Wake Forest University School of Law Profile, Winston Salem, North Carolina | BCGSearch.com

Wake Forest University School of Law

Rank 36

MAILING ADDRESS1

1834 Wake Forest Road,

Winston Salem, NC 27109

MAIN PHONE

336-758-5430

REGISTRAR'S PHONE

336-758-5443

ADMISSIONS PHONE

336-758-5437

CAREER SERVICES PHONE

336-758-5721

Overview 5-6

The formal study of law has been part of Wake Forest since 1894. Over the years, Wake Forest has evolved as a small Baptist college for men located just north of Raleigh, North Carolina, to an independent, multi-dimensional, nationally recognized university located in Winston-Salem. Wake Forest Law has grown along with and at times led the development of the institution of which it is a part. The law school, which has worked to meet the needs of a changing legal profession as well as the changing needs of students, continues to be a leader in legal education by modeling engagement and professionalism through academic excellence and a thorough commitment to service.

Our school seeks to prepare our students for the practice of law in the United States. Some of our graduates will use their legal educations for important purposes other than law practice, but we recognize that each graduate may be admitted to the bar in any of the 50 states. We, therefore, have a responsibility to provide our students with a foundation of legal knowledge and skill upon which they can build lives of service within the legal profession. We must attempt to instill in every student a respect for the rule of law, a devotion to the ideal of public service, and a commitment to basic professional values: honesty, diligence, competence, intelligence, and civility.

In the recruitment of our students and the placement of our graduates, our school is increasingly national in orientation, but we maintain and will continue to nurture a special relationship with our state and region.

Our school is small by tradition and design. Our goal is to establish an academic community that unites students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends in an extended, loyal family. We must concern ourselves with the personal development of the individual student, and we should encourage all students to care for one another and for Wake Forest. We aspire to overcome any economic or ethnic barriers that may have excluded individuals from the legal profession in the past.

We believe that the faculty must be committed to teaching and to legal scholarship. We regard these functions as synergistic aspects of a single vocation. Excellent teaching is central to the educational process; legal scholarship informs that process and contributes to the improvement of the law. We seek to attract to our faculty individuals whose character and conduct exemplify the professional and personal ideals that are basic to the school’s mission.

The course of study at Wake Forest emphasizes fundamental lawyering skills. Classes are small. Teachers are accessible to students outside of class. In all courses teachers stress legal analysis and critical thinking, and they encourage students to consider the social and economic settings in which legal principles and rules operate and the ways in which lawyers use those principles and rules in practice.

Believing that lawyers must be able to communicate clearly and persuasively, we emphasize the development of skill in written and oral communication. We also recognize the need to instruct our students in the effective use of informational technology. We understand that we are preparing our students to live and work in a changing world that is influenced by transnational developments and globalization.

Student-Faculty Ratio 7

10.4:1

Admission Criteria 8

LSAT GPA
25th-75th Percentile 156-162 3.35-3.7
Median* 161 3.59

The above LSAT and GPA data pertain to the 2016 entering class.

Director of admissions R. Jay Shively
Application deadline March 15

Law School Admissions details based on 2016 data.

*Medians have been calculated by averaging the 25th- and 75th-percentile values released by the law schools and have been rounded up to the nearest whole number for LSAT scores and to the nearest one-hundredth for GPAs.

Admission Statistics 9

Approximate number of applications 1906
Number accepted 866
Percentage accepted 45.4%

The above admission details are based on 2016 data.

Law School Cost 10

Tuition and fees Full-time: $44,220 per year
Room and board $12,200
Books $1,600
Miscellaneous expenses $8,112

Class Ranking and Grades 11

A student’s class rank is available only upon the student’s written request. After the student submits the request via a completed Transcript Request form the Registrar will provide the class rank to the student in a timely manner. Individual ranks are calculated for those in the top 50% of the class only. A percentile rank (in 5% increments) is assigned to all other students.

A cumulative weighted grade average of 73.00 or above is required by every JD student at the end of his or her first year and at the end of every academic year thereafter in order to remain in law school and to qualify for graduation from Wake Forest University School of Law.

