J.D. Application Instructions

J.D. Application Instructions

We begin accepting applications for the JD program on September 1, 2021. Applying on or before our March 3, 2022 priority deadline guarantees that we will issue an admissions decision no later than April 15, 2022. If you wish to apply under our Binding Expedited Decision option, we must receive all components of your application by 5:00 pm ET on March 3, 2022. Any Binding Expedited Decision applications completed after 5:00 pm ET on March 3 will be treated as Regular Decision applications. You may submit a Regular Decision application after the March 3 priority deadline. We will review all applications received after March 3, but we do not guarantee an admissions decision by April 15.

How Applications Are Reviewed

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 a standardized test 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 standardized test 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 Unsubsidized 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.

Binding Expedited Decision Option

If you wish to apply under the Binding Expedited Decision option, you 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. Binding Expedited Decision applicants will be notified of their decision within 21 business days of the date we receive all necessary components of the application (including the residency determination for those applicants claiming in-state educational privileges). Applicants admitted through the Binding Expedited Decision option are eligible for financial aid (both merit- and need-based) just like applicants admitted through the Regular option. However, most applicants admitted to UVA Law will receive their admissions decision well before they receive any financial aid information. As a result, the Binding Expedited Decision option is best suited only to 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 2022, regardless of what their financial aid package may be.

If you wish to apply under the Binding Expedited Decision option, we must receive all components of your application by 5:00 pm ET on March 3, 2022. All applications submitted or completed after the March 3 priority deadline will be reviewed as Regular Decision applications.

Regular Decision Option and Application Checklist

Applicants should ensure that we have received a completed application by March 3, 2022. 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:

  1. Law School Admission Test (LSAT) score, Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) score, or GRE General Test score;
  2. Transcript of prior academic record, submitted through the Credential Assembly Service (CAS);
  3. At least two, but no more than four, letters of recommendation;
  4. At least one personal statement and résumé. Additional personal statements or any other addenda may be submitted;
  5. $85 application fee; and
  6. 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 vastatus@virginia.edu.

Standardized Test Scores

You must submit a score from one of the following approved standardized tests:

  1. The LSAT;
  2. The GMAT; or
  3. The GRE General Test.

The standardized test score or scores that you submit must have been earned on or after June 1, 2016 and must meet any other validity or timing requirements set out by the organization that administers that particular test.  See www.lsac.org, www.mba.com, and/or www.ets.org/gre for more information about the three accepted standardized tests and the organizations’ score reporting policies.

Because LSAC provides the Credential Assembly Service, any and all LSAT scores you may have earned within the past five years will be reported on the CAS report.  If you choose to submit GRE General Test and/or GMAT scores in lieu of or in addition to an LSAT score, we require you to submit all scores that you have earned on that test within the past five years.  As an example, Applicant A has taken the LSAT once and the GMAT twice within the past five years.  Applicant A’s LSAT score will automatically appear on her CAS report; if she chooses to report her GMAT scores as well, Applicant A must direct both GMAT scores to UVA Law.  As another example, Applicant B has taken the GRE General Test three times in the past five years but has not taken the LSAT.  Applicant B must direct all three GRE scores to UVA Law.

Applicants submitting GRE or GMAT scores must request that all score reports be sent directly to UVA Law.  UVA Law’s school code for GRE score reporting is 4266.  Applicants who wish to direct GMAT scores to the law school can search for UVA Law by name.

You should arrange to take an approved standardized test early, preferably by the autumn of the year you intend to apply to UVA Law, although later scores will be accepted. Applicants who submit standardized test scores earned in January, February, or March of the year they apply to law school may be at a disadvantage since many places in the class will have been filled by the time those test scores are received.

Transcript(s) of Prior Academic Record

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.

Additional requirements for applicants who matriculate as first-year students are available here.

Letters of Recommendation

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.

Personal Statement

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. 

Optional Addenda

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.

Application Fee

Unless the application fee has been waived, all applicants are required to pay their $85 application fee using a credit card through the LSAC secure server.  Follow the instructions on the LSAC website.  If you received a waiver for the LSAT or CAS fees from the Law School Admission Council, you automatically qualify for an application fee waiver from the University of Virginia. When you apply electronically through LSAC, the waiver will apply automatically.
Applicants serving in an established public service commitment such as Teach for America, the Peace Corps, Americorps/VISTA, CityYear, or in a Truman Public Service Fellowship, will have the application fee waived. E-mail us at admissions@law.virginia.edu for a fee waiver.
We are happy to waive the application fee for any applicant for whom payment of the fee will prevent them from applying or would pose a hardship. E-mail us at admissions@law.virginia.edu for a fee waiver.
We cannot under any circumstances refund a fee already paid via LSAC.

Application for Virginia In-State Educational Privileges

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.

Application Information for International or Foreign-Educated Students

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.

Importance of Full Disclosure

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. Note that the existence of a criminal history will not, by itself, disqualify an applicant for admission. 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.

Safety Information

View the University’s safety information.

Deferral and Reapplication to the School of Law

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 2022 entering class but find that you are not able to enroll in 2022, 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 With Disabilities

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.

Visiting Virginia Law

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. More information on visiting the Law School can be found here


Contact Us

Phone: (434) 924-7351
FAX: (434) 982-2128
580 Massie Road
Charlottesville, VA 22903-1738