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University of Virginia School of Law

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University of Virginia School of Law
University of Virginia Law Logo
Parent schoolUniversity of Virginia
Established1819; 205 years ago (1819)
School typePublic law school
Endowment$831 million (2023)[1]
Parent endowment$13.6 billion (2023)[2]
DeanRisa Goluboff
LocationCharlottesville, Virginia, United States
USNWR ranking4th (tie) (2024)[3]
ABA profileABA Profile

The University of Virginia School of Law (Virginia Law) is the law school of the University of Virginia, a public research university in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819 as part of his UNESCO World Heritage "academical village", each class in the three-year J.D. programme contains approximately 300 students. The school also offers LL.M., and S.J.D. degrees in law and hosts visiting scholars, visiting researchers and a number of legal research centers.

Notable distinguished alumni include members of the U.S. Supreme Court, several of the Kennedy brothers, including Robert F. Kennedy, numerous members of both houses of U.S. Congress, and judges on federal courts throughout the United States. The school has over 20,000 alumni in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and 64 foreign countries.[4]



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

For the class entering in the fall of 2023, 305 out of 5,610 J.D. applicants matriculated. The 25th and 75th LSAT percentiles for the 2023 entering class were 167 and 172, respectively, with a median of 171. The 25th and 75th undergraduate GPA percentiles were 3.72 and 3.99, respectively, with a median of 3.94.[5] The Class of 2026 consists of students from 40 states and the District of Columbia and from 144 undergraduate institutions. The age range was 20 to 34, with the average age of 24. 53.1% of the class was female, 46.6% male, and 36.1% identified themselves as people of color. 74% of the class had postgraduate experience.[5]

The LL.M. Program admits around 40-50 students each year.[6] It provides an American legal education to lawyers who have obtained their first law degree in their home countries; LL.M. candidates take classes alongside J.D. students, allowing participants to fully engage in the community and plan their own coursework [7] The S.J.D. Program has about 8 candidates, and it is intended primarily for aspiring legal academics.[8][9]

Cost of attendance[edit]

The total cost of attendance (indicating the cost of tuition, fees, and living expenses) for first-year law students at UVA Law for the 2024–2025 academic year is $105,334 for Virginia residents and $108,348 for nonresidents.[10] Law School Transparency has estimated that the debt-financed cost of attendance for three years, based on data from the 2019–2020 academic year, is $304,672 for residents; the estimated cost for non-residents is $314,961.[11]


UVA Law receives no funding from the state; instead, the school depends upon the generosity of private donors (bolstered by its over 50% alumni giving rate), its substantial endowment (US $ 555 million[12]), the 5th largest among all law schools, and student tuition payments. In 1995–1997, UVA Law 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 Arthur J. Morris Law Library holds more than 820,000 volumes, including substantial collections of federal, state, and international documents, manuscripts, archives, and online research databases.[13]

Student organizations[edit]

UVA Law 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, UVA Law's student-run weekly newspaper, has been published since 1948. The paper has been cited in several court cases, including in the dissenting opinion of Justice Powell in the U.S. Supreme Court case Patterson v. New York.[14] 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.[15]

Each spring, over one hundred students write, direct and perform in The Libel Show, a comedy and musical theater 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.

The school hosts an annual softball tournament to raise money for ReadyKids, an organization that provides care and counseling for at-risk families in Central Virginia, and the Public Interest Law Association, which provides public service internships for law students. 51 different law schools send teams to compete in men's and co-rec brackets. In 2017, $25,000 was raised.[16]

Law journals[edit]

UVA Law hosts 10 academic journals, including the Virginia Law Review, one of the most cited law journals in the country.[17]


UVA Law's curricular programs include the programs in Law & Business and Law and Public Service, as well as programs in international law, legal and constitutional history, criminal law, human rights, race and law, environmental and land use law, immigration law, intellectual property, public policy and regulation, health law, law and humanities, and animal law. UVA Law also has programs that help students build skills, such as the legal writing program, courses in professional ethics, trial advocacy and public speaking, and other practical-skills courses. The Princeton Review ranked UVA Law as first in "Best Quality of Life" and "Best Professors" among the nation's law schools, second in "Best Classroom Experience", fifth in "Toughest to Get Into", and sixth in "Career Prospects".[18] The 2016 QS World University Rankings for law schools ranks UVA Law in the range of 51–100 worldwide and as the 13th-best law school in U.S.[19]


