University of Richmond School of Law

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

Official Guide to ABA-Approved JD Programs


Situated on a stunning campus just 15-minutes from vibrant downtown Richmond, the University of Richmond School of Law has provided an exceptional legal education since 1870. Accredited by the ABA and a member of the AALS and the Order of the Coif honorary scholastic society, Richmond Law is known as much for its close-knit community and small student-faculty ratio as for its rigorous academic program. In addition to being home to a number of international law firms, Richmond is the capital of the Commonwealth of Virginia, with numerous state and federal offices, and is the seat of both the Supreme Court of Virginia and the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.

Learn more about Richmond Law

The JD Program

Richmond Law seamlessly integrates theory and practice in a curriculum led by some of the best teacher-scholars in the nation. Courses in contracts, torts, criminal law, civil procedure, property, constitutional law, and legislation and regulation comprise the first-year curriculum. Required upper-level courses include professional responsibility and an upper-level writing seminar. All students complete a comprehensive two-year program in legal reasoning, writing, research, and fundamental lawyering skills. Optional Certificates of Concentration are available through the Intellectual Property Institute and the National Center for Family Law. Richmond Law is also the home of the Robert R. Merhige Jr. Center for Environmental Studies, which engages in research, instruction, and public outreach on energy and environmental issues in the Mid-Atlantic region and beyond. New offerings include curricular and non-curricular programs in the areas of legal innovation and professional identity.

Other Degree Programs

Several dual-degree programs allow students to earn the JD degree as well as a master’s degree in a related discipline. Dual-degree programs are available in business administration, health administration, social work, urban studies and planning, public administration, and others.

Additionally, lawyers with a first degree in law from outside the United States are eligible for the following international programs:

  • The Two-Year JD for International Lawyers enables students to receive one year of credit for foreign legal studies so they may graduate in two years with the JD degree identical to our three-year students.
  • The LLM is a one-year, full-time, master’s level law program. It offers an opportunity for lawyers to obtain a strong grounding in U.S. law and the common law system while polishing their communication and legal English skills.
  • The LLM/MBA Dual Degree, offered only by a handful of law schools in the world, provides a unique opportunity for students to deal effectively with global business and legal transactions. This combination gives our graduates a distinct advantage in a world in which law and business are increasingly interdependent and globally focused.

Externship Opportunities

Exciting clinical placements are arranged for academic credit in various legal arenas. Over 60 placements offer a wide range of opportunities with public interest, government agencies, non-profit organizations, international and national corporations, and trial and appellate judicial chambers at the state and federal levels. Students receive credit while obtaining valuable work experience, gaining greater confidence in lawyering skills, enhancing substantive legal knowledge, and developing a deeper appreciation for the profession’s values.

The DC Externship Program places students in federal agencies or nonprofit organizations in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. Students complete 500 hours of supervised substantive legal work over the course of the fall semester and participate in a weekly two-hour seminar. Recent placements include the U.S. Senate, U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Federal Communications Commission, Maryland Coalition Against Sexual Assault, and Muslim Women Lawyers for Human Rights.

In the four-week London Clinical Placement Program (LCPP), students assume the role of a lawyer in one of the world’s most vibrant cities.  Placement opportunities include positions with barristers, solicitors, legal aide centers, and members of Parliament. Students become immersed in Britain’s legal culture and perform varied substantive work. Often, there is direct client contact.  Students also learn about the U.K.’s legal system and laws as well as those of other countries, particularly the E.U. and the U.S.

In-House Opportunities

  • The Institute for Actual Innocence (IAI) works to identify, investigate, and exonerate wrongfully convicted individuals in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
  • The Jeanette Lipman Family Law Clinic is a multidisciplinary collaboration that provides legal assistance to families and children in the City of Richmond in the areas of divorce, custody, visitation, domestic violence, foster care, public benefits, and housing.
  • The Children’s Defense Clinic is a litigation-oriented clinic that focuses primarily on the needs of indigent children who are before the court on delinquency matters.
  • The Intellectual Property and Transactional Law Clinic provides high-quality, pro bono transactional legal services to start-ups, small businesses, non-profit organizations, and individual creators of intellectual property.

Pro Bono and Public Service

The University of Richmond School of Law created the Harry L. Carrico Center for Pro Bono & Public Service in recognition of an attorney’s professional obligation to serve the community, as well as a law school’s responsibility to educate its students on the need for pro bono legal services. The center engages regional, national, and international network that connects the skills and talents of its student body with the greater Richmond community through programs including

  • Pro Bono Criminal Appeals
  • Assistance to Disabled Veterans
  • Estate Planning
  • Housing Law Program
  • Immigration Assistance Project
  • Legislative Research and Analysis
  • No-Fault Divorce
  • Richmond Global Health Alliance
  • Trans Law Collaborative

Pro Bono Certification Awards are presented to students completing the requisite qualifications by graduation.

Learn more about the JD program at Richmond Law

Student Activities

Richmond Law has over 35 student organizations that provide multiple and varied opportunities for students to connect with their peers, pursue areas of particular interest, and interact with experts in those fields.

