Life is a series of choices and never-ending questions. What do we do for the day, what color of shoes should we wear, how many friends are we meeting for the weekend, the list goes on. For the privileged ones, making these choices are as trivial as waking up in the morning. But for those in the lower end of the spectrum, these questions matter. As human beings, we all have a moral responsibility to protect one another at all costs.
One of the best ways to protect humanity is to study law. Studying law can give voice to the voiceless, oppressed, and underrepresented. It can open several restricted doors and transform the dynamics of our society.
Aside from having the power to make a difference, studying law has several benefits. The legal system is constantly changing and it has produced a myriad of legal career options in different industries. Choosing the right law school is an important task for every aspiring law professionals. In this article, we will be looking at the best law schools in Virginia.
Best Law Schools in Virginia
1. University of Virginia School of Law
- Law School Links:
- Degrees offered: J.D., LL.M., S.J.D.
Thomas Jefferson founded the University of Virginia School of Law in 1819. The University of Virginia School of Law is the best law school in Virginia and is one of the oldest continuously operating law schools in the country. This prestigious public school has been ranked consistently among the top law educational institutions. It has been listed fourth among Harvard, Stanford, and Yale in placing clerks on the Supreme Court. The law school has produced several notable alumni including U.S. Supreme Court Justices James Clark McReynolds and Stanley Forman Reed.
Students of the law degree programs can choose from various concentrations such as Commercial Law, Jurisprudence and Comparative Law, Human Rights and Civil Liberties, Business Organization and Finance, Public Policy and Regulation, and Criminal Justice. Third-year students can also partake in international exchange programs in various countries including New Zealand, Israel, Germany, Italy, Australia, Tokyo, and South Korea.
2. Washington and Lee University School of Law (W&L Law)
- Law School Link
- Degree offered: J.D.
The Washington and Lee University School of Law is another top law school in Virginia, comprising about 320 students. The private law school was founded in 1850 and one of the oldest in the state of Virginia. It has been consistently ranked among the top law schools in the country and has produced several notable alumni.
The law school is one of the pioneers in incorporating small-section legal writing classes. Students are also required to take transnational and administrative law courses during their first year. In their second and third years, they can get to choose from a diverse selection of rigorous and specialized courses that will deepen their legal knowledge and sharpen their writing skills. Some of the courses are Torts, Property, Criminal Law, Contracts, Civil Procedure, and Constitutional Law.
3. William & Mary Law School
With the urging of Thomas Jefferson, education began in William & Mary Law School in 1779. He was the governor of Michigan during that time. William & Mary Law Schoo is one of the oldest law schools in the country and was historically regarded as the Marshall-Wythe School of Law. The law school has received its accreditation by the American Bar Association since 1932.
Some of the academic concentrations of the Juris Doctor program are Intellectual Property Law, Criminal Law, Business Law, Public Interest and Social Justice Law, and International Law. Each of the concentration requires students to complete an experiential course or an independent research paper, two or more foundational courses, and three or more approved courses.
4. University of Richmond School of Law
Founded in 1870, the University of Richmond School of Law, only had 30 students for its initial class. This top-tier law school has been consistently placed among the top law schools in the world by the Princeton Review, National Jurist, and several law ranking platforms. Richmond School of Law has been considered to be ‘highly selective’ and has produced several respected professionals. It is also one of the highest-ranked small private schools.
This top law school in Virginia also prides itself on its Institute for Actual Innocence which is aimed to absolve unwarranted convictions. Students play an integral part in the investigation and screening of these cases.
Some of the required courses are Constitutional Law, Legal Analysis and Writing, Civil Procedure, Legal Research, Torts, Property, and Legislation and Regulation, Trial Advocacy, and Professional Responsibility.
5. George Mason University – Antonin Scalia Law School
- Law School Links:
- Degrees offered: J.D., LL.M., J.S.D, JD/MBA Dual Degree, JM, JD/MPP
Next on our list of best law schools in Virginia is the George Mason University Law School. The law school historically started as the International School of Law in Washington then later on affiliated with George Mason University in 1979. The school changed its name to the Antonin Scalia Law School in 2016. This reputable school is a member of the Association of American Law Schools and is accredited by the American Bar Association. It is the third highest-ranking law school in the Washington metropolitan area and also has one of the highest bar passage rate in the state of Virginia.
Antonin Scalia Law School is host to a diverse group of centers and research programs including the Center for the Protection of Intellectual Property, Law and Economics Center, Center for the Middle East and International Law, National Security Institute and the Global Antitrust Institute.
Students can choose from various specialty concentrations including Intellectual Property Law, Tax Law, Cyber Law Concentration, Antitrust Law, Personal Law, Communications Law, Financial Services Regulation Law, Corporate and Securities Law, International Business Law, and Immigration Law.
The law school offers five Master of Laws degrees in the fields of Intellectual Property, Intelligence and National Security Law, Global Antitrust, Cyber, Law and Economics, and Global Antitrust.
I hope that this article on the top law schools in Virginia was helpful. If you are interested, visit the Law School Category!