Frequently Asked Questions - Admitted Students

  1. When will I get my W&L email account?
  2. When will I get my W&L ID card?
  3. Where can I purchase a meal plan?
  4. Where should I live?
  5. How do students get to class? Do most law students have cars?
  6. Can you explain the Honor System?
  7. Are law students typically involved in many extracurricular activities?
  8. How does the Moot Court program work at W&L Law?
  9. When is Orientation?
  10. Where can I find more information about laptops, technology, etc.?
  11. When will I get my course schedule?
  12. Can I get my course schedule early?
  13. What classes will I take during my first year?
  14. What should I do about purchasing books?
  15. Can I work during my first year?
  16. I am relocating to Lexington with a family, any tips?
  17. I am relocating to Lexington with a significant other, do you have any employment suggestions?
  18. What recreational opportunities are there on campus?
  19. Can my significant other use the Campus Fitness center?
  20. I am coming to visit Lexington, any suggestions for things to do?
  21. Is there anything I need to do in advance of matriculation?
  22. What should I do this summer?

When will I get my W&L email account?

Email accounts are created over the summer, and the timing of the email account distribution varies from year to year. However, it will definitely be after our second deposit deadline. 

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When will I get my W&L ID card?

You will receive your student ID card as part of the Orientation process (mid-to-late August). Please note, you do NOT need a student ID number to purchase a meal plan.

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Where can I purchase a meal plan?

All law meal plan flex plans are able to be used in all dining units. 1L and 2L students will automatically be enrolled in the Law 1000 Plan which gives you $500 in meal funds per semester. Additional funds may be added at any time.

Note: Meal plan dollars do not carry over from Fall Term to Winter-Spring Term. 3L students are not automatically enrolled in any plan, but can opt in to any meal plan by completing the online meal plan form.

For more information about purchasing a meal plan, dining location hours, and dining options, please consult the Dining Services webpage. Information about meal plans will also be available at Orientation.

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Where should I live?

All law students live in off-campus housing.  We encourage students to utilize multiple resources in their housing search and to contact local realtors in the spring to begin their housing search.

For more information about law student housing, please consult our housing webpage. In addition, a number of property listings are available via our Facebook group for admitted students.

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How do students get to class? Do most law students have cars?

Most of our students have cars, but Lexington is a fairly compact community and is pedestrian and bike-friendly. Several grocery stores are no more than a fifteen to twenty minute walk (or less) from the downtown area; however, Wal-Mart is slightly further away and most likely requires a ride. For those who choose to have a car on campus, there is parking available and the law student lots are immediately adjacent to the law school.

For more information visit the parking and transportation webpage

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Can you explain the Honor System?

W&L has an Honor System that has been in place for nearly 150 years. The system is based on the fundamental principle that a spirit of trust makes Washington and Lee a unique educational institution. As it is not codified, the Honor System applies to all aspects of campus life. Because of the honor system, our students know they can trust each other, and this trust allows them to relax and focus on being law students.

One of the most memorable parts of the first year Orientation experience is the Honor presentation, and as part of this process, all incoming students agree to uphold the Honor System. Students charged with violating the honor system are subject to a hearing process (conducted by their peers), and a great many law students are meaningfully involved with the various aspects of this process. Some law students serve as law class representatives to the Executive Committee (or "EC"), the student organization responsible for the hearing and adjudication of all honor disputes. A few law students have even served as executive officers in this organization. Other law students are involved as Honor Advocates. These students assist individuals accused of an honor or conduct violation in preparing and presenting their cases to the Executive Committee, Student Judicial Council, or Student-Faculty Hearing Board.

For more information visit the Honor System webpage

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Are law students typically involved in many extracurricular activities?

We have over thirty student organizations at the law school, ranging from the intellectual to the extremely extracurricular. A great many of our upper level students are involved in two or three different organizations during their second and third years of law school. For a complete listing of the many ways in which you can get involved during your time at W&L Law, please see our Student Organization Directory.

