University of Virginia School of Law

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University of Virginia School of Law
University of Virginia Law Logo
Parent school University of Virginia
Established 1819
School type Public
Endowment US $ 425 million[1]
Parent endowment US $ 5.59 billion[2]
Dean Paul Mahoney
Location Charlottesville, Virginia, USA
Enrollment 1,078
Faculty 203
USNWR ranking 8
Bar pass rate 89.41%
Website law.virginia.edu
ABA profile officialguide.lsac.org

The University of Virginia School of Law (Virginia Law or UVA Law) was founded in Charlottesville in 1819 by Thomas Jefferson as one of the original subjects taught at his "academical village," the University of Virginia. Virginia Law is the fourth-oldest active law school in the United States (second oldest in the state after W&M). The law school offers the J.D., LL.M., and S.J.D. degrees in law and hosts visiting scholars, visiting researchers and a number of legal research centers.

Virginia Law is perennially regarded as one of the 10 most prestigious law schools in the United States. U.S. News & World Report currently ranks Virginia Law 8th in the nation,[3] and in 2011 ranked Virginia Law as 6th among major law firm recruiters.[4] In the 2010 Super Lawyers Law School Rankings, Virginia Law ranks 4th in the nation.[5]

According to Virginia Law's ABA-required disclosures, 96% of the Class of 2013 obtained full-time, long-term, JD-required jobs nine months after graduation; however, 16.2% of those were in positions funded by the law school itself.[6] A survey by the National Law Journal ranked Virginia Law fifth in the number of graduates hired by NLJ's top 250 firms in 2009.[7] Virginia Law also places high in clerkships, ranking behind only Harvard Law School and Yale Law School.[8]

The Princeton Review ranked Virginia Law as 1st in "Best Quality of Life" among the nation's law schools, along with 2nd in "Best Classroom Experience," 4th in "Best Professors," 5th in "Hardest to Get Into," and 7th in "Best Career Prospects"[9]

The Law School has 18,442 alumni in all 50 states, 63 foreign countries and several U.S. protectorates, and the Law School's alumni giving rate of more than 50 percent for the past seven years is among the highest of the nation's law schools.[10] Virginia Law recently completed an eight-year capital campaign, raising $173.9 million to enhance the student experience.[10]

Admissions[edit]

The University of Virginia School of Law.
The University of Virginia School of Law.
Clay Hall and Caplin Pavilion
Clay Hall and Caplin Pavilion

Virginia Law is among the most selective law schools in the nation. For the class entering in the fall of 2014, 307 out of 5,246 J.D. applicants matriculated. The 25th and 75th LSAT percentiles for the 2014 entering class were 166 and 170, respectively, with a median of 169. The 25th and 75th undergraduate GPA percentiles were 3.57 and 3.93, respectively, with a median of 3.85.[11]

The Class of 2015 come from 43 states, the District of Columbia, three foreign countries, and 150 undergraduate institutions. The average age was 24 (with a range from 20 to 44). 55% of the class was male, 45% female, and 21% identified themselves as minority students. 66% of the class had work experience after college and 7% had graduate degrees.[12]

Cost of attendance[edit]

The total cost of attendance (indicating the cost of tuition, fees, and living expenses) at Virginia Law for the 2014-2015 academic year is $74,087 for Virginia residents and $77,197 for non-residents.[13] The Law School Transparency estimated debt-financed cost of attendance for three years, based on data from the 2013-2014 academic year, is $269,342 for residents; the estimated cost for non-residents is $287,233.[14]

Campus[edit]

Spies Garden
Spies Garden

Virginia Law receives virtually no funding from public coffers except for in-state student tuition subsidies.[15] The Law School instead depends upon the generosity of private donors, its substantial endowment (US $ 380 million[16]) and student tuition payments. In 1995-1997, the Law School used entirely donated funds to renovate and expand its buildings on the University's North Grounds to include the former facilities of the Darden Graduate School of Business Administration which built a new campus several hundred yards away. The Law School has an operating budget of US $ 61.3 million.[17]

The Arthur J. Morris Law Library holds more than 870,000 volumes, including substantial collections of federal, state, and international documents, manuscripts, archives, and online research databases.[18]

Student organizations[edit]

UVA Law Library.
UVA Law Library

The Law School maintains an extensive roster of student organizations, including chapters of the Federalist Society, the American Constitution Society and the St. Thomas More Society.