Student boards publish three scholarly journals:

  • University of Richmond Law Review
  • Richmond Journal of Law and Technology
  • Richmond Public Interest Law Review

Beginning in the 1L year, Richmond’s moot court activities allow students to test their research, brief-writing, trial, negotiation, and appellate advocacy skills. Students participate in intraschool tournaments that lead to membership on the Moot Court Board, the Trial Advocacy Board (TAB), Alternative Dispute Resolution Society (ADR), and the Client Counseling and Negotiation Board (CCNB). Moot Court, TAB, ADR, and CCNB teams represent the law school in regional and national competitions.

Student Life

Living in Richmond

Recently named a Top 20 “Millennial Magnet” City, Best River Town, Happiest Metro Area in the United States, and #1 Craft Beer town, Richmond isn’t just a great city to study law. A fantastic dining scene, miles of hiking trails, world-class rapids, and some of the best food and music festivals on the East Coast – all combined with a low cost of living – make Richmond a great place to live, too.

Home to more courts—federal, state, and local—than almost any other city in the nation, Richmond is also known for its thriving legal community that includes some of the nation’s largest law firms. It is also home to important federal agencies, including the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, as well as several Fortune 500 companies. The city and the region offer abundant opportunities for Richmond Law students to gain valuable practical experience during both the summer and the academic year.

Career Placement and Bar Passage

Career planning begins at Orientation with extensive career programming and is as personalized as the rest of the Richmond Law experience. Our Career Development Office (CDO) offers one-on-one advising that allows us to get to know our students and their interests, past experiences, and objectives. The CDO works with students to create an individualized job search strategy based upon a student’s career aspirations and intended practice location. All along the way, our strong, committed, and engaged network of alumni will assist students in reaching their personal and professional goals.

With the guidance and nationwide contacts of our CDO, Richmond Law students confidently set out on varied career paths. Our young alumni join large and small law firms, government agencies, corporations, and nonprofit organizations. Over the course of their careers, our graduates become state and federal judges, partners at major law firms, general counsel at corporations, attorneys general, international arbitrators, and public affairs consultants.

The CDO conducts a comprehensive on-campus interview program that includes law firms and government and public interest employers, and it participates in a number of national job fairs. It also maintains an extensive employment database and organizes regular informational programs and networking opportunities. Typically 15 to 20 percent of the members of each graduating class choose to begin their careers with a judicial clerkship at the state or federal level—double the national average.

New graduates are eligible for a four-month Bridge-to-Practice Fellowship, a law school-funded launchpad to career success for students interested in government and public interest law. These positions allow postgraduates to work while waiting for licensure and often result in a permanent position. Recipients of these fellowships have pursued internships with the International Criminal Tribunal (in The Hague, the Netherlands), the United States Congress, the Office of the Federal Public Defender, and more. Since the inception of this program, our graduates have had tremendous success in obtaining employment in their desired area of practice throughout the United States and abroad.

Learn more about career placement and bar passage at Richmond Law

Tuition and Aid

Expense Cost
Tuition
$51,510.00
Expected Cost of Attendance
$73,220.00

All Richmond Law applicants are considered for our generous merit scholarships, which are granted based upon applicants’ academic records, test scores, and leadership potential. For the 2021 entering class, 79 percent of students received scholarship funding ranging from 20 percent to 100 percent of tuition. The average award was $22,597. Scholarships are renewed annually provided a student is enrolled, in good standing, and making satisfactory progress toward their degree.

By filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), students may apply for loans and work-study employment. Additionally, Federal Direct Loans are available to all students without consideration of parental income even if one is currently a dependent. Richmond Law participates in the Yellow Ribbon Program and offers a deferred payment plan.

Summer Fellowship Program

While Richmond Law recognizes that there are many opportunities for paid legal employment, we also realize that sometimes the placement that is of most interest to the student may be an unpaid position with a government or nonprofit employer. We created the Summer Fellowship Program so that our students can afford to take these positions, and we guarantee a summer stipend of $4,000 to all students who obtain qualifying law-related employment anywhere in the world.

Learn more about tuition & aid at Richmond Law

Admission Decisions: Beyond the Numbers

Applications are reviewed as they become complete. In considering a candidate, the admission committee undertakes a holistic review of the entire application, placing weight on LSAT score, GPA, narrative statement, work history, community service, extracurricular activities, letters of recommendation, and character and fitness to practice law. The law school provides an equal educational opportunity without regard to race, color, national origin, sex, disability, or religion.

Learn more about admission at Richmond Law

Admitted Applicant Profile

25-75% UGPA Range at Richmond:

3.21 to 3.74

2.00
2.58
3.16
3.74
4.33

25-75% LSAT Score Range at Richmond:

155 to 162

120
135
150
165
180

25-75% UGPA Range at Richmond:

3.21 to 3.74

2.00
2.58
3.16
3.74
4.33

25-75% LSAT Score Range at Richmond:

155 to 162

120
135
150
165
180

25-75% UGPA Range at Richmond:

3.21 to 3.74

2.00
2.58
3.16
3.74
4.33

25-75% LSAT Score Range at Richmond:

155 to 162

120
135
150
165
180

Contact Information

28 Westhampton Way,
University of Richmond School of Law, VA 23173,
United States