Among the more than 250 courses and seminars offered each year, UVA Law has 23 clinics:[20]

  • Appellate Litigation
  • Civil Rights
  • Community Solutions
  • Criminal Defense
  • Decarceration and Community Reentry
  • Economic and Consumer Justice
  • Employment Law
  • Entrepreneurial Law
  • Environmental Law and Community Engagement
  • Federal Criminal Sentence Reduction
  • First Amendment Law
  • Health and Disability Law
  • Holistic Juvenile Defense
  • Immigration Law
  • Innocence Project
  • International Human Rights
  • Litigation and Housing Law
  • Nonprofit
  • Patent and Licensing
  • Project for Informed Reform
  • Prosecution
  • State and Local Government Policy
  • Supreme Court Litigation
  • Youth Advocacy

Study abroad[edit]

Students may participate in eight international exchange programs. In addition, UVA Law 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.[21]

Institutes and centers[edit]

UVA Law includes several internationally known special programs and centers directed by faculty members.[22]

  • The John W. Glynn, Jr. Law & Business Program
  • Program in Law and Public Service
  • Center for International & Comparative Law
  • Program on Constitutional Law and Legal History
  • Center for Criminal Justice
  • Karsh Center for Law and Democracy
  • Virginia Center for Tax Law
  • PLACE: Program in Law, Communities and the Environment
  • National Security Law Center
  • LawTech Center
  • Center for the Study of Race and Law
  • Health Law
  • Human Rights Program
  • Center for Public Law and Political Economy
  • First Amendment Center
  • Family Law Center
  • Center for Law & Philosophy
  • Intellectual Property
  • Immigration Law
  • Public Policy and Regulation
  • Institute of Law, Psychiatry and Public Policy
  • John M. Olin Program in Law and Economics
  • Animal Law Program


In 2020, UVA Law was ranked No. 1 in Best Classroom Experience, Best Professors, and Best Quality of Life according to The Princeton Review. In 2024, U.S. News & World Report ranked UVA Law as fourth in the nation. In the 2019 Above the Law rankings, which focuses on employment outcomes, UVA Law ranked first in the nation.[23] A study published in 2011 in the Journal of Legal Education ranked UVA Law fourth in the number of partners in the National Law Journal's top 100 firms.[24]

Post-graduate employment[edit]

According to UVA Law's official ABA-required disclosures, 95.4% of the Class of 2022 obtained non-school funded full-time, long-term, JD-required employment ten months after graduation.[25] A 2019 analysis conducted by Law.com placed Virginia in second for employment outcomes, behind Columbia, with 92.64% of graduates obtaining employment within ten months.[26]

Law firms[edit]

UVA Law is fourth in the number of partners in the National Law Journal's top 100 firms,[27] and a survey by the NLJ found that UVA Law ranked third in the number of associates promoted to partner among the NLJ's top 250 firms in 2015.[28] Additionally, UVA Law is second only to Harvard in the number of alumni serving as chief legal counsel at Fortune 500 companies.[29] Alumni from UVA Law are also employed at 100 of the American Lawyer top 100 law firms (as of May 2016).[29] 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.[30]


From 2005 to 2018, UVA Law had the fourth-highest placement of law clerks on the United States Supreme Court, surpassed only by Yale, Harvard and Stanford.[29] In 2016 UVA Law alumni set a school record for obtaining the most appellate court clerkships in a term.[31]

Notable alumni[edit]


UVA Law maintains a list of prominent alumni and has graduated many influential figures in government, business, the judiciary, academia, journalism, and the law, including Woodrow Wilson, Robert F. Kennedy, Ted Kennedy, Lowell Weicker, John Warner, David K.E. Bruce, Louis Auchincloss, DeMaurice Smith, Robert Mueller, Janet Napolitano and others. The school's alumni giving rate of more than 50 percent for the past 11 years is among the highest of the nation's law schools.[4]

Notable faculty and staff[edit]



Many of UVA Law's faculty are prominent scholars and academics, including Anne Coughlin, professor of criminal law, John F. Duffy, who teaches intellectual property, and law school dean Risa L. Goluboff, who is also a professor of legal history and constitutional law.