The numerical grading system for the JD students in the law school is as follows:

A+ 90 to 100
B 80 to 89
C 70 to 79
D 66 to 69
F Below 66

The highest grade given in the normal situation is 98. However, in exceptional circumstances a high grade of 100 may be given. The lowest grade given is 61. However, in exceptional circumstances a low grade of 59 may be given.

A cumulative weighted grade average of 73.00 or above is required of every student at the end of the first year and at the end of every academic year thereafter in order to remain in law school and to graduate.

Grade of Incomplete

If a student receives authorization to miss an examination or not to complete work in a course within the prescribed time, he or she will be given a grade of “I” (Incomplete) instead of an “F.”

A student can remove the “I” from his or her record by taking the examination at a time specified by the instructor or by completing the required work within the time period specified by the instructor, which time period will not extend beyond the last day of the next regular semester. If a student fails to remove an “I” within the prescribed time, the “I” automatically will be changed to an “F”. Such a change may adversely affect not only the student’s academic eligibility but also the number of residence weeks earned during the semester in which the “I” was recorded.

If a student has been excluded for failure to meet the school’s academic standards, he or she cannot subsequently remove an “I” grade and be readmitted.

Pass/Fail Option

A JD student may take certain upper-level, non-required courses on a pass/fail basis. Only courses listed by the registrar as available for pass/fail are eligible to be taken pass/fail.

No more than seven hours of ungraded credit for course work may count toward the 90 hours required for graduation. Additional credits may be earned on a pass/fail basis as long as the student has successfully completed the 90 hours required for graduation. Ungraded credits earned in Trial Practice, externships, internships, and practicum extensions, as well as credits earned for work on law journals, trial team, or moot court, do not count toward the limit of seven hours.

If a student transfers to Wake Forest University from another law school, no more than a total of seven hours of pass/fail credit in upper level courses earned at either school may count toward the minimum hours necessary for graduation.

If a student is enrolled in the JD/MBA program, the JD/MDiv program, the JD/MA in Bioethics program, the JD/MA in Religion program, or the JD/MA in Sustainability program, no more than four hours of ungraded credit earned at the law school may count toward the number of law school hours necessary for graduation in that program.

Law students who are not enrolled in the JD/MBA program may, with the approval of the Executive Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, earn up to four credit hours in the School of Business to be credited toward their JD degrees. Law students must obtain the permission from the Business School professors who teach the courses in which they wish to enroll. These courses will be graded on a pass/fail basis. Business School credits earned under this program will not count toward the seven hours of pass/fail credit allowed for the JD degree but will count towards the 20-hour limit on study outside the classroom. An approval form must be completed and can be obtained from the law school’s Registrar’s Office.

Similarly, students not enrolled in the JD/MDiv, the JD/MA in Religion, the JD/MA in Bioethics or the JD/MA in Sustainability programs may, with the approval of the Executive Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, earn up to four credit hours in the Divinity School or the Graduate School. Credits earned under this program will be graded on a pass/fail basis and will not count toward the seven hours of pass/fail credit allowed for the JD degree but will count towards the 20-hour limit on study outside the classroom. Students must complete an approval form, obtained from the Registrar’s Office.

LL.M. students are permitted to take one 3-hour course (in addition to the thesis and scholarly writing course) as pass/fail during the course of their studies. The course need not be listed by the registrar as being available for pass/fail; however, the student must gain the written permission of the faculty member.

A student who is registered for a course in which a pass/fail option is available may not change from the pass/fail to the grade option or vice versa during the final two weeks of the semester.

Grade Normalization (Curve)12

All courses shall have a mean or average grade of 85. Any deviation from this must be explained by letter to the Dean. Examples of appropriate basis for deviation from the approved grade range would include: unusually small number of students (so that there can be no presumption of random distribution); the class as a whole performed on the exam in a manner justifying deviation from the mean. This uniform grading policy does not apply (1) to non-multiple section upper level elective courses taught by full-time members of the faculty in which the class size is less than 20 students, or (2) to a paper course (apart from LAWR I, II, or III).

