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131 21st Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37203
p. 615-322-6452
f. 615-322-1531
w. <IT>law.vanderbilt.edu<RO>

Law School

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In addition to the J.D., the law school offers the LL.M. and Ph.D. in Law and Economics. Students may take relevant courses in other programs and apply credit toward the J.D.; a maximum of 6 credits may be applied. The following joint degrees may be earned: J.D./D.I.V. (Juris Doctor/Master of Divinity), J.D./M.A. (Juris Doctor/Master of Arts), J.D./M.B.A. (Juris Doctor/Master of Business Administration), J.D./M.D. (Juris Doctor/Doctor of Medicine), J.D./M.P.P (Juris Doctor/Master of Public Policy), J.D./M.T.S. (Juris Doctor/Master of Theological Studies), J.D./Ph.D. (Juris Doctor/Doctor of Philosophy), and LL.M./M.A. (Master of Laws/Master of Arts in Latin American studies).

The law school offers concentrations in corporate law, criminal law, entertainment law, environmental law, family law, intellectual property law, international law, juvenile law, labor law, litigation, media law, securities law, sports law, tax law, torts and insurance, and law and social behavior. In addition, clinic offerings include business law, child and family law, civil practice, community and economic development, criminal practice, domestic violence, intellectual property and the arts, international law practice, and juvenile practice. Students may also pursue externships that provide valuable experience while gaining academic credit. In 2007-2008, 18 seminars were offered to second- and third-year students. Research programs consist of faculty research assistantships. Students can gain valuable professional experience in nonprofits, government agencies, and other organizations around the world supported by various stipend opportunities, including the Legal Aid Society and Public Interest Stipend Fund. An array of speakers, academic conferences, and symposia are held each year, including student-initiated events funded by the Hyatt Student Activities Fund. Students may participate in summer study-abroad programs sponsored by ABA-accredited law schools. Vanderbilt offers a “Summer in Venice” study-abroad program. Special writing assistance is available for first-year students who need tutoring. Special interest groups include Black, Asian, Spanish American, and Latin American law student associations.

To earn the J.D., candidates must complete 88 total credits, of which 37 are for required courses. They must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0 in the required courses. The following first-year courses are required of all students: Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law, Contracts, Criminal Law, Legal Writing, Property, Regulatory State, and Torts. Required upper-level courses consist of Professional Responsibility. The required orientation program for first-year students consists of a comprehensive 5-day orientation including a 1-credit course surveying the U.S. legal system and legal education.

To graduate, candidates must have a GPA of 2.0 and have completed the upper-division writing requirement.


In the fall 2007 first-year class, 3985 applied, 997 were accepted, and 193 enrolled. Forty-two transfers enrolled. The median LSAT percentile of the most recent first-year class was 95; the median GPA was 3.74 on a scale of 4.0.

Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree and take the LSAT. No specific undergraduate courses are required. Candidates are interviewed.

The application deadline for fall entry is March 15. Applicants should submit an application form, LSAT results, transcripts, a personal statement, a nonrefundable application fee of $50, and 2 letters of recommendation. Notification of the admissions decision is on a rolling basis. The latest acceptable LSAT test date for fall entry is February. The law school uses the LSDAS.

Financial Aid

About 85% of current law students receive some form of aid. The maximum annual amount of aid from all sources combined, including scholarships, loans, and work contracts, is $60,118. Awards are based on need and merit. Required financial statements are the FAFSA and Need Access. The aid application deadline for fall entry is February 15.


About 46% of the student body are women; 18%, minorities; 8%, African American; 5%, Asian American; 3%, Hispanic; 1%, Native American; and 2%, foreign nationals. The majority of students come from the South (46%). The average age of entering students is 23. About 49% of students enter directly from undergraduate school, 7% have a graduate degree, and 51% have worked full-time prior to entering law school. About 1% drop out after the first year for academic or personal reasons; 96% remain to receive a law degree.

Students edit the Vanderbilt Law Review, Journal of Transnational Law, the Vanderbilt Journal of Entertainment and Technology Law, the Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, and the newspaper VLSVENT. Organizations that participate in moot court competitions are the National Moot Court Team, the Jessup International Moot Court Team, and the Traveling Moot Court Team. Law student organizations include the Vanderbilt Bar Association, Environmental Law Society, and Isocratic Society. There are local chapters of ABA-Law Student Division and Phi Alpha Delta.

The law school operates on a traditional semester basis. Courses for full-time students are offered days only and must be completed within 3 years. There is no part-time program. New students are admitted in the fall. There is no summer session. Transferable summer courses are not offered.

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