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Best Law Schools in Virginia

September 5, 2023


Reviewed by:

David Merson

Former Head of Pre-Law Office, Northeastern University, & Admissions Officer, Brown University

Reviewed: 01/17/23

Virginia has five top law schools that are sure to provide you with an outstanding legal education. Read on to learn more about these law schools.

Virginia is known as the mother of presidents, giving America eight of its presidents. It is also the home of the top-secret pentagon. What you may not know is that Virginia is also home to a variety of excellent law schools that produce world-class attorneys! 

Whether you’re set on attending law school in Virginia or are still exploring your options, this guide will cover the best law schools in Virginia and their admissions statistics!

Top Law Schools In Virginia

While there are several law schools in Virginia, here are the top five:

1. The University of Virginia

The University of Virginia is not only the best law school in Virginia, it is also the eighth-best law school in the country! Additionally, it impressively ranks fifth for constitutional law and tax law, sixth for international law, and seventh for commercial and criminal law.

Founded in 1819, UVA is the second-oldest continuously operating law school in the country. It is well known for its challenging and stimulating environment and has a beautiful campus to foster better learning and growth, according to Thomas Jefferson– the founder of UVA Law.

The university of Virginia
Source: UVA

As one of the top ten law schools in the nation, it is no surprise that UVA is highly competitive. UVA only accepts 9.7% of the students that apply to its law school, holding this small percentage of students to high standards! The median GPA of accepted students is 3.91, and the median LSAT score is 171.

The cost of attending UVA is also high. Tuition for in-state students is $66,500 and $69,500 for out-of-state students.

Luckily, the hard work and high costs required to attend this university pays off, as 94.3% of UVA law alumni secure employment in less than a year after graduating!

2. George Mason University

Located in Arlington, Virginia, George Mason is another excellent choice for aspiring attorneys. While this school ranks 30th in the nation, it ranks fourth for its part-time law programs. This may be the perfect law school for busy students who need an extra year to complete their JD.

With an unprecedented curriculum, Antonin Scalia Law students are taught the skills required to excel in the legal field. They also receive the resources to network and create the best contacts to advance their careers! 

This university is located in a prime area for opportunity. Being in close proximity to Washington, DC and Northern Virginia, students are able to find an abundance of employment and internships! 

With 90.2% of alumni being employed within ten months of graduation, it is clear that graduates of George Mason reap the benefits of these amazing connections and employment opportunities.

George Mason is a moderately selective school with an acceptance rate of 27.1%. Students interested in joining this law school should have a GPA of around 3.81 and an LSAT score of 164 to be considered competitive candidates.

As the cheapest law school on this list, George Mason’s tuition costs $25,875 for in-state students and $41,261 for out-of-state students.

3. William and Mary Law School

In third place as the top law school in Virginia is William and Mary. This school ties with George Mason as the 30th-best law school in the nation.

William and Mary is recognized for its academics, community, and beautiful campus. With the motto “opportunity thrives here,” William and Mary is home to institutes and programs that help shape law and policy around the world.

With a dedication to creating a more just world, this university is well known for its environmental law curriculum. It has a Virginia Coastal Policy Center practicum that teaches students about environmental law and general skills that are valuable to any area of law.

This law school has an optimistic acceptance rate of 30.1%. The median GPA for accepted students is 3.8, while the median LSAT score for its students is 164. Tuition costs $36,608 for in-state students and $51,620 for out-of-state students. 

While these tuition costs are on the higher end, William and Mary’s alumni employment rate is 88.5%, making it easier for graduating students to pay off any student debt they’ve incurred during this time.

4. Washington and Lee University

Washington and Lee University is the 35th best law school in the nation. This law school dedicates itself to creating broad-minded, highly skilled, and honorable lawyers.

Despite being one of the nation’s smallest institutions, Washington and Lee has made a big name for itself in the legal field. Washington and Lee also has the third largest number of ABA presidents produced by a single law school in the nation.

Aside from this accomplishment, this school has a rich history of producing honorable members of the court and justice system that dates to 1849. 

As a revolutionary law school dedicated to preparing its students for real law, Washington and Lee is also the first university to introduce small-section legal writing classes and to require an administrative and transnational law course in students’ first year of law school. 

31.4% of applicants are accepted into this school yearly. These applicants have a median GPA of 3.61 and a median LSAT score of 164. Of these 31.4% successful candidates, 83.8% successfully find employment within a year of graduating.

Law school is known to be a huge financial investment, and this university is no exception, with its tuition costs at approximately $53,400 a year. 

5. The University of Richmond

The last on this list of best law schools in Virginia is the University of Richmond.

With some of the best teacher-scholars in the nation that provide individualized learning to maximize the potential of each student, Richmond equips students with the knowledge and skills they need not only to excel in the field of law but improve it!

Richmond also offers students several opportunities to gain clinical experience, including their three in-house clinics where students work on legal matters for real clients under the supervision of faculty members.

In these clinics, students are exposed to a wide variety of foci so they can get a better idea of what they’d like to specialize in. Through these clinics, students are able to see law theories in action and feel more connected to what they learn in the classroom!

Luckily, interested students have a fair chance of gaining admission to Richmond to participate in these clinics. Richmond has a 36.3% acceptance rate and accepts students with GPAs between 3.46-3.79, with the median GPA being 3.7. This law school is thus a great choice for students with lower GPAs.

Similarly, students with lower LSAT scores can still be considered competitive candidates at this school. LSAT scores of accepted students are in the range of 157-163, with the median being 162.

Tuition costs $50,500 a year, but around 80.2% of alumni are able to begin paying off student debt within ten months of graduation!

FAQs: Law Schools in Virginia

If you have more questions, here are the answers to frequently asked questions about the best law schools in Virginia.

1. Is the University of Virginia a Top Law School?

Yes! It is the eighth-best law school in the nation and is highly esteemed.

2. What is the #1 College in VA?

The University of Virginia is the top law school in Virginia.

3. How Many Law Schools are There in Virginia?

Virginia is home to eight accredited law schools. The five on this list are the best Virginia has to offer.

4. What LSAT Score Do You Need For UVA?

You’ll need to ace your LSAT to be considered a competitive candidate at UVA. The median LSAT score is 171. However, many students with LSAT scores as low as 166 have been accepted into UVA.

If your LSAT score is around 166 or lower, ensure you wow the admissions committee with the other parts of your application, such as your resume and personal statement.

5. Does UVA Accept the GRE?

Yes. As of 2018, UVA accepts the GRE in lieu of the LSAT. For students who feel the LSAT would inaccurately reflect their skills and aptitude, writing the GRE might be a better option.

6. Does Virginia Have Part-Time Law Programs?

George Mason University is the only law school on this list that offers a part-time program, but it is considered one of the best part-time programs in the country.

7. Which Law School In Virginia Is The Easiest to Get In?

From this list, the University of Richmond is the easiest to get into. It has the highest acceptance rate and lowest GPA and LSAT requirements.

8. Which Virginia Law School Should I Apply to?

Determining which law school to attend can be a complicated process. To simplify this decision, we have designed a quiz that will give you a comprehensive list of law schools to apply to, based on your specific needs and preferences.

Final Thoughts

If you’ve decided Virginia is the perfect state to start your legal journey, the next step is to choose the perfect law school! Any of the five law schools on this list will give you the right training and experience to excel as an attorney!

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