Honors 13

Honor Criteria
Order of the Coif Top 10%
summa cum laude A student whose cumulative weighted grade point average is 94.00 or above will graduate with the distinction summa cum laude.
magna cum laude A student whose cumulative weighted grade point average is 92.00 through 93.99 will graduate with the distinction magna cum laude.
cum laude A JD student who has completed all the degree requirements with a cumulative weighted grade point average of 90.00 through 91.99 will graduate with the distinction cum laude.

Awards 14

Name of Award Awarded for/to
American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers Award N/A
American Bar Association and The Bureau of National Affairs Award for Excellence in the Study of Health Law
American Bar Association’s Section of Intellectual Property Law and The Bureau of National Affairs Inc. Award for the student who achieves the highest grade among the courses of Intellectual Property, Copyright and Trademarks.
American Bar Association and The Bureau of National Affairs Award for Excellence in the Study of Labor and Employment Law, which is given to the students who achieve the highest grades in the course.
Dean’s Award which is given to honor the extraordinary contributions of a student leader
E. McGruder Faris Memorial Award which is given to the student exhibiting the highest standards of character, leadership and scholarship
Forsyth County Women Attorney’s Association Book Award outstanding female graduate based upon her academic achievements, leadership, service to community, professionalism and commitment to the legal profession
Laura J. Gendy Award a graduating law student who exemplifies integrity, compassion for others and strength of character
Robert Goldberg Award Trial Advocacy, which honors the memory of Robert Goldberg, a student at the School of Law
I. Beverly Lake Award is given to the student or students in the law school exhibiting the greatest proficiency in the study of Constitutional Law
National Association of Women Lawyers Award to an outstanding law graduate at each American Bar Association-approved law school
North Carolina State Bar Student Pro Bono Service Award to a student who has contributed time and talent to law-related service
Wake Forest University School of Law Service award extraordinary contributions to the law school’s program of legal education, faculty or students

Journals 15-17

The Wake Forest Law Review is a student-run organization that publishes five issues annually. The Law Review also sponsors two symposiums. The Fall Symposium changes topics yearly. For over twenty years, the Spring Symposium has been dedicated to exploring business law. Through the publication of articles, notes, comments, and empirical legal studies, the Law Review provides the profession with timely evaluations of current problems in the law and serves students as a valuable educational tool.

The Wake Forest Journal of Business & Intellectual Property Law publishes four issues annually, pertaining to a wide variety of topics within the fields of intellectual property law and business law, while attempting to focus specifically on the intersection between the two. The Journal also hosts the #1 Educational Law Blog, which offers an expanded coverage of the most recent developments in both business and intellectual property law. In addition, the Journal sponsors a symposium each spring semester. Academics, practitioners, and students of the law look to the Journal for a current and historical analysis of advancements in intellectual property law and its impact on the legal profession. Further, the Journal’s revised scope and mission attempts to integrate more practice-friendly pieces into a manageable medium for the practicing business and legal communities.

The Wake Forest Journal of Law & Policy is an interdisciplinary publication that explores the intersection of timely legal issues with public and social policy. By examining topics of great importance, such as energy, economics, healthcare, and social justice, the Journal seeks to introduce and advance discourse consistent with Wake Forest’s motto of “Pro Humanitate.”

Moot Court 18-19

The Wake Forest University School of Law Moot Court Board seeks to assist students in their development of effective appellate advocacy skills. Moot Court creates opportunities for students to develop effective legal research skills, draft persuasive appellate briefs, and deliver oral arguments through their participation in various intramural and interscholastic appellate advocacy competitions.

Each year, the Wake Forest Moot Court Board administers two intramural competitions: the George K. Walker Moot Court Competition, open to all 1L students, and the Edwin M. Stanley Moot Court Competition, open to all 2L and 3L students. Competitors research and brief one side of a hypothetical problem and then deliver a series of oral arguments before panels of judges. Distinguished federal and state judges preside over the semifinal and final rounds of each competition. Students become members of the Moot Court Board through their performances in these intramural competitions.

Clinical Programs 20

Wake Forest Law is committed to helping you practice what you learn. Through several outstanding programs — some curricular, some extracurricular, and some co-curricular — students work, argue, research, write, and practice, often while helping citizens in need. Our approach tightly integrates study, practice, and experience, and it develops great lawyers. In addition to the following clinics and externships, we offer practical skills courses as well as co-curricular opportunities such as journals and moot court and trial competition teams.

