We will begin receiving applications for the J.D. program on Sept. 1, 2012. Applying on or before March 1, 2013 guarantees that we will issue a decision no later than April 15, 2013. Applications will be accepted after March 1, 2013 and reviewed, but applicants are not guaranteed an admissions decision by April 15.
- Deadlines and Application Checklist | Binding Expedited Decision
- How Applications Are Reviewed
- Virginia Resident Educational Privileges
- Importance of Full Disclosure
- Tuition and Fees
- Financial Aid
- Information for International or Foreign-Educated Applicants
- Deferral and Reapplication to the School of Law
- Transfer Students
- Students with Disabilities
- Applying for Visiting Status
- Visiting Virginia
- Frequently Asked Questions
Each year, many highly qualified college graduates apply for the necessarily limited number of places in the first-year class. Our admissions process aims to select from the applicant pool an entering class of students who will contribute to this academic community during their three years of residency and, ultimately, to society and the legal profession. To that end, we consider many factors. These include not only intellectual aptitude and academic achievement, but also individual accomplishments and experiences — such as dedication or a constructive response to adversity — that predict success, as well as geographic, racial, ethnic, economic and ideological diversity.
Rigid standards based simply on a combination of an LSAT score and cumulative undergraduate grade-point average cannot be the only criteria for selecting an entering class. We assess each applicant as an individual. This assessment takes into account not only LSAT scores and undergraduate grades, but also the strength of an applicant's undergraduate or graduate curriculum, trends in grades, the maturing effect of experiences since college, the nature and quality of any work experience, significant achievement in extracurricular activities in college, service in the military, contributions to campus or community through service and leadership, and personal qualities displayed. An applicant's experiences surmounting economic, social or educational difficulties with grace and courage, demonstrating the capacity to grow in response to challenge and showing compassion for the welfare of others can play a role in the admissions decision.
Financial need is not a factor in the admissions decision. If you will be applying for any form of need-based scholarship or loan assistance, including Stafford Student Loans, you must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), designating the University of Virginia as a recipient of your needs analysis report. See www.law.virginia.edu/financialaid for more information.
Regular application deadline: Applicants should ensure that we have received a completed application by March 1.
A completed application includes the application; any attachments required as part of the application, including the personal statement and résumé; the Credential Assembly Service (CAS) law school report; two letters of recommendation; and the $80 application fee. Please note that it can take several days for an application submitted through the LSAC electronic application service to reach us. If you are applying as an in-state candidate, you also must submit the Application for In-State Educational Privileges with the application. This form is not transmitted electronically and must be sent to the Committee on Virginia Status. The Virginia Status Office may be reached at 434-982-3391, or by fax at 434-982-2663, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Admission decisions will be mailed by April 15. Late applications will be accepted and reviewed, but applicants are not guaranteed an admissions decision by April 15.
In addition to the completed, signed application form, you must submit the following items before your application will be forwarded to the Admissions Committee for review:
- Law School Admission
Test (LSAT) score (or GMAT score if applying for the J.D./M.B.A. program, if the applicant wishes).
- Transcript of prior academic record, submitted through the Credential Assembly Service (CAS)
- Two letters of recommendation
- Personal statement(s) and résumé; additional personal statements or any other addenda may be submitted.
- $80 application fee
- Application for In-State Educational Privileges, if seeking classification as a resident student
Applicants must submit an LSAT score unless applying for the J.D./M.B.A. dual-degree program, in which case the applicant may, at the applicant's option, submit a GMAT score in lieu of an LSAT score.* Applicants should arrange to take the LSAT early, preferably by June or October of the year preceding the year for which admission to the School of Law is sought, although December and February scores will be accepted. However, applicants who submit February LSAT scores may be at a disadvantage, since many places in the class will have been filled by the time February scores are received. We will accept LSAT scores that can be reported to us on the standard CAS law school report. LSAC will report any scores earned within the last five test years, and with payment of a special fee will retrieve and report scores between five and 10 years old.
*J.D./M.B.A. applicants admitted with only a GMAT score will be participating in a program designed to evaluate whether GMAT scores are valid and reliable measurements for potential to succeed in Law School. J.D./M.B.A. applicants may need to take the LSAT in order to apply to another school as a transfer student.
You must register with the Credential Assembly Service (CAS). CAS will receive your undergraduate and any graduate transcripts, copy them and forward the transcripts to the law schools to which you apply. Do not send your academic transcripts directly to the Admissions Office. For more information about the LSAT or CAS, go to the LSAC website at www.lsac.org.
Applicants must provide two letters of recommendation, but no more than four. Recommenders should evaluate your potential as a law student, so letters from members of your college or graduate school faculty who can discuss your academic performance are particularly helpful. If you have been out of school for several years and have difficulty securing an academic reference, you may substitute letters from employers or others who have worked closely with you. In any event, letters should address the skills necessary for rigorous, advanced academic work: the ability to read complex textual material closely, to analyze it carefully and to present reasoned conclusions in writing and orally; maturity; self-discipline; commitment and professionalism.
The School of Law requires applicants to submit letters through the LSAC Letter of Recommendation service. This service is included with your CAS subscription. Letters submitted through the LSAC Service are copied and sent to us along with your CAS law school report and can be read online immediately. Updated reports are sent immediately if letters are received after your initial CAS law school report has been sent. To use this service, follow the instructions on the LSAC's website.
Your personal statement should provide information, in your own words, you believe relevant to the admissions decision not elicited elsewhere in the application. The statement is your opportunity to tell us about yourself; it may address your intellectual interests, significant accomplishments or obstacles overcome, personal or professional goals, educational achievements, or any way in which your perspective or experiences will add to the richness of the educational environment at the Law School. Please upload your personal statement to your e-app via LSAC.
