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Washington and Lee Law School: Acceptance Rate and Requirements

June 20, 2024
7 min read


Reviewed by:

David Merson

Former Head of Pre-Law Office, Northeastern University, & Admissions Officer, Brown University

Reviewed: 6/18/24

Learn about Washington and Lee Law School here. We cover the Washington and Lee Law School requirements and application process to help you gain admissions. 

If you’re interested in joining a diverse and collaborative intellectual legal community, read on to learn more about Washington and Lee Law School.

Washington and Lee Law School makes big claims to its potential students: a personalized legal education with unparalleled faculty access, substantial experience working with real clients, and a rigorous academic curriculum.

Luckily, W&L has a long history of upholding all of these claims! Since its opening in 1849, it has cultivated broad-minded, highly skilled, and honorable lawyers. 

If you’d like to join the band of successful W&L alumni, this guide will tell you everything you need to know about Washington and Lee’s admission requirements, statistics, deadlines, and more! 

Washington and Lee Law School Acceptance Rate

An important factor to consider when deciding whether this law school is the right choice for you is to consider the Washington and Lee Law School acceptance rate. With a 31.4% acceptance rate, the Washington and Lee School of Law is moderately competitive. 

While the Washington and Lee Law school acceptance rate is higher than the T14 law schools', you will still need to work diligently and hard to stand out as an applicant and maximize your chances of acceptance!

Washington and Lee Law School Admission Requirements

Now that we’ve established that a stellar application is required to have the best chance of getting into this distinguished school, it’s essential to delve deeper into its exact admission requirements and score expectations.

Washington and Lee Law School GPA Requirements

The first requirement W&L will consider is your undergraduate degree. Every interested law student must complete a bachelor’s in a major of their choice to be eligible for admission. Ensure you choose a major you have a genuine passion for to increase your chances of maintaining a high GPA. 

The class of 2026 had a median GPA of 3.72. To be considered competitive, you should aim for a GPA in this range or higher.

Washington and Lee Law School LSAT Requirements

Aside from your GPA, your LSAT is a crucial score the admissions committee will consider. The median LSAT score of the 2026 class was 165. Again, you should set your target score as 165 or higher to be considered an attractive candidate.

Getting a 165 on the LSAT will not be easy! This is considered a high score, so achieving it will require an effective study plan that involves the correct resources to succeed.

Ensure your studying includes at least one or two of the best prep books, considerable practice with real past LSAT exams, and expert-level help! Juris’ 99th percentile tutors can help you increase your LSAT score by 12 points!

W&L offers students the choice to write the GRE instead of the LSAT if they feel this exam will better reflect their abilities.

Personal Statement

While the admissions decision will be largely based on your numbers, they aren’t the only factors that will be considered. Your personal statement is another important part of your application that will give the committee insight into who you are, what you value, and what your goals are.

To give you a better sense of what your personal statement should involve, Washington and Lee Law School has compiled some examples of what to avoid in your personal statement:

  • A summary of your resume
  • Intimate information that borders triggering a “TMI” response
  • Only telling the committee what you find attractive about W&L without sharing more about yourself and what you can offer
  • Discussion of your LSAT or GRE scores
  • A statement written by someone else (they can always tell!)
  • An unrevised or rushed personal statement
  • Strictly talking about law 

To expand on the last point, W&L asks you to use your personal statement to bring more to the conversation! 

They ask you to focus on topics such as your losing season, a pivotal vacation experience, the most important advice you’ve received, your musical aspirations, why you volunteered somewhere, or anything else that can bring color to your application. 


You must also include a resume with your application. This resume should include any relevant work, volunteer, or extracurricular experience you pursued during your undergrad. 

Ensure you also include achievements you’re proud of! These may include certifications, honors, awards, or publications.

Letters of Recommendation

W&L requires its students to submit a minimum of one and a maximum of four letters of recommendation. However, the admissions committee strongly urges students to only choose recommenders who know them personally and can speak to their skills and abilities. 

As such, two or three quality letters will have more of a positive impact on the judges than four generic letters that share little insight into your academic potential. Each letter should share different information about you, as multiple letters sharing the same qualities will do little to help the committee make a decision faster.

At least one of these letters should be written by a professor.

An Optional Ethical Dilemma Essay

The final part of W&L’s application process is an optional ethical dilemma. This 500-word essay is not necessary, and many past successful applicants chose not to submit one.

