Your 3L Year

The third-year curriculum at W&L Law is unique in legal education.The course of study consists entirely of practice-based simulations, real client experiences, and advanced explorations into legal ethics and professionalism. The curriculum builds upon and expands the lessons of the first and second years of instruction, moving students from a passive classroom role into one more closely connected to the world of legal practice.

Every W&L graduate shares a set of experiences that helps him or her develop the judgment and habits of mind of legal professionals.These experiences include two skills immersions, one focused on litigation practice and the other transactional practice, and simulations of a wide array of practice environments. In addition, each student acquires real practice experience through a clinic or an externship.

Practice opportunities available to students during Washington and Lee's innovative third year span the range of legal practice areas, both litigation and transaction based. These experiences include practice simulations, six legal clinics, and an array of externships in law firms, government offices, corporations and international organizations.

Along the way students make the transition from thinking like a law student to truly thinking like a lawyer. They learn to work in teams, to prioritize projects and meet multiple deadlines. And they continue to learn the law, but they do so the way practicing lawyers do, in the process of solving problems for their clients.

But they don't do it alone. Our students receive instruction from some of the finest members of the bar and bench in addition to W&L's stellar faculty.The students commit substantial hours each week to their practices and receive extensive mentoring and feedback. In this safe environment, they take their first steps, and make their first mistakes, as lawyers, so that when they graduate, our students are prepared for the profession.

W&L Law's Innovative Third Year