Experiential Education at W&L Law

W&L Law has long been a leader in experiential education, and our innovative, practice-based curriculum is as comprehensive and flexible as ever. During the second year and third year, you will take your first steps into actual practice and begin to develop the habits and mindset of successful lawyers. You will continue to learn the law, but increasingly you will do so as lawyers do, in the process of solving problems for clients.

The combination of the demanding study of legal doctrine and analysis with simulated and actual practice experiences in practicum classes, legal clinics and externships creates a unique opportunity for you to learn in context, speeding your transition from law student to legal professional. And with experiential requirements spread across two years, you will have great flexibility in course selection and scheduling to build a legal curriculum best tailored to your career objectives. There will always be room in your schedule to take a legal seminar that interests you or a key class to make you more attractive to employers or help you get ready for the bar exam.  

To fulfill the 18 experiential credits, including representing actual clients in a real practice setting, you will choose from offerings that span both litigation and business practice areas. We offer six legal clinics, a robust externship program, and numerous subject matter capstone courses called practicum classes that simulate an actual practice environment.

W&L Law also offers an extension of its experiential curriculum with a residential program in the nation's capital. A limited number of students serve as externs with a qualifying organization in Washington, DC during the fall semester. Past extern placements have included:

  • Securities and Exchange Commission
  • Federal Trade Commission
  • U.S. Department of Defense
  • U.S. Department of Justice
  • U.S. District Court
  • State Department
  • Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
  • Recording Industry Association of America

Learn more about these offerings below.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Time Served

In the 1990s, the state of Virginia eliminated parole for all felony offenders whose crimes were committed after Jan. 1, 1995. Those convicted prior to that date would still be considered for eventual parole release. For one 72-year-old inmate who served more than 31 years, release became reality thanks to the work of law students […]

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Day (and Night) at the Museum

Hannah Cloh is a third year law student from Northbrook, Illinois. She received her undergraduate degree in English Literature from Knox College. At W&L Law, she is a Senior Articles Editor for the German Law Journal. This semester she is taking part in W&L Law’s residential externship in Washington, D.C., working at the Smithsonian Institution. […]

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Anywhere Can Be Somewhere

In late October in Buena Vista—a small city about six miles from Lexington—candidates for the City Council participated in a forum. Their comments were peppered with the name of W&L law professor and renowned real estate developer Ed Walker, a 1996 graduate of W&L Law. “We have other things in the works, along with Ed Walker, that will help revitalize […]

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

IRS Renews W&L Tax Clinic Federal Grant Award for Three Years

The Tax Clinic at the Washington and Lee University School of Law has been awarded a matching grant by the Internal Revenue Service’s Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic (LITC) Program Office. This is the twelfth straight year that the Tax Clinic has received federal dollars to support its efforts. Although the award is structured as a multi-year […]

Monday, January 21, 2019

Semester in DC: Gabriella Passidomo at the U.S. Department of Energy

Gaby Passidomo is a third year law student from Naples, FL.  She is a staff writer for the Law News and serves as the law school’s Key Staff representative with W&L’s Outing Club.  Gaby spent the fall semester in DC interning with the U.S. Department of Energy.  She is interested in energy law and policy […]

Friday, January 18, 2019

Semester in DC: Daniele San Roman at Federal Appeals Court

Daniele San Román is currently a third-year law student originally from Long Island, New York. At W&L she serves as a Law Ambassador and a Lead Articles Editor for the German Law Journal. Daniele is interested in patent law; after graduation she will work at Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett, and Dunner as an associate in […]

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Criminal Tribunal Students Provide Input on Anti-Terrorism Proclamation

This past Fall semester, a team of W&L Law students in the Criminal Tribunal Practicum class were given the unique opportunity to review and suggest legislative amendments to Ethiopia’s Anti-terrorism Proclamation. According to Prof. Henok Gabisa, who teaches the class, this proclamation has been criticized by international  rights group and has been used by the […]

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Semester in DC: Michael DiBiagio ’19L at the SEC

Michael DiBiagio ’19L grew up in Baltimore, Maryland and attended the University of Maryland, College Park, where he was an English and Government and Politics double major. During his time at W&L, he has been involved in various Moot Court Competitions and competed in external competitions on behalf of the school. He also founded the […]

Friday, December 21, 2018

Al Otro Lado

The list, “La Lista,” is kept in a notebook in Tijuana. On it are the names of thousands of people, many from violence-ridden countries in Central America but also from as far away as Africa and the Middle East. Each day, U.S. authorities release a number, sometimes as low as 10. The numbers indicate how […]

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Black Lung Clinic Wins Case in Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals

As reported earlier this year, 2018 graduate Luisa Hernandez argued a case in March before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. In late May, the Court ruled in favor of her client. Ms. Hernandez appeared before the Court as a student attorney in W&L’s Black Lung Clinic. The clinic represents coal miners […]