University of Virginia School of Law

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

Official Guide to ABA-Approved JD Programs

Unparalleled Opportunities

Founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819, the University of Virginia School of Law is a world-renowned training ground for distinguished lawyers and public servants. Located in Charlottesville, Virginia, just two hours southwest of Washington, DC, the Law School offers students a unique environment in which to study law.

Considered one of the top law schools in the nation, Virginia has educated generations of lawyers, instilling in them a commitment to leadership, integrity, and community service. The Law School is justly famous for its collegial environment that bonds students and faculty, and student satisfaction is consistently cited as among the highest in American law schools. At Virginia, law students share their experiences in a cooperative spirit, both in and out of the classroom, and build a network that lasts well beyond their three years here.

Curriculum and Degrees

Virginia offers more than 250 courses and seminars each year, including an externship program and 20 clinics for hands-on training. Students pursuing interdisciplinary ideas benefit from an environment where nearly half of all law faculty hold advanced degrees (other than the JD) in fields such as psychology, economics, philosophy, history, medicine, and theology. Each first-year student takes one small-section class of 30 students during the first semester, which helps bond classmates from the start.

Virginia’s curriculum is enhanced by several academic programs, including those in international law, human rights, law and public service, criminal law, environmental law, legal and constitutional history, race and law, intellectual property, health law, and immigration law. The Program in Law and Business offers students courses that integrate business and legal analysis in the law school classroom. Foundational courses in accounting and finance allow students in the program to take more advanced instruction in real-life corporate law problems.

Students may enroll in several dual-degree programs:

  • JD/MBA—a four-year program in conjunction with the Darden School of Business
  • JD/MA—in English, government, foreign affairs, history, or philosophy
  • JD/MS—in accounting
  • JD/MUEP (urban and environmental planning)
  • JD/MPP (public policy)
  • JD/MPH (public health)

In addition, students may combine a law degree from Virginia with the MPA (public affairs) from Princeton, MALD (law and diplomacy) from the Fletcher School at Tufts, or the MA in international relations and international economics from Johns Hopkins.


The Law School is located in an expansive and attractive setting that fosters learning and personal growth. The library, with more than 870,000 volumes and volume equivalents, is one of the largest law libraries in the country. Virginia offers numerous study spaces, offices for student organizations and journals, and a large dining facility.


Each year, many highly qualified college graduates apply for the necessarily limited number of places in the first-year class. Our admission process aims to select from the applicant pool an entering class of students who will contribute to this academic community during their three years of residency and, ultimately, to society and the legal profession. To that end, we consider many factors. These include not only intellectual aptitude and academic achievement, but also individual accomplishments and experiences—such as dedication or a constructive response to adversity—that predict success, as well as geographic, racial, ethnic, economic, and ideological diversity.

Rigid standards based simply on a combination of an LSAT score and cumulative undergraduate grade-point average cannot be the only criteria for selecting an entering class. We assess each applicant as an individual. This assessment takes into account not only LSAT scores and undergraduate grades, but also the strength of an applicant’s undergraduate or graduate curriculum, trends in grades, the maturing effect of experiences since college, the nature and quality of any work experience, significant achievement in extracurricular activities in college, service in the military, contributions to campus or community through service and leadership, and personal qualities displayed. An applicant’s experiences surmounting economic, social, or educational difficulties with grace and courage, demonstrating the capacity to grow in response to challenge, and showing compassion for the welfare of others can play a role in the admission decision.

If the University of Virginia is your first choice for law school, you may apply under the Binding Expedited Decision option. Expedited Decision applicants commit to enrolling if admitted and must withdraw all applications to other law schools once notified of admission to Virginia. Expedited Decision applicants will receive a decision within 15 days of the date on which their applications become complete.

Some applicants may be invited to interview as part of the admission process. In addition, we urge all prospective students to visit the School of Law. When classes are in session, student-led tours are available and classes are open to visitors. On most Friday afternoons throughout the summer and during the school year, the school also holds admission information sessions and student life panels for prospective students. Check our website.

Financial Aid

The Law School helps students finance their legal education through a variety of resources, including scholarships, federally sponsored loan programs, and private-sector educational loans. While the primary responsibility for financing a legal education rests with students and their families, the Financial Aid Office works with students to identify sources of financial support and develop realistic budgets to meet their educational and professional goals.

Career Services

After law school, Virginia graduates join the nation’s leading law firms, clerk for federal and state courts, and serve in and even establish nationally recognized public interest organizations. Our alumni are leaders in their fields: Virginia has a high number of graduates who are law firm chairpersons and managing partners, and are well represented as chief legal officers at top US companies. Virginia Law is consistently among the top law schools in the number of graduates hired by leading law firms. As of May 2013, we had graduates in 99 of The American Lawyer top 100 firms. Graduates have been awarded Skadden, Equal Justice Works, and Independence Foundation Fellowships, which are among the nation’s most prestigious public service grants.

Public Service

Virginia upholds Thomas Jefferson’s conviction that lawyers have a special obligation to serve the public interest. We are committed to nurturing the civic virtues that support his ideal of public responsibility: integrity, civility, and service. The Law School offers hundreds of thousands of dollars in fellowships to students pursuing public service careers, and its loan forgiveness program removes the burden of debt repayment from students who choose lower-paying public service careers, making virtually any career a practical possibility.

The Virginia Loan Forgiveness Program helps repay the loans of graduates who earn less than $75,000 annually in public service positions.

The Mortimer Caplin Public Service Center provides individual counseling and sponsors events focused on educating students about working in the public sector.

The Pro Bono Project is a voluntary program encouraging all students to complete at least 75 hours of pro bono service during their three years of law school. Opportunities are available locally and nationwide. The center also organizes pro bono projects that focus on areas such as child advocacy, immigration law, and veterans’ disability claims.

Each year the Law School provides more than $450,000 to students working in public service over the summer. Virginia Law also offers numerous postgraduate public service fellowships, including Robert F. Kennedy Public Service Fellowships, which provide funding for up to one year to graduates working in public service positions.

Student Life

Ten academic journals and more than 70 student organizations—from social clubs to groups dedicated to the community’s legal needs—ensure that students explore the world outside law school and expand their legal experiences while leading well-rounded lives.

Charlottesville is a picturesque and thriving greater metropolitan area of more than 200,000. Area restaurants are featured in publications such as Gourmet magazine and The New York Times. Theater, opera, and music are community fixtures; each year the city hosts the nationally acclaimed Virginia Film Festival and gathers literary luminaries for the Virginia Festival of the Book. Students enjoy going to sporting events and concerts in one of the country’s finest college arenas.

Admitted Applicant Profile

25-75% UGPA Range at Virginia:

3.72 to 3.99

25-75% LSAT Score Range at Virginia:

167 to 172

25-75% UGPA Range at Virginia:

3.72 to 3.99

25-75% LSAT Score Range at Virginia:

167 to 172

25-75% UGPA Range at Virginia:

3.72 to 3.99

25-75% LSAT Score Range at Virginia:

167 to 172

Contact Information

Office of Admissions, 580 Massie Road,
Charlottesville, VA 22903-1738,
United States