2018-2019 School of Law Catalog 
    Nov 29, 2023  
2018-2019 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

US Citizens: Non-graded academic credit is available to a United States citizen who works in a full-time unpaid summer 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. Academic credit is optional for US citizens (though some employers require that credit be received).  The application process is detailed in Part I, below.

International (F-1 Visa) Students: In order to qualify for Curricular Practical Training over the summer, international students must obtain academic credit as described in Part II, below.

Cost and Timing of Award: There is no additional tuition charged for academic credit obtained under this policy. Credit will be applied to your transcript along with your fall coursework.

I.  US Citizens:

Qualifying Internships. A full-time unpaid internship with a term of at least four weeks is eligible for one-half credit; a full-time unpaid internship with a term of eight weeks or longer is eligible for a full credit. You must be supervised by an attorney.

Special Circumstances:

  • Qualifying internships for which you receive third party financial support through OCS, PILSA, SBA, the Transnational Law Institute, federal work study or any other source, are eligible for credit only if the financial support received was used to defray out-of-pocket expenses related to the internship. You must submit itemized receipts for such expenses; see the Certification attached for a description of qualifying expenses.
  • You may earn a maximum of two ungraded credits for unpaid summer work over the course of your academic career.

Credit Application Requirements and Procedures: 

  • After the internship concludes and no later than noon on Friday, September 7, 2018, upload a completed Certification  (with Attachment A  if required) using the online form linked in the SCORE Resource Library.
  • No later than noon on Friday, September 28, 2018, submit a satisfactory memorandum summarizing the work performed and reflecting on the experience.  See guidelines   for the memorandum and instructions for submission.

II. 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 ways outlined below. Please email the following information about your internship to Ms. Hilton in the OCS Office as soon as possible so that she may provide the Center for International Education the letter they need to process your CPT paperwork:

  • name and street address of the organization where you’ll be an intern,
  • name, telephone number and email address for your supervisor,
  • start and end dates for your internship.

A: Unpaid Summer Position. If you are engaged in an unpaid summer internship, you must obtain credit for your experience under the policy for US Citizens outlined above. As with US Citizens, if you receive funds from OCS, PILSA, SBA, the Transnational Law Institute or any other source, you must submit receipts for out-of-pocket expenses related to your position in at least the amount of the funds received. See the Certification attached for a description of qualifying expenses; be sure to retain detailed receipts for your expenses throughout the course of the summer.

B: Paid Summer Position. 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.

Work with a member of the faculty to develop your project. Then submit a detailed proposal, on the form, by email (HiltonA@wlu.edu) as early as possible but no later than noon on April 2.  She will submit your proposal for approval by the Independent Research Committee.  Committee approval for your project must be received before the last day of spring term classes, before your summer employment begins.

  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. Your project must be completed by September 28.

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 Availability of Academic Credit: Some summer employers request an advance assurance that an internship is eligible for academic credit.  You may find the paragraph below helpful.  If a formal letter regarding credit eligibility is required, I will prepare one for you.

Washington and Lee will award ungraded academic credit for an attorney-supervised unpaid, full time summer internship of at least four weeks duration. The administrative obligations of the attorney supervising an intern are minimal; a certification regarding the terms of the internship and confirmation of successful completion are all that are required. Supervisors are provided with an opportunity to review an intern’s work, but submission of a review is not required.  Andrea Hilton, the Law School’s Associate Director for Professional Development, coordinates this process, and you may direct any questions to her at HiltonA@wlu.edu or 540.458.8022.

If you have questions about any aspect of this policy, please contact Ms. Hilton in the Office of Career Strategies.