, our job would be a lot easier.
  7. When can I expect to hear a decision about my application?
    In short, it depends. We try really hard to make sure that everyone has a decision on their application 3-4 weeks after their application is complete. We can’t guarantee that timeline, though, because we don’t know what our application volume will look like yet! Also know that just because you’ve submitted your application doesn’t mean that it’s complete; we may be waiting on your CAS report because you haven’t taken the LSAT Writing yet, and so we don’t have your LSAT score. Those sorts of delays will delay your admission decision.

Last Stop: Resumes

We’ve saved the best for our last post on application processes – RESUMES! After you’ve submitted transcripts, LSAT scores, and your personal statement, your resume is where you showcase what you’re passionate about. Through your work experience, internships, student involvement, and volunteer experiences, we’re able to capture a better picture of you. Keep in mind, there are both good and bad ways of how to showcase this information; we’ve seen it all.

  1. The Includer: This is the resume that tells everything, and we mean EVERYTHING. Things you did in high school, every single award (academic and otherwise), academic courses, jobs, etc. A resume should be tailored to your application – that means some things (ie. high school activities) are better left off. Unless they are a significant achievement (national level awards, mega internships), make sure that the information you are providing is related to your application.
  2. The Minimalist: On the other side of the spectrum, these are the resumes without much at all. We understand that not every student has been super involved, had high level internships, or worked 40 hour weeks at 3 different jobs during college. But we do know that you’ve done something with your time while in college and after! How have you turned your passions into involvements, volunteerism, or jobs? These are all ways that we can learn more about you and how you might be a good fit for W&M Law!
  3. The Lister: It never fails that we get a resume with a simple list of involvements without any explanation as to how they are relevant. Please don’t be this person. Resumes should be organized by areas of commonality (jobs, volunteerism, organizations, etc.) and not by year in college. You should never rely on an admissions officer to do research into a particular business in which you’ve worked or organization in which you’ve been involved – make sure you outline your responsibilities in those positions!
  4. The Modest: Your resume is an opportunity to brag, and brag you should. One of our biggest pet peeves is receiving a resume with one line about job responsibilities or the level of involvement. Tell us about that organization and why you were interested in joining, even if your involvement was minimal! Additionally, there are multiple things that you can learn from every retail, food service, or delivery job you’ve had. Customer service, time management, problem solving skills, and critical thinking are all important components of graduate level study; don’t leave those out!
  5. The Graphic Designer: The average time a recruiter spends on reviewing a resume is between 15-30 seconds (in the business world it’s 6!). Make sure your resume is easy to read! This means that you should NOT use templates from Microsoft Word just because they look cool. You shouldn’t make admission officers hunt for information; it’s one of the quickest ways to ensure that your resume will not get a full review.

There are multiple resources available to you on how to better build your resume; for those coming straight from college or recently graduated, your university’s Career Center is the FIRST place you should start! The professionals there will help you build, tailor, and polish your resume to put your best self forward. And while it might not be the MOST important aspect of your application, it is still important. Don’t leave it to the last minute and expect stellar results!