We will begin receiving applications for the J.D. program on Sept. 1, 2015. Applying on or before March 7, 2016, guarantees that we will issue a decision no later than April 15, 2016. Applications can be accepted after March 7, 2016, and will be reviewed, but applicants are not guaranteed an admissions decision by April 15.
- Timeline and Expectations for Virginia Law Admissions Cycle
- How Applications Are Reviewed
- Binding Expedited Decision | Regular Decision Option and Application Checklist
- Virginia Resident Educational Privileges
- Importance of Full Disclosure
- Tuition and Fees
- Financial Aid
- Information for International or Foreign-Educated Applicants
- Safety Information
- Deferral and Reapplication to the School of Law
- Students with Disabilities
- 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.
If an applicant wishes to apply under the Binding Expedited Decision option, the applicant must follow the requirements of the Regular Decision option (below) AND go to the "Binding Decision Option" tab in the e-application and click the box acknowledging agreement with the terms of the Binding Expedited Decision option. Expedited Decision applicants will be notified of their decision within 15 business days of the completion of their applications and the determination of their residency status. Applicants admitted through this option are eligible for financial aid (both merit- and need-based) just as applicants admitted through the Regular option. However, only individuals who are sure that UVA Law is their top choice and who also are sure that they are prepared to begin law school at UVA in August 2016, regardless of what their financial aid package may be, should apply through the Binding Expedited Decision option.
Applicants should ensure that we have received a completed application by March 7, 2016. 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;
- Transcript of prior academic record, submitted through the Credential Assembly Service (CAS);
- At least two, but no more than four, letters of recommendation;
- At least one personal statement and résumé. Additional personal statements or any other addenda may be submitted;
- $80 application fee; and
- Application for Virginia In-State Educational Privileges, if seeking classification as a resident student.
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 Virginia 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, by fax at 434-982-2663, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
UVA Law requires that all applicants submit an LSAT score. Applicants should arrange to take the LSAT early, preferably by June or September/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. LSAC will report any scores earned within the last five test years. As of July 1, 2015, LSAC no longer provide scores older than five years plus the current testing year either to law schools or to law school applicants. Please visit www.LSAC.org for more information on the LSAT and on LSAC’s score reporting policies.
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 may provide no more than four such letters. 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.
UVA Law requires applicants to submit letters through the LSAC Letter of Recommendation service. This service is included with your CAS registration. 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 website.
We do not accept LSAC "Evaluations."
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-application via LSAC.
Should you wish to address other topics (or other aspects of yourself or your application), the "Optional Addenda" section can be used to address as many topics as you wish. If multiple topics will be addressed, we prefer that you separate topics and upload each as separately (and descriptively) labeled.
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 with your application for admission. This form is not 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.
For further information concerning Virginia residency status, see Virginia Residency.
Transcripts of postsecondary work completed at a college or university outside the United States or Canada must be submitted through the LSAC Credential Assembly Service (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. An International Credential Evaluation will be completed by the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers and incorporated into your CAS report.
International students are fully eligible for merit-based scholarship assistance from UVA Law. International students should understand, however, that any potential scholarship assistance from the University typically would cover only a portion of the total costs of education, so additional personal or family resources, financial assistance from the applicant’s employer or home country, or other sources of financing will be required. Students who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents are not eligible to borrow under the Stafford Student Loan Program. Private loan funds may be available to international students with a U.S. citizen as co-signer. Moreover, the Law School will require you to demonstrate sufficient financial resources for all 3 years of study. Additionally, if an offer of admission is made and you choose to accept it, you will be required to submit all required paperwork for international students by the deadline provided in your offer package. Failure to timely meet this requirement could result in cancellation of your enrollment.
We do not require TOEFL scores from JD applicants. (For information about TOEFL score requirements for LLM applicants, go to the LLM 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 CAS is 0058. Your score will be included in the International Credential Evaluation document that will be included in your CAS Law School Report.
Questions about the Credential Assembly Service can be directed to LSAC at (215) 968-1001, or LSACinfo@LSAC.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, rescission 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.
In addition to a bar examination, there are character, fitness, and other qualifications for admission to the bar in every U.S. jurisdiction. Applicants are encouraged to determine the requirements for any jurisdiction in which they intend to seek admission by contacting the jurisdiction. Addresses for all relevant agencies are available through the National Conference of Bar Examiners.
For the University’s safety information, visit www.law.virginia.edu/html/prospectives/safety.htm.
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 2016 entering class but find that you are not able to enroll in 2016, 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.
Prospective students who have questions concerning accommodations for physical disabilities, learning disabilities, or other disabling conditions should contact the Office of Student Affairs at 434-924-3737. Students accepted for admission are asked to contact Assistant Dean for Student Affairs Sarah Davies, regardless of whether they provided information concerning disabilities in the admissions process, regarding 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.
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 the fall and spring semesters.