Appellate Advocacy Clinic

Represents low-income clients in all sorts of appeals, both civil and criminal, and in a variety of appellate courts, including the Fourth Circuit and the Seventh Circuit. Students handle an actual appeal from start to finish.

Child Advocacy Clinic

Focuses on the representation of children in custody cases and in issues involving the public school system. Students study the various models for representing children and analyze the ethical issues raised in the various settings.

Community Law and Business Clinic

Concentrates on the transactional aspects of nonprofit organizations, small business start-ups, and arts and entertainment law. Provides students with the skills needed to practice in a complex legal and regulatory environment.

Elder Law Clinic

Exposes students to both the legal issues and medical aspects of this growing practice area. Students represent clients in wills, guardianship, fraud, and other matters.

Innocence and Justice Clinic

Provides students with the opportunity to learn about the causes of wrongful convictions while giving them the opportunity to apply this knowledge to the investigation of cases where evidence can prove a client’s innocence.

Litigation Externship Clinic

Students are placed with supervising attorneys in offices large and small, public and private, in a wide range of practice areas. We believe we are the only clinic in the country that requires each student to have concurrent civil and criminal law placements. The idea is for students to confront not only issues of property and money but life and liberty, while rounding out a skill set that will serve both the student and their future clients well.

Micro-Trade Clinic

This clinic looks at issues of development and trade and provides students with an opportunity to work with clients while exploring the culture of Nicaragua.

Veterans Legal Clinic

Allows selected students to work under the supervision of a practicing attorney to provide legal assistance on a pro-bono basis to North Carolina military personnel, including active-duty service members, reservists, veterans, and non-affiliated veterans.

Placement Facts 15

Starting Salaries (2015 Graduates Employed Full-Time)

Private sector (25th-75th percentile) $51,500 - $102,500
Median in the private sector $70,000
Median in public service $52,000

Employment Details

Graduates known to be employed at graduation 45.7%
Graduates known to be employed ten months after graduation 81.9%

Areas of Legal Practice

Graduates Employed In Percentage
Law Firms 53.1%
Business and Industry 18%
Government 12.5%
Judicial Clerkships 6.3%
Public Interest Organizations 4.7%
Academia 3.5%
Unknown 0%

Externships/Internships 21-22

Externships

Litigation Externship Clinic

Students are placed with supervising attorneys in offices large and small, public and private, in a wide range of practice areas. We believe we are the only clinic in the country that requires each student to have concurrent civil and criminal law placements. The idea is for students to confront not only issues of property and money but life and liberty, while rounding out a skill set that will serve both the student and their future clients well.

Metropolitan Externship

Grants selected students the opportunity to spend a semester in practice in Washington, D.C. The program includes a programmatic initiative that includes classes, conferences, symposia, and lectures. Students intern in a government agency or non-governmental organization.

Carolina Externship

Allows selected students to spend a summer month in Charlotte practicing in a corporate or business setting. The program involves a class and externship placement where students may expect to work on issues affecting corporations. Placements in other cities may be available, with course work handled by distance education.

Judicial externship

Enables selected students to be placed with judges in state and federal courts throughout the U.S. Students spend time in court with their mentoring judge as well as researching and writing. While the majority of placements are within the Triad, students may also recruit their own judges in any location.

Prosecution Externship

Selected students have the chance to be placed in a prosecutor’s office. Students engage in the kinds of activities a prosecutor does, under a supervising attorney in the office. Customized learning objectives are established for each student and achieved through a variety of practice experiences.

Public Interest Externship

Gives selected students the chance complete a supervised significant research assignment for a public interest organization in Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C., Summer Judicial Externship

Presents selected students with the opportunity to work in some of America’s most vibrant courts including the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Students engage in the kinds of tasks performed by law clerks, under the immediate supervision of an experienced attorney, and attend class.

