Students may take relevant courses in other programs and apply credit toward the J.D.; a maximum of 9 credits may be applied. The following joint degrees may be earned: J.D./M.B.A. (Juris Doctor/Master of Business Administration), J.D./M.H.A. (Juris Doctor/Master of Health Administration with Medical College of Virginia), J.D./M.P.A. (Juris Doctor/Master of Public Administration with Virginia Commonwealth), J.D./M.S.W. (Juris Doctor/Master of Social Work with Virginia Commonwealth), and J.D./M.U.R.P. (Juris Doctor/Master of Urban and Regional Planning with Virginia Commonwealth).
The School of Law offers concentrations in corporate law, criminal law, entertainment law, environmental law, family law, intellectual property law, international law, juvenile law, labor law, litigation, maritime law, securities law, sports law, tax law, torts and insurance, Intellectual Property Certification, Environmental Law Certification, and Family Law Certification. In addition, third-year students may participate in either the outplacement clinic or the school’s in-house Children’s Law Center, with Youth Advocacy and Mental Disabilities clinics. The outplacement clinic allows students to work in various legal offices in the community and is complemented by a classroom component. The clinical programs, supervised by a staff attorney, allow students to represent clients in business, civil, criminal, and judicial matters. Students may also participate in the D.C. Summer Environmental Internship Program in Washington, D.C. Credit varies for these programs. Special lecture series include the Allen Chair Lecture, Emroch Lecture, Austin Owen Lecture, and Legal Forum. There is a study-abroad option. Students may study international law for 5 weeks at Emmanuel College in Cambridge, England, or for a semester at any one of 9 foreign universities with which the law school has an exchange program. There is an academic support program for all students.
To earn the J.D., candidates must complete 86 total credits, of which 38 are for required courses. The following first-year courses are required of all students: Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law, Contracts, Criminal Law, Environmental Law, Lawyering Skills I and II, Property, and Torts. Required upper-level courses consist of Professional Responsibility, upper-level Lawyering Skills III and IV, and upper-level writing requirements. The required orientation program for first-year students lasts 3 days and includes network and computer training and an introduction to lawyering skills as well as the law school administration, faculty, staff, student organizations, and law student advisers.
In order 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, 1886 applied, 655 were accepted, and 158 enrolled. Thirty-six transfers enrolled. The median LSAT percentile of the most recent first-year class was 81; the median GPA was 3.45 on a scale of 4.0. The lowest LSAT percentile accepted was 45; the highest was 99.
Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree and take the LSAT. The most important admission factors include academic achievement, LSAT results, and general background. No specific undergraduate courses are required. Candidates are not interviewed.
The application deadline for fall entry is February 15. Applicants should submit an application form, LSAT results, transcripts, a personal statement, a nonrefundable application fee of $35, and 2 letters of recommendation. Notification of the admissions decision is by May 1. The latest acceptable LSAT test date for fall entry is February. The law school uses the LSDAS.
About 95% of current law students receive some form of aid. The average annual amount of aid from all sources combined, including scholarships, loans, and work contracts, is $34,240; maximum, $44,280. Awards are based on need and merit. All admitted students must file the FAFSA by February 15. Required financial statement is the FAFSA. The aid application deadline for fall entry is March 1. Special funds for minority or disadvantaged students consist of scholarships. First-year students are notified about their financial aid application by April 10.
About 49% of the student body are women; 14%, minorities; 8%, African American; 5%, Asian American; 1%, Hispanic; and 1%, Native American. The majority of students come from Virginia (45%). The average age of entering students is 24; age range is 20 to 50. About 46% of students enter directly from undergraduate school, 10% have a graduate degree, and 54% have worked full-time prior to entering law school. Fewer than 1% drop out after the first year for academic or personal reasons; 99% remain to receive a law degree.
Students edit the University of Richmond Law Review, Journal of Law Technology (which is completely on-line), Perspectives on Law and the Public Interest, Journal of International Law and Business, and the newspaper Juris Publici. Moot court teams attend the Appellate Advocacy Moot Court Competition in the fall and the Motions and Interscholastic Motions Competition in the spring as well as the Judge John R. Brown Admiralty Moot Court Competition. There are intramural competitions in both client counseling and negotiations. The winning teams enter respective ABA competitions. Annually, the National Environmental Negotiation Competition is entered. The school has hosted the ABA regional competition. Law student organizations include the Student Bar Association, Client Counseling and Negotiation Board, American Constitution Society, and Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies. There are local chapters of ABA-Student Division, the Black Law Students Association, and Phi Alpha Delta. Additionally, there are intramural sports, including soccer and softball.
The law school operates on a traditional semester basis. Courses for full- and part-time students are offered days only and must be completed within 5 years. New full- and part-time students are admitted in the fall and summer. There is a 3- and 8-week summer session. Transferable summer courses are offered.