Binding Early Decision Program

Binding Early Decision Program Application Overview

Early Decision Application Information

The application for admission to Washington and Lee University School of Law is available via 

Applicants are strongly encouraged to review our Early Decision application instructions before beginning the application process. For technical assistance with the online application form available via LSAC, contact the Law School Admission Council at 215.968.1393. For all other inquiries, please contact the Office of Admissions at 540.458.8503 or for assistance.

Please note, the Binding Early Decision Program now offers two options for applicants: W&L Law Dean's Scholar and W&L Law First Choice. Details of the options are outlined below.

We understand that for many of our students, finances are a main consideration while attending law school. For this reason, we have made the necessary arrangements with the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC) so that no fee will be assessed when you apply. For this admissions cycle, applying to W&L Law will be free of charge.

W&L Law Statement on Admissions

W&L Law seeks to admit a student body that is reflective of the School of Law's mission

The Washington and Lee University School of Law seeks to cultivate broad-minded, highly skilled, and honorable practitioners of law. We do so within a diverse and collaborative intellectual community exemplifying rigor, trust, and civility.

The Admissions Committee aims to admit applicants who demonstrate the ability for success in law school. Each completed application is reviewed holistically. A myriad of factors beyond academic credentials and LSAT or GRE scores are considered as part of this holistic review. Other factors that are considered include, but are not limited to, the applicant's demonstrated writing ability, letter(s) of recommendation, employment experience, service, academic rigor, demonstrated work ethic, relevant skills, leadership experience and ability, demonstrated achievement in the face of adversity, contribution to an enriching and multifaceted educational environment, and character.

Application Process

Applicants to the Binding Early Decision Program will be required to indicate within their application whether they are applying for consideration as a W&L Law Dean's Scholar or through the W&L Law First Choice option.

W&L Law Dean's Scholar (Full Tuition Scholarship) - Binding Early Decision Program applicants admitted as W&L Law Dean's Scholars are guaranteed a full-tuition scholarship for six semesters of study at the law school, subject to customary conditions of maintaining good academic standing and progress towards their degree. W&L Law does not award "conditional scholarships" as defined by ABA Standard 509(d). Applicants with exemplary credentials and potential are encouraged to apply through this option. Competitive applicants for this option will often have an LSAT/GRE score and/or undergraduate GPA that would place the student in the top 25% of the most recent entering JD class.

W&L Law First Choice (No Minimum Scholarship Guarantee) - Binding Early Decision Program applicants admitted through the W&L Law First Choice option will receive consideration for merit-based aid, but their decision to enroll should NOT be contingent on receipt of a scholarship. Applicants should only apply through the W&L Law First Choice option if scholarship aid is not a consideration in their decision.Candidates may choose to apply for the Binding Early Decision Program if W&L Law is their top choice, they are not seeking merit scholarship aid, and they are willing to make an early enrollment commitment. An enrollment deposit must be paid by January 5 following an offer of admission, most likely before any financial aid packages regarding educational loans are available to students.

International Binding Early Decision Applicants are strongly encouraged to review our webpage for international prospective students before beginning the application process.

Important Deadlines 

  • Applications to the Binding Early Decision Program must be complete by December 1.
  • Applicants to the Binding Early Decision Program will be notified of an admission decision by December 15.
  • Applicants admitted through the Binding Early Decision Program must pay the $1,000 seat deposit by January 5.

General Application Advice

We encourage you to consider the application process the beginning of your legal career. Law school is a professional school, and you should strive for absolute professionalism in each and every contact you have with any admissions office. Whether it be an email, a phone call, an individual visit, or a conversation with a school representative at a law fair, impressions matter. In one email, one phone call or one conversation, you have the potential to dramatically impact your file's consideration. Such contacts can often prove critical when schools make admissions decisions, particularly when choosing whom to accept from their waiting list, and bad impressions can often be extremely difficult to overcome.  As you begin to assemble the various constituent parts of our application, please consider these blog posts:

Notes on Bar Admission

In addition to a bar examination, there are character, fitness, and other qualifications for admission to the bar in every U.S. jurisdiction. Applicants are encouraged to determine the requirements for any jurisdiction in which they intend to seek admission by contacting the jurisdiction. Addresses for all relevant agencies are available through the National Conference of Bar Examiners.

University Policy on Prohibited Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation

Please click here for the University's nondiscrimination policy.