University of Richmond School of Law

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Coordinates: 37°34′38″N 77°32′19.2″W / 37.57722°N 77.538667°W / 37.57722; -77.538667

University of Richmond School of Law
Established 1870
Type Private
Dean Wendy C. Perdue (since July 2011)
Academic staff
37 full-time, 60 adjunct[1]
Students ~500[1]
Location Richmond, Virginia, USA
Campus Suburban

The University of Richmond School of Law (T.C. Williams School of Law), a school of the University of Richmond, is located in Richmond, Virginia. Richmond Law is considered "highly selective" by US News & World Report,[2] top tier by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers,[3] among the top ten Law Schools of the South by Above the Law,[4] and one of the Princeton Review's Best Law Schools of 2013.[5]

The University of Richmond School of Law is fully accredited by the recognized standardizing agencies in the United States; a member of the Association of American Law Schools; on the approved lists of the American Bar Association and the Virginia State Board of Bar Examiners; and, its Juris Doctor degree is fully accredited by the Regents of the University of the State of New York.[6] According to the law school's official ABA-required disclosures, 58% of the Class of 2013 obtained full-time, long-term, JD-required employment nine months after graduation.[7]

The University of Richmond campus can be found on 350 acres (1.4 km2) located about six miles (10 km) west of the center of the city of Richmond, Virginia.

Past and Present[edit]

View of Richmond law

The school was founded in 1870 as a college within the University of Richmond. In 1890, the family of the late T.C. Williams, a university trustee, donated $25,000 as the nucleus of an endowment for the law school. In recognition of this gift, the school was named The T.C. Williams School of Law in 1920. In recent years, the school has adopted the name "University of Richmond School of Law" in order to promote a unified identity for the university.

In 1914, Richmond College (as the university was then known), including its law department, moved from its location downtown to the present campus. Returning servicemen from World War I created space problems for the college and the law department had to be relocated to the old Columbia Building at Grace and Lombardy streets. In 1920, the law department was reorganized as a separate School of Law within what was now the University of Richmond.[8]

The current Law School building, constructed in the Collegiate Gothic architectural style, was originally opened in 1954, and it was enlarged in 1972 and 1981. In 1991, the building was significantly expanded, renovated, and refurbished. The Law School building now provides modern and technologically equipped classrooms, seminar rooms, a law library, a moot courtroom, faculty and administrative offices, faculty and student lounges, and offices for most student organizations.

The Richmond School of Law was ranked 51st in the most recent ranking of law schools by U.S. News and World Report.[9] According to US News, the school has 460 students with a student-to-faculty ratio of 11.4:1.

Cost of Attendance[edit]

The total cost of attendance (indicating the cost of tuition, fees, and living expenses) at Richmond Law for the 2014-2015 academic year is $55,440.[10] The Law School Transparency estimated debt-financed cost of attendance for three years, based on data from the 2013-2014 academic year, is $208,801.[11] In 2013, 55% of entering students received scholarships. The average scholarship award was $23,356.[12]


According to Richmond School of Law's official 2013 ABA-required disclosures, 58% of the Class of 2013 obtained full-time, long-term, JD-required employment nine months after graduation.[13] Richmond's Law School Transparency under-employment score is 19.7%, indicating the percentage of the Class of 2013 unemployed, pursuing an additional degree, or working in a non-professional, short-term, or part-time job nine months after graduation.[14]

City of Richmond[edit]

Downtown Richmond

Richmond, the capital of the Commonwealth of Virginia, is a city of more than 200,000, with a metro population of more than one million. The Virginia General Assembly holds its annual sessions downtown at a capitol designed by Thomas Jefferson. The Supreme Court of Virginia, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia and the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit also hold regular terms here. In addition, the State Corporation Commission, the Industrial Commission, and many federal administrative agencies hold hearings in the city. Washington, D.C., home to the United States Supreme Court, is only a two-hour drive from Richmond. The school's proximity to the capitals of both Virginia and the United States give students "unsurpassed opportunities for observation of the legal process". [15]


Richmond Law has recently launched several new initiatives focusing on expanding areas of the law such as intellectual property, wrongful convictions and family law. The school is making a strong push to become a center for intellectual property law, as evidenced by the recent founding of the Intellectual Property Institute (IPI) and the offering of a joint degree program with Virginia Tech that will enable students to earn both a Bachelor of Science degree and a law degree in as little as six years’ time. Through the IPI, Richmond law students are able to obtain a certificate of concentration in Intellectual Property Law.

The Institute for Actual Innocence, founded in 2005, works to identify and exonerate wrongfully convicted individuals in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The Institute is an academic program that partners students with local attorneys and community leaders to seek post-conviction relief for wrongfully convicted prisoners in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Furthermore, the school is working to establish the The National Center for Family Law, which will serve the best interests of families and children through academic and service programs dedicated to enhancement of the quality of the American legal system in relation to family law.