However, if you’d like another chance to stand out, you should consider writing this essay!

Thinking about law school but unsure of your chances? Try Juris Education’s Admissions Calculator

It’s a handy tool that assesses how strong your application is and guides you through the stressful yet exciting admissions process. With this calculator, you'll get a clearer picture of your chances and feel more confident as you prepare your law school applications.

W&L Application Process and Deadlines

Most of your application will be submitted through LSAC, including your transcripts, LSAT scores, and letters of recommendation. The other parts of your application will be submitted through W&L’s own application portal.

As you begin preparing your application, it’s essential you keep the following dates in mind: 

Deadline What’s Due
Late August Applications open
Early November Rolling admission decisions begin
Early December Binding early decision applications due
Mid-December Binding early decision applicants will be informed of decisions
Early February Priority deadline for scholarships
Early July Regular applications due

Source: Washington and Lee Law School

For students who are set on attending Washington and Lee, you may want to consider submitting a binding early application. This application assures you will attend W&L if you’re offered admission and will reject any other offers. These applicants are typically assessed more leniently and have far less competition than regular applicants. 

Regardless of which type of application you choose to submit, it’s recommended you apply as early as possible to increase your chances of acceptance.

Each year, W&L only has around 120 seats available for its prospective JD students. Since they accept students on a rolling basis, the further into the application cycle, the fewer spots there are left!

W&L School of Law Tuition and Expenses

Attending Washington and Lee School of Law will cost around $54,715 in tuition and fees for the first year of your JD and slightly less for the subsequent years of your JD.

With all other estimated expenses, including housing and textbooks, students can expect to pay $76,830 a year to attend this law school.

Don’t let these high costs deter you from applying to Washington and Lee! W&L ranks amongst the nation’s best-valued law schools and offers its students extensive scholarships and merit-based and needs-based awards. 

In fact, over 90% of their students receive financial aid, and the average scholarship award received is $28,975

W&L School of Law Bar Passage Rates

A law school is only as good as the lawyers it produces. An excellent indicator of the high-quality education Washington and Lee offers its students is its high bar passage rates—W&L has a bar passage rate of 91%! 

This rate is significantly higher than the nation’s average, which is 91.07%. 

W&L School of Law Rankings

The final admission statistic to discuss about Washington and Lee Law School is its ranking. This law school ranks 33rd in the nation.

FAQs: Washington and Lee Law School

We’ve gone over the most important admission information about this law school, including the Washington and Lee Law school ranking, acceptance rate, and admission requirements. 

For any remaining questions, here are the answers to frequently asked questions about W&L.

1. How Hard Is It to Get Into Washington and Lee Law School?

While Washington and Lee have a promising acceptance rate, it is still challenging to get into! Students must maintain high GPAs and achieve high LSAT scores to be considered attractive candidates.

2. What Is Washington and Lee Law School Known for?

Washington and Lee Law School is best known for its curricular innovations. Each year, W&L students are presented with new challenges and learning experiences to develop the mindset of successful lawyers.

This law school is also known for its small class sizes and specialized courses that allow students to be fully prepared for the legal profession.

3. Where Is Washington and Lee Law School Located?

Washington and Lee is located in Lexington, Virginia.

4. What LSAT Score Is Needed to Get Into Washington and Lee Law School?

Students should aim for a 165 on the LSAT to maximize their chances of admission to Washington and Lee.

5. What GPA Do I Need to Get Into Washington and Lee Law School?

A GPA of 3.65 or higher will put you in the competitive range of past accepted W&L students.

6. How Many Clinics Does Washington and Lee Law School Have?

W&L offers its students the following six clinics:

  • Advanced Administrative Litigation Clinic: represents physically disabled coal miners and their widows
  • Civil Rights and Racial Justice: provides direct legal representation to address racial and socioeconomic injustice
  • Community Legal Practice Center: represents lower-income Rockbridge residents
  • Criminal Justice Clinic: represents people facing criminal charges in local trial courts
  • Immigrants Rights Clinic: represents non-citizen clients in immigration issues
  • Tax Clinic: represents taxpayers with post-filing controversies

Students have the opportunity to participate in all of these clinics to gain experience in several areas of law and find their niche! 

Final Thoughts

With an abundance of resources, courses, challenges, and opportunities to experience at Washington and Lee Law School, you’re guaranteed to have a unique, supportive, and memorable education at this law school—an education that will shape you into an exceptional attorney! 

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