The Best Law Schools in Virginia

January 11, 2023
By AdmissionSight

The Best Law Schools in Virginia

The legal history of Virginia is considered to be among the most extensive of any state. Many of the Founding Fathers and Justices of the Supreme Court have called this place home. If you had to choose a law school based on the state, your best bet would be to look in Virginia. And if you are unsure about selecting the top law schools in Virginia, we are here to help you.

What are the best law schools in Virginia?

Where can one find the most reputable law schools in Virginia? The first step toward a successful legal career is selecting the educational path that works best for you.

Here is a list of the best law schools in Virginia:

1) University of Virginia

The University of Virginia’s School of Law is widely regarded as one of the most prominent legal education institutions in the United States. It is the alma mater of Justices Stanley Forman Reed and James Clark McReynolds of the United States Supreme Court. Regarding employment outcomes and the number of partners, it is also among the top ten at the national level.

an unidentified student wearing a graduation gown and holding a scale of justice

The institution is home to eighteen different clinics, ten different international programs, and seven specialized programs that are highly regarded all over the world.

In addition, it is the home of 10 different academic periodicals, one of which is the Virginia Law Review, consistently ranked among the most influential legal publications in the United States.

2) Washington and Lee University

The Washington and Lee University School of Law is located in Lexington and is a relatively modest private institution. Before continuing to a more advanced curriculum, first-year students are required to complete the program’s basic classes. In the program’s third year, the school replaces electives with practical experience with actual clients.

Washington and Lee University front building

The cost of living, alumnus happiness, value, influence in legal education, and practical training are some metrics that place the WLU School of Law in a high ranking among the top law schools in Virginia. It is the sixteenth-oldest school in the United States and the third-oldest in Virginia.

3) William & Mary Law School

The oldest law school in the United States is located at the College of William & Mary and is known as the Marshall-Wythe School of Law. Thomas Jefferson, who was serving as governor at the time, was the inspiration behind the establishment of the school in 1779. In addition to its eight clinics, it provides legal services in family, tax, and immigration law.

William and Mary College signage

In addition, forty different student groups, such as the National Trial Team and the Military Law Society, are available to students. It also publishes other legal publications in addition to its student-run newspaper, the Marshall-Wythe Press. In addition, students at William & Mary clinics volunteer 14,000 hours each year to assist clients who are not receiving adequate care.

4) George Mason University

In May 2016, the School of Law at George Mason University has officially renamed the Antonin Scalia Law School. It is only the third best in the nation, after Georgetown University and George Washington University in Washington, DC. Additionally, the number of students who pass the bar exam at ASLS is the seventh highest in Virginia.

George Mason UniversitY signage

The American Society of Legal Specialists thrives in various practice areas, including antitrust, communications, immigration, intellectual property, personal, and tax law. It is well-known for its scholarly impact and ranks 21st in terms of the number of citations produced per population. Additionally, the program was named by U.S. News and World Report as the country’s fourth-best part-time legal education option.

5) University of Richmond

It is well-known that Richmond Law has a very competitive and selective curriculum. Only 31.9 percent of those who apply are ultimately accepted.

It is among the top law schools in Virginia. And it is regarded as one of the best in the nation by multiple publications, including U.S. News & World Report, the National Jurist, and the Princeton Review.

a book entitled "law school"

Several programs are available through Richmond Law, including ones dealing with intellectual property and family law. Students also have the option to pursue dual degrees, such as the Juris Doctor (J.D.) and Bachelor of Science (B.S.) programs.

The school is home to the Institute for Actual Innocence, which clarifies the names of innocent people who have been wrongfully convicted.

6) Appalachian School of Law

Private legal education can be obtained at the Appalachian School of Law, which can be found in Grundy. It has a total enrollment of 128 students and provides a Juris Doctor degree that can be completed in three years. The Appalachian School of Law is most well-known for emphasizing community service, leadership, professional accountability, and alternative dispute resolution in its curriculum.

a female criminal justice attorney writing on a paper

The ABA approved the training program in 1994 and started accepting students in 1997. Students must perform community service for 25 hours each semester, which is one of the program’s distinguishing characteristics. There are just 11 other colleges that have comparable prerequisites.

7) Liberty University

The Evangelical Christian program at Liberty University School of Law is a private institution in Lynchburg. This well-respected academic institution grants the degrees of Juris Doctor, Master of Laws, and Master of Studies in Laws to its graduates.

front view of Liberty University

The school boasts an impressively high rate of students who pass the bar exam; in July 2018, it reached 95.65 percent. The rate was equal to that of the University of Virginia, which had previously held the highest mark in the state. Thus, it is regarded as one of the top law schools in Virginia.

