Important Information for First-Year Law Students

Important Information for First-Year Law Students

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Final Transcript(s) Requirement

First-year students must ensure that the Admissions Office has an official and final transcript from your undergraduate school(s) (and graduate schools, if applicable). The document(s) must come directly from either your school(s) or LSAC, and importantly, must indicate degree conferral. If the Admissions Office does not have the document(s) on file by October 15, the first-year student risks being withdrawn from enrollment by the Student Records Office.

Small Sections, Course Schedules and Required Texts

First-year students are randomly assigned to one of 10 "sections" lettered A through J. Each section has approximately 30 students. All students in a given section will have the same course schedule during the fall semester. The first-year fall curriculum consists of five required courses — Civil Procedure (4 hours), Contracts (4 hours), Criminal Law (3 hours), Torts (4 hours) and Legal Research and Writing (1 hour).  Three of the five classes will meet along with another section (so, a class size of approximately 60 students) while LRW and 1 other class will not be combined with another section (so a class size of approximately 30).  

Section assignments will be posted by 4 p.m. on Friday, August 17, on LawWeb and in the glass case across the hallway from the Student Records Office, room 107 in Slaughter Hall. Once you know your assigned section, you will be able to purchase your required textbooks at the Law School bookstore.

In the spring, each student must take three required courses — Property (4 hours), Constitutional Law (4 hours) and the continuation of Legal Research and Writing (1 hour). 1L students must also take between 5-7 elective credits in the Spring (to reach the 14 credit minimum and 16 credit maximum).  

Class Attendance  

Regular class attendance is required.  Refer to the Academic Policies for more details.

Class Preparation 

All students are expected to have read and studied assignments before class, including the first class of the semester. Initial assignments will be posted on the course home pages on LawWeb.  Professors rely heavily on the traditional law school Socratic method in first-year classes.

J-Term and Spring Course Enrollment

The Student Records Office (SRO) enrolls all first-year students in the three required courses in the spring, and 1Ls are required to enroll in 5-7 elective credits during the spring enrollment process occurring in late October and early November via the Lottery Course Selector (LCS) system in LawWeb (details to follow). 1Ls can also take one J-term course, but this does not reduce the number of credits required for the spring semester.

Fall First-Year Final Examinations 

The fall exam period is from Saturday, December 8 to Thursday, December 20. 1L students will have four exams during this period, and each will occur on the following fixed dates starting at 8:30 a.m.: December 10 (Criminal Law), December 13 (Civil Procedure), December 17 (Contracts), and December 20 (Torts). All first-year students will take final examinations for required courses on laptop computers. If you are apprehensive or ill at ease using a laptop, we recommend becoming comfortable using one before exams. In addition, please make sure that the laptop you plan to use complies with the Law School’s computer recommendations. Law ITC may be reached at lawit@law.virginia.edu.

LawWeb and Information Resources

The Law School’s intranet, LawWeb, contains an abundance of resources and information for students, such as exam calendars, course evaluations, course enrollment dates/processes, Canvas (course homepages), bar exam/licensure guidance, etc.

For an official statement of Law School policies and regulations, please refer to the University Graduate Record and the Law School's Academic Policies. Please read the Academic Policies carefully. Students are responsible for developing a working knowledge of this information. 

Questions about this information can be directed to the Student Records Office in Slaughter 107 or by email at studentrecords@law.virginia.edu.