2016-2017 School of Law Catalog 
    Jul 22, 2018  
2016-2017 School of Law Catalog archived

Transfer of Credit

Advanced Standing

Students who have completed two semesters of work in other ABA approved law schools with excellent academic records may be admitted with up to 33 hours of credit for such work.  However, their last four semesters of law study must be completed at this School in order to receive a degree.

Credits for courses completed with a grade of C (2.0) or higher, may be transferred to Washington and Lee and used as degree credit. Grades for these courses, however, will not be transferred, and a student's cumulative grade-point average will include only work attempted at Washington and Lee.

A student admitted as a transfer will receive no more than 33 credits for work transferred. Such credits are assessed and assigned at the discretion of the appropriate dean. Only work comparable to that at Washington and Lee in level, nature, and field may be accepted for degree credit. An official transcript of student's work at their law school is required, as well as course descriptions and/or syllabus for which transfer credit is sought.  

Summer School

The School of Law does not offer a summer session. However, students may take courses offered in the summer sessions at other accredited law schools to earn up to six credit hours toward their degrees.

The following requirements and procedures apply:

●The summer school program must be ABA-accredited. No more than six credits earned through such a program may be applied toward your W&L degree.  For a list of ABA accredited study abroad programs, go to http://www.americanbar.org/groups/legal_education/resources/aba_approved_law_schools.html.

●Both your participation in the program and the specific courses you intend to take must be approved in writing by the Academic Dean in advance. Failure to obtain advance permission may result in denial of credit.

●The summer program must be one that gives grades. You will receive W&L credit for each course you successfully complete with a grade equivalent at least to our "C."

●In order to receive credit, you must furnish the Law Records Office with a transcript from the summer program no later than the end of the grading period for the semester following the summer school program.

●We will record successfully completed summer school courses on your transcript, but "credit" will be indicated in place of a grade; your W&L grade point average will not reflect grades earned in summer school programs.

●Some summer school programs will require a "letter of good standing" from us as part of your application. The Law Records Office can supply such a letter.

Academic Credit for Summer Study Abroad and Certain Unpaid Summer Internships

Non-graded credit is available to students who work in a full-time unpaid internship with a for-profit entity (such as a law firm or corporate counsel's office), a not-for-profit entity, governmental organization, NGO, trade organization, court, or other legal practice setting.  Over the course of your academic career, no more than two ungraded credits may be earned for unpaid summer work.

An internship with a term of at least four weeks is eligible for one-half credit; an internship with a term of eight weeks or longer is eligible for one credit.  Credit is not available for any internship for which a student is compensated, or for which a student receives financial support through OCP, PILSA, the Transnational Law Institute, or any other third party source of financial support for unpaid positions.


  • The internship must be full-time, unpaid, and at least 4 weeks in duration.
  • The student intern must be supervised by an attorney and may not receive financial support for the internship through W&L Law or any other source.
  • After the internship concludes and no later than noon on Friday, September 2, 2016, the student intern must submit a completed Certification in the form attached via email to HiltonA@wlu.edu.
  • No later than noon on Friday, September 30, 2016, the student intern must submit a satisfactory memorandum summarizing the work performed and reflecting on the experience. 

F-1 Visa Students: If you are engaged in non-required Curricular Practical Training through a summer position, you must obtain academic credit in one of the following ways:

Unpaid Summer Internship. If you are engaged in an unpaid summer internship, you must obtain credit for your experience under the policy for US Citizens outlined above. Please note that if you applied for and received financial support through OCS, PILSA, SBA, the Transnational Law Institute or any other source, documentation of out-of-pocket expenses related to your internship, in excess of the dollar amount of support you received, is required. Be sure to retain records of your expenses throughout the course of the summer.

Paid Summer Employment. If you are engaged in a paid summer position, you must undertake a summer independent research and writing project (Law 310: Independent Research Projects or Tutorials, below) under the direct supervision of a member of the faculty. The project may not duplicate research or writing conducted in the course of your summer employment, but it shall generally relate to the subject matter of your summer employment. You must submit a detailed proposal for the project, approved by the supervising faculty member, by email to Andrea Hilton in the Office of Career Strategy (hiltona@wlu.edu) as early in the semester as possible but no later than noon on Friday, April 1.  Ms. Hilton will submit your proposal for approval by the Independent Research Committee.  Committee approval for your project must be received before the end of classes in spring semester, before your summer employment begins. Your project must be completed by Friday, September 30.

LAW 310 - Independent Research Projects or Tutorials.  Students may conduct independent research or pursue specialized studies in areas of the law which are of particular interest to them in the form of independent research projects or tutorials. Faculty members may conduct tutorials for small groups of students on issues not otherwise taught in the curriculum. One to two hours of ungraded credit will be granted per independent research project or tutorial, depending on size and scope. No more than two independent research projects or tutorials will be given credit toward graduation. A student wishing to pursue an independent research project must submit a detailed proposal for the project, including a description of the current literature on the topic, and have the proposal approved by a supervising faculty member and the faculty Independent Research Committee before the end of the add/drop period. Students are, therefore, strongly advised to contact a supervising faculty member prior to the beginning of a term for guidance in formulating a proposal. One or two hours. Faculty

You have two options for this independent research and writing project:

               Option One:  The project must include a second draft in response to criticism from the supervising faculty member, and yield a substantial piece of legal writing ten to fifteen pages in length.  This project may not be used to fulfill the second-year writing requirement. One credit, ungraded.

               Option Two: The project must require thorough legal research, include a second draft in response to criticism from the supervising faculty member, and yield a substantial piece of legal writing twenty-five pages in length.  This project may be used to fulfill the second-year writing requirement. Two credits, ungraded.

III.  Statement regarding Academic Credit: Some summer employers request an advance assurance that an internship is eligible for academic credit.  You may find the paragraph on the following page helpful.  If a formal letter regarding credit eligibility is required, I am happy to prepare one for you.

Please contact the Office of Career Development with questions.


Certification and Guidelines 2016