Should you wish to address other topics (or other aspects of yourself on your application), the "optional addenda" section can be used to attach ONE document addressing as many topics as you wish to address. We strongly encourage you to separate topics within the document with page breaks and headings/descriptions.
All applicants are required to pay their application fee using a credit card through the LSAC secure server. Follow the instructions on the LSAC website.
If you are claiming entitlement to in-state educational privileges, you must submit the Application for Virginia In-State Educational Privileges to the Virginia Status Office. This form cannot be transmitted electronically. Failure to submit the application, or to supply any supplemental information that may be requested by the Virginia Status Office, may delay consideration of your application or result in your classification as a nonresident candidate. Instructions for Submission
For more information concerning Virginia residency status, see:
Transcripts of postsecondary work completed at a college or university outside the United States or Canada must be submitted through the LSAC J.D. Credential Assembly Service (JD CAS). The one exception to this requirement is for work completed outside the United States or Canada through a study abroad, consortium or exchange program sponsored by a U.S. or Canadian institution, where the work is clearly indicated as such on the home campus transcript. The JD CAS service is included in the LSDAS subscription fee. A Foreign Credential Evaluation will be completed by the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers and incorporated into your LSDAS report.
We do not require TOEFL scores from J.D. applicants. (For information about TOEFL score requirements for LL.M. applicants, go to the LL.M. program website.) However, applicants should be aware that competency in English is critical to success in the study of law at the University of Virginia, and that demonstrated fluency in English is an important consideration in evaluating applications. Should you choose to submit a TOEFL score, you must contact the Educational Testing Service (ETS) and request that your TOEFL score be sent to LSAC. LSAC's TOEFL code for the JD CAS is 0058. Your score will be included in the Foreign Credential Evaluation document that will be included in your LSDAS law school report.
Questions about the JD Credential Assembly Service can be directed to LSAC at (215) 968-1001, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lawyers are held to high ethical standards. Failure to disclose an act or event is often more significant, and can lead to more serious consequences, than the act or event itself. Once the application has been submitted, you have a continuing duty to inform the Admissions Office of any changes in the information in the application, or of any new information without which the application as previously submitted would be inaccurate or incomplete. Your duty to inform the Admissions Office of any changes continues until the time you receive a final admissions decision and, if admitted, until the time you matriculate as a student at the University of Virginia School of Law. False, misleading or incomplete answers or statements made in this application, or in any materials submitted to the Admissions Office or the Financial Aid Office, could constitute a basis for denial of admission, recision of an offer of admission or denial of admission to the practice of law, and may be reported to the Law School Admission Council for investigation of misconduct in the admissions process.Students seeking to engage in the practice of law are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the rules for admission to the bar of the state in which they intend to seek admission, especially those rules relating to character, fitness and other qualifications for practice.
Students typically are accepted for admission only for the class currently being selected, with the exception of candidates admitted to a dual-degree program who elect not to begin in the School of Law. If you are admitted to the fall 2013 entering class but find that you are not able to enroll in 2013, you may request to defer your admission by making all required acceptance deposits, confirming your intention to accept your place in the class, and requesting a deferral at that time. We will ask you to reconfirm your intention to enroll during the year of planned enrollment. All deferral requests must be received by the second deposit deadline.
Students who have completed one year of work at an ABA-accredited law school may apply for admission with advanced standing. Up to 32 credit hours may be transferred toward the J.D. from the University of Virginia. Applicants for transfer admission must submit all materials required for application as a first-year student, along with a transcript of the entire first year of work in law school, a statement of rank in class as of the end of the second semester and a letter of good standing from the dean or other appropriate official stating that the applicant is a student in good standing and is eligible to return. Transfer applicants must furnish two letters of recommendation, at least one of which should be from a faculty member at the current law school. More
Prospective students who have questions concerning accommodations for physical disabilities, learning disabilities, or other disabling conditions should contact Assistant Dean for Student Affairs Martha Ballenger at (434) 924-3737. Regardless of whether they provided information concerning disabilities in the admissions process, students accepted for admission are asked to contact Dean Ballenger about their conditions and any appropriate accommodations the School of Law needs to make to assure access to the school's academic programs and examinations. All information will be confidential except to the extent necessary to make accommodations.
To apply for visiting student status, you must submit a completed electronic application via LSAC. Please be sure to select the visiting student status in the Application Status section of the e-application. Please attach an addendum to your application explaining your reasons for wanting to visit. We also require you to have a new CAS law school report sent to us directly from LSAC.
In addition to the above, we require a current official law school transcript and a letter of recommendation from one of your law school professors. If accepted, a visiting student must submit a letter from the academic dean or registrar at the current law school verifying that the student has permission to visit at Virginia and alerting us to any conditions imposed on course selection, credit hours, or GPA requirements. Visiting students should know that our academic calendar may not coincide with that of the home law school, and that spring semester grades from the School of Law may not be available by graduation at the home institution. We permit visiting students to attend the School of Law for one or two semesters.
Deadlines for applying for visiting student status are:
Fall semester or entire academic year: April 1
Spring Semester only: November 1
The School of Law encourages prospective students and applicants to visit the David A. Harrison III Law Grounds. Student-guided tours are available during the week while classes are in session, and a schedule of events for visitors can be found on the Law School's website. Admissions information sessions are held on most Friday afternoons during the summer months and through the fall semester.
FOR Schedule INFORMATION, see Visits and Tours