Notable faculty[edit]

  • Ronald J. Bacigal - Specializes in Criminal Law and Procedure. He also serves as Reporter of Criminal Decisions for the Court of Appeals of Virginia. [2]
  • Hon. Harry L. Carrico - Senior Justice, Supreme Court of Virginia; Visiting Professor of Law and Civic Engagement; Sixteenth Judicial Circuit Judge, 1956–1961
  • Hon. Donald W. Lemons - Supreme Court of Virginia, Justice, 2000-present; Court of Appeals of Virginia, Judge,1998-2000; Circuit Court for the City of Richmond, Judge, 1995-98; John Marshall Professor of Judicial Studies [3]
  • W. Clark Williams, Jr. - Associate Dean for Academic Affairs & Professor of Law; Executive Director, Virginia Association of Defense Attorneys; Reporter, Appellate Rules Advisory Committee, DeNovo Revision Advisory Comm., Supreme Court of Virginia
  • W. Hamilton Bryson - Virginia procedure and legal history. He is the Blackstone Professor of Law.
  • John G. Douglass - Dean of the Law School, 2008-2011; Criminal Law & Procedure; Evidence; He also serves as Director of the lawyering skills program;Assistant United States Attorney, Chief of Criminal Section; Office of Independent Counsel for the Iran/Contra Investigation, 1987-90, Associate Counsel.
  • W. Wade Berryhill - Professor Emeritus of Law - Environmental Law; Environmental Law & Policy; Land Use Planning; Ocean and Coastal Law; Real Estate Transactions; Real Property; Secured Creditors.
  • Carl Tobias - Torts and Constitutional Law. Professor Tobias is a prolific scholar and has been quoted by numerous newspapers across the country. He serves as the Williams Professor of Law.
  • Mary L. Heen - Taxation, Corporate and Federal Tax. Currently serves as general counsel to the American Association of University Professors.
  • Kelly H. Bartges - Director of the Delinquency Clinic, teaches Children and the Law.
  • John Paul Jones- Administrative Law, Admiralty Law, and Constitutional Law. Associate Editor of the Journal of Maritime Law and Commerce, creator of the Constitution Finder (a collection of the world’s constitutions), and member of the Virginia Code Commission's Administrative Law Advisory Committee. A former Naval Flight Officer, he is twice (1972, 1978) a graduate of TOPGUN,
  • Peter N. Swisher - Family, Insurance, and Tort Law, expert witness in insurance cases, Co-Author, Virginia Tort And Personal Injury Law, 1994 and 2002 University of Richmond Distinguished Educator Award
  • Henry L. Chambers - Professor Chambers has been a member of the American Law Institute since 2002. He also is an occasional reviewer for the Law and Society Review. During summers, he lectures on constitutional law principles in the We The People program, a civic education program administered by the Center for Civic Education. He also meets in a Constitutional Law board to decide how to teach the Constitution to yound people. he is also my father.
  • Timothy L. Coggins - Associate Dean for Library & Information Services and Professor of Law Articles Editor, North Carolina Central Law Journal
  • Jonathan K. Stubbs - Hon. James T. Giles, U.S. District Court, Eastern District, Pennsylvania Clerk, 1980-81; M.T.S., Harvard University (1990); LL.M., Harvard University (1979); J.D., Yale University (1978); B.A., Oxford University (1976); B.A., Haverford College (1974)
  • Paul M. Thompson - Office of the Attorney General, Commonwealth of Virginia Senior Assistant Attorney General, 2002–2004; United States Air Force Judge Advocate & Prosecutor, Kirtland A.F.B., Albuquerque, New Mexico, 1960; National Labor Relations Board, Washington, D.C.; Adjunct Professor of Law and Director of Special Projects

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ a b University of Richmond School of Law: Fast Facts
  2. ^
  3. ^ see: Find the Best's Law School Guide
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ Accreditation – University of Richmond
  7. ^ "Employment Summary for 2013 Graduates". 
  8. ^ University of Richmond School of Law: History
  9. ^ [1]
  10. ^ "Cost of Attendance". 
  11. ^ "University of Richmond Profile". 
  12. ^ "Scholarships and Financial Aid". 
  13. ^ "Employment Summary for 2013 Graduates". 
  14. ^ "University of Richmond Profile". 
  15. ^ University of Richmond School of Law: Mission, History, Accreditation, and Location
  16. ^ "Watkins Moorman Abbitt". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved 3 January 2013. 
  17. ^ "WARD LYNN ARMSTRONG'S BIOGRAPHY". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved January 1, 2013. 
  18. ^ "Leon M. (Leon Maurice) Bazile Papers, 1826–1967MSS1 B3483 a FA2". Virginia Historical Society. Retrieved January 1, 2013. 
  19. ^ "Alumni News". Richmond The Alumni Magazine. Retrieved January 1, 2013. 
  20. ^ "Attorney General Biography". Office of the Attorney General of Virginia. Retrieved February 6, 2014. 
  21. ^ "The Honorable Lawrence L. Koontz - University of Richmond School". University of Richmond. Retrieved January 1, 2013. 
  22. ^ "REPRESENTATIVE G. MANOLI LOUPASSI'S BIOGRAPHY". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved January 1, 2013. 
  23. ^ "Biographical Directory of Federal Judges: Merhige, Robert Reynold Jr.,". Federal judicial Center. Retrieved January 1, 2013. 
  24. ^ "Nathan H. Miller". Virginia House of Delegates. Retrieved January 1, 2013. 
  25. ^ "Faculty Resources - Faculty Recognition: The A. L. Philpott Adjunct Chair in Law". University of Richmond. Retrieved January 1, 2013. 
  26. ^ "PICKETT, Owen Bradford, (1930 - 2010)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved January 1, 2013. 
  27. ^ "ROBERTSON, Absalom Willis, (1887 - 1971)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved January 1, 2013. 
  28. ^ "Biographical Directory of Federal Judges: Stamp, Frederick Pfarr Jr.,". Federal judicial Center. Retrieved January 1, 2013. 
  29. ^ "Biographical Directory of Federal Judges: Schlesinger, Harvey Erwin,". Federal judicial Center. Retrieved January 1, 2013. 
  30. ^ "William K. Slate II". Duke Law. Retrieved January 1, 2013. 
  31. ^ "Scholarships Awarded by the School of Law". Richmond School of Law. Retrieved January 1, 2013. 

External links[edit]