The Virginia Law Weekly, the Law School's student-run weekly newspaper, has been published since 1948. The paper has been cited in several court cases including the U.S. Supreme Court case Patterson v. New York. In addition to its news content, the VLW also contains student-submitted content which often includes humorous and creative pieces. The Law Weekly has won the American Bar Association's previous three "Best Newspaper Awards," in 2006, 2007, and 2008.[19]

Each spring over a hundred students write, direct and perform in The Libel Show, a comedy and musical theatre production that was first organized in 1904. Its performers roast Law School professors, student stereotypes and life in Charlottesville throughout each of its three nightly showings. Professors write and sing their response to the students' jokes at the penultimate performance.

Law journals[edit]

The Law School is host to 10 academic journals, including the Virginia Law Review, one of the most cited law journals in the country:[20]

Academics[edit]

The Law School's curricular programs include the programs in Law & Business [1] and Law and Public Service [2], as well as programs in international law [3], legal and constitutional history [4], criminal law [5], human rights [6], race and law [7], environmental and land use law [8], immigration law [9], intellectual property [10], public policy and regulation [11], health law [12], law and humanities [13], and animal law [14].

The Law School also has programs that help students build skills, such as the legal writing program [15], courses in professional ethics [16], trial advocacy and public speaking [17], and other practical-skills courses [18].

Clinics[edit]

Supreme Court Clinic
Supreme Court Clinic

Among the more than 250 courses and seminars offered each year by the Law School, Virginia has 20 clinics:

  • Advocacy for the Elderly [19]
  • Appellate Litigation [20]
  • Capital Post-Conviction [21]
  • Child Advocacy [22]
  • Criminal Defense [23]
  • Employment Law [24]
  • Environmental Law and Conservation [25]
  • Family Mediation [26]
  • First Amendment Law [27]
  • Immigration Law [28]
  • Innocence Project [29]
  • International Human Rights [30]
  • Litigation and Housing Law [31]
  • Mental Health Law [32]
  • Nonprofit Clinic [33]
  • Patent and Licensing I [34]
  • Patent and Licensing II [35]
  • Prosecution [36]
  • Supreme Court Litigation [37]
  • Transactional Law [38]

Study abroad[edit]

Students may participate in eight international exchange programs:

  • Bucerius Law School in Hamburg, Germany
  • Instituto de Empresa in Madrid, Spain
  • Melbourne Law School in Australia
  • Seoul National University in South Korea
  • University of Auckland in New Zealand
  • University of Sydney in Australia
  • Tel Aviv University Law School in Israel
  • Waseda University in Tokyo

In addition, the Law School offers rising third-year students the opportunity to obtain a dual degree from Sciences Po in Paris. Students who successfully complete this program earn a French law diploma (entitling them to sit for the French bar exam) and a J.D. degree from Virginia.

Students also may spend one semester abroad through the student-initiated study abroad program or as an external studies project. Each year one-credit courses are offered in Paris and Tel Aviv through the January Term. [39]

Institutes and centers[edit]

The Law School includes several internationally known special programs directed by faculty members who are respected in their fields and often called upon by private and governmental organizations worldwide for their expertise.

  • Institute of Law, Psychiatry and Public Policy [40]
  • John M. Olin Program in Law and Economics [41]
  • Center for National Security Law [42]
  • Center for Oceans Law and Policy [43]
  • Center for Children, Families, and the Law [44]
  • Center for the Study of Race and Law [45]

Post-graduate employment[edit]

According to Virginia Law's official 2013 ABA-required disclosures, 96% of the Class of 2013 obtained full-time, long-term, JD-required employment nine months after graduation.[21] UVA's Law School Transparency under-employment score is 2.5%, 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.[22]

Law firms[edit]

Virginia Law is fourth in the number of partners in the National Law Journal's top 100 firms,[23] and a survey by the NLJ found that the law school ranked fifth in the number of graduates hired by NLJ's top 250 firms in 2009.[7] Additionally, Virginia Law is second only to Harvard in the number of alumni serving as chief legal counsel at Fortune 500 companies.[24] Alumni from Virginia Law are also at 99 of the American Lawyer top 100 law firms (as of May 2014).[24] Virginia ranked second in the number of associates promoted to partner among the National Law Journal's top 250 firms in 2011,[25] and in a 2010 study by Stanford Graduate School of Business professors, Virginia ranked fifth in the number of lawyers at the top 300 U.S. law firms.[26]

Clerkships[edit]

From 2000 to 2010, Virginia Law had the fifth-highest placement of law clerks on the United States Supreme Court (tied with Columbia), surpassed only by Yale, Harvard Law School, University of Chicago and Stanford. Virginia is fourth in placing clerks on the U.S. Supreme Court from 2005 to 2012. Five alumni from the Classes of 2010-12 have clerked or are currently clerking for the U.S. Supreme Court.[24]

Notable alumni[edit]

Virginia Law maintains a list of prominent alumni. [46]

Politics[edit]

Law[edit]

Media[edit]

Business[edit]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]