8) Regent University

The Christian-based Regent University Law School in Virginia Beach is a relatively modest private institution. 1977 marked the beginning of the school’s existence, with Dean Herb Titus at the helm. It scored sixth in 2015, garnering national recognition for its outstanding performance in moot court contests.

An unidentified male wearing a black suit sitting at a table holding a pen and paper with a gavel in front of him

At Regent University, students can study for the Juris Doctor, the Master of Law, or the Master of Arts in Law degrees. In July 2017 and February 2018, it had the most effective overall bar passage rate in Virginia, with a score of 94.59 and 81.82 percent, respectively, for the relevant months. Within ten months of graduation, 92% of graduates had found employment in their field.

How much does a lawyer earn in Virginia?

How much does a lawyer earn in Virginia? A lawyer in Virginia can expect to make an average yearly salary of approximately $102,736. Nevertheless, the following is a list of the wages that are offered to lawyers by their levels of seniority:

  • Starting level lawyer $60,900 per year
  • Junior-level lawyer 82,220 per year
  • Mid-level lawyer $127,110 per year
  • Senior-level lawyer $165,270

A Lawyer’s typical tenure is 1-3 years.

How to become a lawyer in Virginia?

How to become a lawyer in Virginia? The metropolitan areas of Washington, DC, Arlington, and Alexandria are home to the largest concentration of practicing attorneys in Virginia, followed by the cities of Richmond and the surrounding counties of Norfolk, Newport News, and Virginia Beach. The information in the following steps will enlighten you on how to join these Virginia lawyers and become a licensed member of the Virginia bar who can practice law in the state.

1. Complete your Virginia undergraduate pre-law major

Before enrolling in one of the top law schools in Virginia, the Virginia Board of Bar Examiners requires you to earn a degree from an accredited undergraduate institution. However, it does not specify the fields of study that must be included in your degree.

Accreditation from a national or regional accreditation agency recognized by the United States Department of Education is required for your undergraduate institution or university. This accreditation is necessary to be later admitted into a law school, for the American Bar Association has granted accreditation.

Regarding the required undergraduate degree for pre-law school entrance, the Virginia Board of Bar Examiners follows the rules established by the ABA. While the American Bar Association (ABA) does not identify any particular majors that are recommended to be studied throughout undergraduate school and does not dictate specific courses that should be taken, it does suggest that some topics be studied during your pre-legal education. The following are some of these areas:

  • Development of American society
  • History
  • Sociology
  • Politics
  • Government
  • World cultures and governments
  • Mathematics
  • Finance
  • Economics
  • Psychology and human behavior

To enroll in any American Bar Association’s authorized law schools, you must hold a bachelor’s degree or higher. You are not required to concentrate on any particular area, though. The fields of liberal arts, history, political science, and government, as well as economics, are some of the most frequent undergraduate majors that law school students have completed before entering the field.

2. Take the Virginia law school admission test (LSAT)

Before being accepted into any of the top law schools in Virginia, prospective students are required to get a passing score on the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). On the other hand, the LSAT is provided at test centers worldwide every quarter.

3. Go to an accredited ABA law school

After achieving a passing score on the LSAT and completing your undergraduate degree, you can apply to law school. According to a decision made by the Virginia Board of Bar Examiners to become a member of the bar in the state of Virginia and work as an attorney there, you are required to earn a degree from a law school that the American Bar Association has approved.

4. Take the Virginia state bar exam

You are now prepared to take the Virginia Bar Exam, given that you have obtained a Juris Doctor degree from a law school accredited by the American Bar Association. It is held annually in February and July over a weekend in both Roanoke and Norfolk.

The date and timing of your bar admission ceremony will be communicated to you once it has been determined that you have completed the bar examination. About six months after successfully passing the exam, you will be mailed a wall certificate suitable for framing.

You must complete the Harry L. Carrico Professionalism Course after passing the Bar test and within the first year of being admitted to the Bar. This course will cover various topics, including managing client cash and property properly, growing a business, negotiating fees, maintaining independence and loyalty, and avoiding conflicts.

AdmissionSight provides a number of different counseling and tutorial programs that could assist you in selecting and enrolling in the school that is the ideal fit for you. Because the professionals at AdmissionSight have worked in the field of college admissions for the past ten years, we can guarantee that the service we provide will be of the highest possible standard. Book a free initial consultation to learn more.





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