Appalachian School of Law

The information on this page was provided by the law school.

Official Guide to ABA-Approved JD Programs


Introduction

Founded in 1994, Appalachian School of Law develops lawyers who are leaders in their communities. A small, independent law school, ASL blends a broad and traditional legal education with multiple experiential opportunities to practice skills while offering a very low student-faculty ratio. Located in the beautiful mountains of southwestern Virginia, the quiet town of Grundy is free of distractions, easily affordable, and a very friendly place to spend three years for your law degree.

Curriculum

Appalachian School of Law provides a classical legal education while emphasizing the practical skills necessary to succeed as a lawyer. As part of its JD program, ASL confers the Juris Master degree to all students in good standing after their completion of three semesters. ASL is proud of this distinction as it symbolizes mastery of the theory and philosophy of law. Additionally, ASL offers three certificate programs: the Lawyer as Problem Solver, National Resource Law, and Litigation.

First-year students study foundational topics: civil procedure, contracts, property, torts, criminal law, legal process, and writing. The program fosters collegiality and professionalism and minimizes competition. Between the first and second year, every student completes an externship in a variety of real practice placements, such as federal and state agencies, offices of prosecutors and defenders, legislators, judges, nonprofits, and law firms that embrace pro bono work.

Second-year students progress to constitutional law, evidence, criminal procedure, secured transactions, business association, dispute resolution, and more. Although the externship program is required between the 1L and 2L years, students also have the opportunity to pursue internships between the 2L and the 3L year. Through the internship component of the externship program, students can compete for placement at sites that focus their practices in the areas of natural resources, energy, and environmental law; the judiciary; and administrative law. Students who are selected for these internships may receive a stipend to offset travel and living expenses.

Third-year students take additional core courses, a seminar, capstone electives, and practicum courses that emphasize skill-based learning. These practica include estate planning, law office management, trial advocacy (both civil and criminal), family law, wills and trusts, and sustainable energy, among several others. Under Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia third-year practice rules, students may practice law under the supervision of a member of the bar.

Community Service

From its inception, Appalachian School of Law has endorsed community service as a form of civic responsibility and leadership. We see this element of our educational program as the embrace of an involvement in community needs; an awareness of local, state, and national issues; and a commitment to problem-solving. ASL requires each student to perform 25 hours of service each semester, and our alumni continue to provide community service in their own communities long after graduation.

ASL provides more than 70 approved service opportunities, and any student may propose an alternative project. ASL students are active as tutors in local schools, coaches in local sports, and participants in legal aid, court-appointed special advocacy, animal shelters, public libraries, volunteer fire departments, title/deed research, and many other forms of service to the larger community.

Faculty

The faculty at Appalachian School of Law offer years of combined private and governmental practice experience in addition to the depth of their tenure in academia. Our professors have been law clerks to judges, government officials, and partners in law firms. They are published scholars in such areas as constitutional law, legal ethics, and business matters. With an open-door policy, our professors are easily approachable, and our small class sizes enable students to form strong relationships that enrich our community and thus the ASL JD program.

Students and Student Organizations

Appalachian School of Law enjoys a very collegial and active student body hailing from all across the country. The Student Bar Association is elected each year and fosters participation in numerous organizations whose social events raise monies for charities. Students may join the Appalachian Journal of Law or the Appalachian Natural Resource Law Journal, and compete on the award-winning moot court or trial advocacy teams. Each spring ASL sends a softball team to the UVA Law Invitational Tournament to compete with approximately 60 other law schools. Our lovely mountain location offers extensive outdoor recreational opportunities for hiking and mountain biking, and kayaking is also popular. Distinguished speakers are invited to our campus each semester for lectures on professionalism, legal ethics, and pertinent career development topics.

Facilities

Appalachian School of Law was recognized by the American Institute of Architects for the adaption of our historic main building. With a gracious courtyard as an informal gathering place, a trial courtroom and an appellate courtroom, offices and classrooms, plus student lounges, this main building is a hub of activity. The law library offers a modern, quiet space for research and study. Although ASL is not a residential law school, we share a beautiful setting that fosters a strong sense of community.

Admission and Financial Aid

Students who embrace our experiential approach, our commitment to community service, and who will benefit from our challenging curriculum are admitted to the Appalachian School of Law. No single criterion dominates admission decisions as we conduct a holistic review of all components of the applicant’s file. In addition to the undergraduate (and sometimes graduate) record and the LSAT (ASL uses the highest score), the Admissions Committee considers character, work history, professional promise, personal commitment, and other relevant achievements.

Every application is automatically reviewed for our generous merit scholarships. Admitted students may also apply for limited, need-based aid.

Admitted Applicant Profile

25-75% UGPA Range at Appalachian:

2.76 to 3.44

2.00
2.58
3.16
3.74
4.33

25-75% LSAT Score Range at Appalachian:

144 to 153

120
135
150
165
180

25-75% UGPA Range at Appalachian:

2.76 to 3.44

2.00
2.58
3.16
3.74
4.33

25-75% LSAT Score Range at Appalachian:

144 to 153

120
135
150
165
180

25-75% UGPA Range at Appalachian:

2.76 to 3.44

2.00
2.58
3.16
3.74
4.33

25-75% LSAT Score Range at Appalachian:

144 to 153

120
135
150
165
180

Contact Information

1169 Edgewater Drive,
Grundy, VA 24614,
United States