During the first few weeks of your time on campus, there will be an Organizations and Activities Fair which will provide you with an opportunity to meet and interact with organization leaders and figure out the organizations in which you may wish to be involved.

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How does the Moot Court program work at W&L Law?

Our Moot Court program is a little different than programs found at other law schools. Rather than having a fixed Moot Court team of ten or twelve individuals who represent the law school at all external competitions, we have internal competitions to determine the individuals who will represent the school externally. These competitions are not mandatory, but they are open to all second and third year students. The competitions include Negotiations, Appellate Advocacy, Mock Trial, Client Counseling, and Mediation. First year students do not compete in these competitions, however, they can participate as clients, witnesses, and bailiffs.

All participating students have at least one round of experience at the school level. Those students who perform well, advance to subsequent rounds, and the students who win go on to represent W&L Law at regional competitions, and potentially, nationally.

The Moot Court program is run by the Moot Court Executive Board. This organization consists of third year students, and while there is some faculty involvement, the students are responsible for the administration of the competitions. Faculty, practitioners, and judges are brought in to judge the later and final rounds of the individual competitions. For more information about our Moot Court program, please see our

For more information about our Moot Court program, please see our Moot Court webpage.

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When is Orientation?

Orientation typically begins in late August. Attendance at Orientation is REQUIRED. A tentative Orientation schedule is available by August 1. For a full listing of dates and scheduling information, please consult our academic calendar.

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Where can I find more information about laptops, technology, etc.?

Most of our law students use a laptop for a variety of coursework, and wireless internet is available throughout the building. According to our Technology Services any OS laptop will work just fine and will be compatible with our university systems. Their recommendation is to get whatever machine has a solid state hard drive and at least 8GB of RAM.  You are welcome to contact with additional questions. 

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When will I get my course schedule?

You will get your schedule as part of the Orientation process. Schedules are set in advance for each student, and you will not need to register for any classes. For more information about the first year (as well as subsequent years of study at W&L Law) please visit our J.D. Program Information webpage

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Can I get my course schedule early?

No. Individual course schedules for incoming first year students are not available until the first day of Orientation.

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What classes will I take during my first year?

First-year students take a wide variety of classes during their first year. During your first semester, you will take Civil Procedure, Contracts, Legal Research, Legal Writing and Torts. Second semester you will take Constitutional Law, Criminal Law, Legal Writing II, Property, and Transnational Law.

For more information about your first year as well as subsequent years of legal study as W&L, please consult our J.D. Program Information webpage.  Please also visit our Curriculum webpage for a detailed outline of your three years at W&L Law. 

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What should I do about purchasing books?

All of the books that you need for classes will be available for purchase through the University Store.  Students can also elect to purchase or rent textbooks through third party vendors.  We suggest that you discuss the pros and cons of textbook rental versus purchase with the Kirgis Fellows at Orientation.  Please note that schedules will not be available until Orientation so that is when you will know which specific classes you will be in and be able to access the book listings for each.  

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Can I work during my first year?

While we do not have an absolute prohibition against first year employment, law students are strongly encouraged not to work during their first year of law school (due to the rigor and demands of the workload) and should not work more than 10 hours during the academic year. If you are interested in working during your first year, we recommend you consider doing a work study. For more information about work study, please email both Drake Breeden ( and Law Admissions (

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I am relocating to Lexington with a family, any tips?

Lexington is a wonderful area to raise a family. Its small town charm, low cost of living, good schools, and strong sense of community provide a high quality of life for those law students relocating to the Lexington area with spouses, significant others, or families. For an in-depth guide to living in Lexington with a family, please visit our Students with Families page.

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I am relocating to Lexington with a significant other, do you have any employment suggestions?

The job market in Lexington is tight; however, law students' companions have two advantages. First, every year a certain number of jobs become available when law students' companions leave Lexington after graduation. Second, the law school's active "grapevine" supplements more traditional methods of job-seeking. Informal networking can provide many opportunities, so you'd be wise to make your talents and qualifications known, whether at Open House or through email conversations with current students, your Kirgis Fellow, or law school administrators. It's best to come early and look hard!