Current faculty:

Former faculty[edit]


  1. ^ "Overview". University of Virginia School of Law. University of Virginia. February 5, 2024. Retrieved February 5, 2024.
  2. ^ As of June 30, 2023. Annual Report 2023 (Report). UVIMCO. 2023. Retrieved February 5, 2024.
  3. ^ "University of Virginia School of Law". Best Law Schools. U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved April 10, 2024.
  4. ^ a b "Fast Facts About Alumni and Giving". virginia.edu. 19 April 2017. Archived from the original on 18 April 2021. Retrieved 29 August 2021.
  5. ^ a b "Class of 2026 Profile". virginia.edu. 23 Aug 2023. Retrieved 11 March 2024.
  6. ^ "LL.M. Application Instructions". virginia.edu. 3 January 2017. Retrieved 19 Aug 2020.
  7. ^ "Graduate Studies". virginia.edu. Retrieved 19 Aug 2020.
  8. ^ "The Doctor of Juridical Science (S.J.D.) Program". virginia.edu. 28 February 2017. Retrieved 19 Aug 2020.
  9. ^ "Law School Prepares for Return of Students". virginia.edu. 14 Aug 2020. Retrieved 19 Aug 2020.
  10. ^ "Annual Cost of Attendance Budget". 11 March 2024.
  11. ^ "University of Virginia Profile". 1 October 2020.
  12. ^ "Facts & Statistics". Archived from the original on 2016-11-30. Retrieved 2016-11-29.
  13. ^ "Overview". virginia.edu. 19 April 2017. Archived from the original on 2 June 2017. Retrieved 1 May 2018.
  14. ^ "FindLaw's United States Supreme Court case and opinions". Archived from the original on 2001-07-25. Retrieved 2005-11-07.
  15. ^ "Virginia Law Weekly Wins ABA Best Newspaper Award for Second Year in a Row". virginia.edu. 30 August 2007. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 1 May 2018.
  16. ^ reports, The Daily Progress staff. "UVa Law softball tournament raises $25K for charity". The Daily Progress. Retrieved 2017-04-28.
  17. ^ "Law Journals: Submissions and Ranking". wlu.edu. Archived from the original on 21 November 2011. Retrieved 1 May 2018.
  18. ^ "University of Virginia – School of Law – The Princeton Review Law School Rankings & Reviews". www.princetonreview.com. Archived from the original on 29 August 2017. Retrieved 30 September 2018.
  19. ^ "Top Law Schools in 2016". QS World University Rankings. Archived from the original on 27 August 2016. Retrieved 25 August 2016.
  20. ^ "Clinical Training – University of Virginia School of Law". University of Virginia School of Law. Archived from the original on 2021-10-11. Retrieved 2021-10-16.
  21. ^ "Law Studies Abroad – University of Virginia School of Law". University of Virginia School of Law. Archived from the original on 2015-03-12. Retrieved 2015-06-07.
  22. ^ "Programs and Centers – University of Virginia School of Law". University of Virginia School of Law. Retrieved 2020-09-29.
  23. ^ Mystal, Elie (20 June 2019). "The 2019 Law School Rankings Are Finally Here". Above the Law. Retrieved 2019-06-21.
  24. ^ Seto, Theodore P. (2 August 2011). "Where Do Partners Come from?". SSRN 1903934.
  25. ^ "ABA Employment Data for UVA Law 2022 Graduates" (PDF).
  26. ^ May 08, Karen Sloan |; PM, 2019 at 01:26. "Law Grads Hiring Report: Job Stats for the Class of 2018". Law.com. Retrieved 2019-05-26.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  27. ^ "Overview". virginia.edu. 19 April 2017. Retrieved 1 May 2018.
  28. ^ "Chart: The Go-To Law Schools' Associates to Partner – National Law Journal". nationallawjournal.com. Archived from the original on 30 November 2016. Retrieved 1 May 2018.
  29. ^ a b c "News About Supreme Court Clerks". virginia.edu. 11 November 2016. Retrieved 1 October 2018.
  30. ^ "American BigLaw Lawyers and the Schools that Produce Them: A Profile and Rankings" (PDF). stanford.edu. Archived from the original (PDF) on 9 August 2017. Retrieved 1 May 2018.
  31. ^ "Record Number of UVA Law Alumni Clerk for U.S. Appeals Courts". virginia.edu. 14 October 2016. Archived from the original on 30 November 2016. Retrieved 1 May 2018.

External links[edit]