Important Information for First-Year J.D. Law Students

Orientation Home

Important Links for Academic Information

Final Transcript(s) Requirement

First-year J.D. students must ensure that the Admissions Office has an official and final transcript on file 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. Please provide the final transcripts by August 1. If the Law School does not have the document(s) on file by October 15, you will be withdrawn from enrollment by the Student Records Office per ABA requirements.

Small Sections, Course Schedules and Required Texts

First-year J.D. students are randomly assigned to a “small section” with fellow 1L classmates. Each section has approximately 30-40 first-year students (depending on the size of the entire 1L class). 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 I (1 hour). Three of the five classes will meet along with at least one other section while LRW and one other class will not be combined with another section (so a class size of approximately 30-40).  

The Student Records Office (SRO) will send an email (to the UVA email address) announcing the finalization of the 1L section assignments, likely around August 16th. You might see small sections in various computing systems, but tweaks are made to the 1L small sections right up until the announcement, so do not rely on section assignments appearing in our systems until the announcement. 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 II (2 hours). First-year students must also take between 5-7 elective credits in the Spring (to reach the 15 credit minimum and 17 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 Canvas 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 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.

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 @email.