Lexington is a residential town with many banks, stores, restaurants, and business offices that are potential sources of employment. It is also a college town, and, in addition to Washington and Lee, is home to the Virginia Military Institute. Nearby institutions of higher learning include Southern Virginia University, in neighboring Buena Vista (pronounced B'YOO-nuh VIS-ta), Roanoke College in Salem (55 miles), Mary Baldwin College in Staunton (pronounced STAN-ton) (30 miles), James Madison University in Harrisonburg (60 miles), and The University of Virginia in Charlottesville (65 miles). Each of these nearby cities offers a wider range of employment opportunities than does Lexington. Commuting in this region isn't characterized by the rush hour traffic that plagues larger metropolitan areas and spouses/partners/professors and others in the community sometimes carpool to make the trips easier.

For more information regarding securing employment in Lexington and the surrounding areas, please see our the "Job Seekers" portion of our webpage for Law Students with Families.

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What recreational opportunities are there on campus?

There is a Fitness Center on-campus to which law students have access, as well as regular Yoga, Hip-Hop, Spin and other group exercise classes. For more information regarding group exercise courses, please see the University's webpage for group fitness opportunities.  Next to the law school is the W&L Natatorium which offers recreational swimming opportunities. There is also a 24-hour fitness center located in the third year housing village, which is accessible with a student ID. For other Campus Recreation opportunities, including intramurals, please see the University's Campus Recreation webpage. Intramural sports are a big part of law school life. In fact, the law school has its own intramural league, run by third year law students known as the Sport Czars. Students play a variety of sports throughout the year - football in the fall, floor hockey and basketball in the winter, and soccer and softball (the annual Dean's Cup softball tournament is a popular campus event) in the spring. The individual law classes often field teams to compete in the campus-wide intramural competitions. For more information regarding intramurals, please the University intramurals webpage.

There are also a number of outdoor activities available in the Lexington area. Lexington is situated a short fifteen minute drive from the Blue Ridge Parkway; outdoor activities in the area abound. Whether they're sitting by the river at Goshen, swimming at Panther Falls, cycling on one of Rockbridge County's scenic by-ways, hiking House Mountain, running on one of Lexington's many trails, golfing at one of the area's two golf courses, skiing at one of the four nearby resorts, or simply working out at the University Fitness Center, our law students are an active group.

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Can my significant other use the Campus Fitness center?

The Washington and Lee University fitness center is available for use by W&L students, faculty and staff, spouses, domestic partners, children of W&L employees, and W&L alumni living in Rockbridge County. Spouses and significant others are eligible to apply for privilege cards which allow them to use the fitness center facilities. Those interested should contact Fitness Center Manager Patti Colliton (

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I am coming to visit Lexington, any suggestions for things to do?

The Lexington Visitor's Center's webpage is a great resource for those seeking additional information about accommodations, dining and shopping, as well as historical points of interest.  You can also visit our Life in Lexington webpage to see our suggestions for while you are in town. 

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Is there anything I need to do in advance of matriculation?

Yes. There are documentary requirements for every matriculating student, and a few updates that the Admissions Office requires of each student.  Please visit our Requirements Prior to Matriculation webpage for this information. 

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What should I do this summer?

We know there are a great many contrasting suggestions as to what one should do in the summer prior to the first year of law school. We encourage students to relax and enjoy these months. As you are undoubtedly aware, law school can be very demanding, and you will not have a great deal of free time in the coming years. While it is a good idea to stay mentally engaged in some fashion through the summer months (reading, crossword puzzles, Sudoku, etc.), rest and relaxation can be invaluable before one starts law school. Whether you take a trip or opt for a staycation, we hope you will arrive in Lexington in August rested and ready to begin three years of challenging, legal study.

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