Juvenile Law Externship

This course, which will include both classroom and field components, offers an overview of juvenile delinquency proceedings. The class component will cover substantive and procedural aspects of juvenile delinquency proceedings along with relevant social science background. The field component will allow students to observe juvenile court judges and to represent juveniles in delinquency proceedings and related matters, under the supervision of practicing attorneys. Trial Practice Lab 610 is a pre-requisite or co-requisite for this course, unless the student obtains the permission of the instructor to waive this requirement. Consult the calendar notes in the registration materials for special scheduling requirements.

Internship

During the summer or during the school year, a student may receive 1 or 2 pass/fail credits for an internship in a law-related placement of the student’s choosing, subject to the approval of a faculty supervisor whom the student has enlisted. The student submits a statement of goals to the faculty supervisor and meets with the supervisor on the goals before the internship begins. During the internship, the student submits reflection papers and at the end of the internship, the student submits a concluding reflection paper or paper related to the subject matter of the placement and meets with the faculty member for a de-briefing. For a 1-hour summer internship the student submits a minimum of 4 2-page reflection papers, performs a minimum of 80 hours of field work, and submits a concluding paper of a minimum of 6-8 pages. For a 2-hour summer internship, the student submits a minimum of 8 2-page reflection papers, 160 hours of field work, and a concluding paper of a minimum of 10-15 pages. For a 1-hour internship during the school year, the student submits a minimum of 4 2-page reflection papers, performs a minimum of 60 hours of field work, and submits a concluding paper of a minimum of 6-8 pages. For a 2-hour internship during the school year, the student submits a minimum of 8 2-page reflection papers, 120 hours of field work, and a concluding paper of a minimum of 10-15 pages.

Student Organizations 23

  • AAJ Trial Team
  • American Constitution Society
  • Black Law Student Association (BLSA)
  • Business Law Society
  • Christian Legal Society
  • Criminal Law Roundtable
  • Domestic Violence Awareness Coalition (DVAC)
  • Environmental Law Society (ELS)
  • Federalist Society
  • Health Law and Policy
  • Honor Council
  • Immigration Law Society
  • International Law Society
  • Journal of Business & Intellectual Property Law
  • Law Review
  • Moot Court
  • National Trial Team
  • OUTLaw
  • Partners and Families Association
  • Phi Alpha Delta
  • Pro Bono Project
  • Public Interest Law Organization
  • Sports and Entertainment Law Society (SELS)
  • Student Animal Legal Defense Fund (SALDF)
  • Student Bar Association (SBA)
  • Student Trial Bar
  • Teen Court
  • Veterans Advocacy Legal Organization (VALOR)
  • Wake Forest Journal of Law & Policy
  • Wake Intellectual Property Student Association
  • Women in Law
  • Youth Advocacy Group

References

  1. http://law.wfu.edu/directory/
  2. http://law.wfu.edu/directory/?dept=10
  3. http://law.wfu.edu/directory/?dept=1
  4. http://law.wfu.edu/directory/?dept=3
  5. http://about.law.wfu.edu/
  6. http://about.law.wfu.edu/mission/
  7. https://premium.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-law-schools/wake-forest-university-03120
  8. https://premium.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-law-schools/wake-forest-university-03120/admissions
  9. https://premium.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-law-schools/wake-forest-university-03120/admissions
  10. https://premium.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-law-schools/wake-forest-university-03120/cost
  11. http://studentlife.law.wfu.edu/files/handbook-2016-2017.pdf
  12. http://studentlife.law.wfu.edu/files/handbook-2016-2017.pdf
  13. http://studentlife.law.wfu.edu/files/handbook-2016-2017.pdf
  14. http://news.law.wfu.edu/2013/05/wake-forest-law-confers-hoods-and-diplomas-on-183-graduates/
  15. http://wakeforestlawreview.com/about/
  16. http://ipjournal.law.wfu.edu/
  17. http://lawpolicyjournal.law.wfu.edu/about-the-journal/
  18. http://mootcourt.law.wfu.edu/
  19. http://mootcourt.law.wfu.edu/competitions/
  20. http://academics.law.wfu.edu/clinics/
  21. http://academics.law.wfu.edu/courses/
  22. http://academics.law.wfu.edu/clinics/
  23. http://studentlife.law.wfu.edu/organizations/

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