School of Law
University of Virginia

4.7 of 5 stars Average Student Rating (of 13 Student Reviews)

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5.0 of 5 stars

2010 | VERIFIED STUDENT


Academics

We have many prestigious scholars who are also good teachers - a rare combination. Class sizes range from large lectures (which you sometimes want) to many smaller seminars (only 12-15 students). Of course there are some duds, but you can pretty much avoid them, because we have open access to class evaluations. Professors are on the whole available and willing to answer questions or just talk about life and career choices. Definitely a good mix of theory-type and practical-type classes, with a fair amount of clinic opportunities. If research is your thing, many opportunities for independent study supported by professors.


Quality of Life

The cost of living is great - but then, I came from Manhattan. The campus is beautiful, the town is lovely but has what you need, with surprisingly good restaurants. The library is great; the entire school is really beautiful. My apartment is a ten-minute walk from school. Fifteen minutes, and you're in rural hills, a bit longer, and you're in the mountains. Can't beat that.


Admissions

I was surprised that the financial aid was as competitive as it was. Definitely made the decision easier.


Level

3


Graduation Year

2010


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5.0 of 5 stars

2010 | VERIFIED STUDENT


Academics

Students are NOT competitive at all -- we tell our admitted students and our incoming 1Ls about the collegial atmosphere, and whether it's self-selecting or people really are persuaded, there is no cut-throat behavior here. Sure, classes are graded to a B+ mean, so your exam is compared with your classmates' (like everywhere), but people don't hesitate to share notes, form study groups, or generally be friendly. Most of my classes have been very interesting, and all but a handful of professors would qualify as "very good" to "exceptional". It's a big school, so there are a lot of opportunities to take varied classes, but it's still a community environment where we can really get to know profs if we want to (plus student government pays for us to take profs out to lunch, which is great). Lots of clinics and practical classes but also lots of the theoretical/academic classes that you'd expect from a top school; plenty of popular professors work with both types. Workload is pretty reasonable, because, frankly, if it weren't, people just wouldn't do it. UVA prides itself on balance, whether that means playing softball every day, hitting up the bar scene, going to the gym, or being involved in the community -- there's no one way to do it, but the main thing is that people don't want to spend all day in the library, and professors respect that. (But for those that do, there are now ten journals and professors are always looking for research assistants, which pay decently well.)


Quality of Life

I'm not sure the "10" above really captures it. Cost of living is fairly low, especially given that most of our peer schools are in major cities. Housing is easy to find, with decent apartments near school, really nice apartments further out, and lots of houses for 2Ls and 3Ls that want them. Again, in a smaller city, crime and transportation aren't major issues (though a car is almost a must, and traffic is surprisingly bad). Lots of great restaurants, many of which are written about in national papers, though not all of them fit on a student budget. Then again, it's a college town, so there are a ton of great, cheap places too. And almost everyone at the law school is really friendly and understands the meaning of balance and having fun.


Admissions

Scholarships based on application, no separate app; I had GPA/LSAT >75%ile and got half off tuition (out of state); VA residents get $5000 off the top and make up 40% of the incoming class (so presumably some admissions preference as well); if I was doing it again, I might take a year off, work in DC, live in Northern Virginia


Level

2


Graduation Year

2011


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5.0 of 5 stars

2010 | VERIFIED STUDENT


Academics

The professors are phenomenal, and extremely accessible. I have found that there are definitely more classes that I want to take than time to take them! The school offers fantastic clinical programs as well, and there are a great number of clubs and organizations for legal and non-legal oriented activities. There are some great dual degree and study abroad programs. While the students are competitive, the atmosphere still remains very collegial.


Quality of Life

Friendly, social, great campus. I would not recommend another law school for people who want to obtain a difficult degree in a collegial environment.


Admissions

The application to UVA is similar to that of many other law schools; it requires the same general essay and documents. I found, however, that the school was more responsive than most to helping me determine a financial aid package, and I was able to obtain a good scholarship as well.


Level

2


Graduation Year

2011


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4.8 of 5 stars

2010 | VERIFIED STUDENT


Quality of Life

QOL is amazing at UVA. Cost of living is reasonable, grounds are gorgeous and safe, and weather generally is nice. People genuinely seem to be happy here. You couldn't pick a better place to spend 3 years than Charlottesville and UVA Law.


Level

2


Graduation Year

2011


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4.8 of 5 stars

2010 | VERIFIED STUDENT


Academics

People work hard and try to do well but are collegial and respectful of their classmates.


Quality of Life

I can't imagine the quality of life being better at any other law school. I've made good, close friends and enjoy the true sense of community that is engendered at UVA Law.


Level

2


Graduation Year

2011


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5.0 of 5 stars

2010 | VERIFIED STUDENT


Academics

Wonderful professors and diverse class offerings. Very few required courses, so it's easy to take what you want. Flex exams so you can schedule exam period to fit your personal study style/schedule. Smart students but no back stabbing - people are always willing to study together and share notes/outlines.


Quality of Life

Everything is top of the line.


Admissions

Great scholarship opportunities help make UVA affordable.


Level

3


Graduation Year

2010


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5.0 of 5 stars

2010 | VERIFIED STUDENT


Academics

The classes and professors are extremely engaging. Classmates are intelligent and hardworking, but not at all competitive. The environment is extremely collegial, with cooperation the norm and jerky gunners the very rare exception.


Quality of Life

The facilities at the school are top-notch, from the classrooms, which feature computers and projectors, to the moot courtrooms, which all contain state of the art electronics. Charlottesville is a wonderful community, and the residents really embrace the school and the students here.


Admissions

Standard application process with LSAT and one personal statement-type essay. All students are automatically considered for scholarship opportunities, so there are no additional application requirements for those.


Level

2


Graduation Year

2011


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4.8 of 5 stars

2010 | VERIFIED STUDENT


Admissions

Standard admissions process through LSAC as far as I can remember.


Level

3


Graduation Year

2010


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4.5 of 5 stars

2010 | VERIFIED STUDENT


Academics

Many small classes and seminars are available; there is a large series of "Principles and Practices" classes taught by practitioners that teach practical skills; the socratic method is used masterfully by many of the professors


Level

3


Graduation Year

2010


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4.7 of 5 stars

2010 | VERIFIED STUDENT


Academics

Classes are usually wonderful. I was able to start doing research with a professor very early on. The socratic method is far from intense (I am in my 6th semester and I have been cold-called 5 times; taht being said most people get called more often but I like to talk). Competitiveness depends on the year. It has gotten noticeably more competitive as the economy has tanked but it is still far from cut throat.


Quality of Life

All the stuff on your example list is awesome. Charlottesville can be pricey (granted not compared to NYC or Boston). On campus housing stinks so almost nobody uses it but off campus housing is plentiful for grad students. The dining possibiliites on campus can be a bit limited but there are places nearby, the town is safe and the people are friendly.


Admissions

To be brutally honest, I really don't remember all that much about the admissions process (I am about to graudate). I give tours for the admissions department so I know the median GPA is about 3.85 and the median LSAT is somewhere around 170.


Level

3


Graduation Year

2010


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