University of Richmond School of Law

The T. C. Williams School of Law at the University of Richmond (Richmond Law) is a school of the University of Richmond, located in Richmond, Virginia. Richmond Law is considered "highly selective" by US News & World Report, top tier by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, among the top twenty law schools by the National Jurist, and one of the Princeton Review's Best Law Schools of 2016.

One of the three highest ranked small private law schools—alongside Brigham Young University's J. Reuben Clark Law School and W&L Law—with approximately 150 J.D. candidates per class year, the University of Richmond School of Law has full accreditation by all recognized standardizing agencies in the United States, as a member of the Association of American Law Schools on the American Bar Association registry.

Richmond Law is also regionally accredited by the Virginia State Board of Bar Examiners, and is the #1 alma mater of judges in the state. Above the Mason–Dixon line, U of R Law's Juris Doctor degree is fully accredited by the Regents of the University of the State of New York; below, Richmond Law is among Above the Law's top ten Law Schools of the South. Located near the border of America's cultural demarcation line, the University of Richmond campus can be found on 350 acres (1.4 km2) located about six miles (10 km) west of the center of the city of Richmond, Virginia.

Richmond School of Law Logo.png
Richmond School of Law Logo.png

History

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Front of Richmond Law

The school was founded in 1870 as a college within the University of Richmond. In 1890, the family of the late T.C. Williams, a university trustee, donated $25,000 as the nucleus of an endowment for the law school. In recognition of this gift, the school was named The T.C. Williams School of Law in 1920. In recent years, the school has adopted the name "University of Richmond School of Law" in order to promote a unified identity for the university.

In 1914, Richmond College (as the university was then known), including its law department, moved from its location downtown to the present campus. Returning servicemen from World War I created space problems for the college and the law department had to be relocated to the old Columbia Building at Grace and Lombardy streets. In 1920, the law department was reorganized as a separate School of Law within what was now the University of Richmond.

The current Law School building, constructed in the Collegiate Gothic architectural style, was originally opened in 1954, and it was enlarged in 1972 and 1981. In 1991, the building was significantly expanded, renovated, and refurbished. The Law School building now provides modern and technologically equipped classrooms, seminar rooms, a law library, a moot courtroom, faculty and administrative offices, faculty and student lounges, and offices for most student organizations.

The Richmond School of Law was ranked 57th in the most recent ranking of law schools by U.S. News and World Report. According to US News, the school has 440 students with a student-to-faculty ratio of 7.7:1.

Cost of attendance

The total cost of attendance (indicating the cost of tuition, fees, and living expenses) at Richmond Law for the 2014-2015 academic year is $55,440. The Law School Transparency estimated debt-financed cost of attendance for three years, based on data from the 2013-2014 academic year, is $208,801. In 2013, 55% of entering students received scholarships. The average scholarship award was $23,356.

Employment

According to Richmond School of Law's official 2013 ABA-required disclosures, 58% of the Class of 2013 obtained full-time, long-term, JD-required employment nine months after graduation. Richmond's Law School Transparency under-employment score is 19.7%, indicating the percentage of the Class of 2013 unemployed, pursuing an additional degree, or working in a non-professional, short-term, or part-time job nine months after graduation.

Richmond Law's 2013 employment grade by the National Jurist is B+. Comparatively, Georgetown Law is graded slightly below with a "B"; Cornell Law is just above with an "A-".

Initiatives

Richmond Law has recently launched several new initiatives focusing on expanding areas of the law such as intellectual property, wrongful convictions and family law. The school is making a strong push to become a center for intellectual property law, as evidenced by the recent founding of the Intellectual Property Institute (IPI) and the offering of a joint degree program with Virginia Tech that will enable students to earn both a Bachelor of Science degree and a law degree in as little as six years’ time. Through the IPI, Richmond law students are able to obtain a certificate of concentration in Intellectual Property Law.

The Institute for Actual Innocence, founded in 2005, works to identify and exonerate wrongfully convicted individuals in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The Institute is an academic program that partners students with local attorneys and community leaders to seek post-conviction relief for wrongfully convicted prisoners in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Three days before leaving office, President Obama commuted Dujuan Farrow's life sentence after the Institute for Actual Innocence submitted his case for clemency review.

Furthermore, the school is working to establish the The National Center for Family Law, which will serve the best interests of families and children through academic and service programs dedicated to enhancement of the quality of the American legal system in relation to family law.

Richmond Public Interest Law Review

The Richmond Public Interest Law Review (PILR) is a law review published by the University of Richmond School of Law. The Journal, formerly known as the Richmond Journal of Law and the Public Interest, vol. 1 (1996) - vol. 19 (2016), is the scholarly voice for issues pertaining to social welfare, public policy, and a broad spectrum of jurisprudence.

PILR strives to produce a variety of articles addressing contemporary, controversial, and thought-provoking issues of either regional or national importance. Past authors include experienced practitioners, esteemed legal academics, concerned and motivated law students, and insightful advocates working to change the world around them both regionally and nationally.

Publishing four annual volumes, PILR post its articles and other related content online to reach the widest audience possible. Of these four annual publications, two volumes specifically attempt to confront prominent and difficult issues raised by modern society: the General Assembly in Review issue and the PILR Symposium issue.

First, PILR publishes an annual print volume focused exclusively on the legislative work of the Virginia General Assembly and its implications for the Commonwealth's citizens and future. Past General Assembly article topics include, among others, discussions regarding state legislation aimed at reproductive rights, religious freedom, lyme disease, the reformation of ethics and conflict of interest laws, mental health court systems, and the sexual victimization of incarcerated juveniles.

Second, PILR publishes an annual Symposium volume touching on contemporary social welfare issues and controversial topics relating to our nation's public interest. Past PILR Symposium topics have confronted challenging issues in the areas of veteran's law, privacy rights and the regulation of sexuality, gender equality in the twenty-first century, and wrongful convictions. Among other notable speakers and contributors to PILR's past symposia, PILR was pleased to have former Richmond Mayor, Virginia Governor, current United States Senator and 2016 Democratic Vice Presidential nominee Tim Kaine as the keynote speaker at PILR's 2013 Veteran's Law Symposium.

PILR's 2016 Symposium, entitled Virginia's Opioid Epidemic: Treatment and Policy in the 21st Century, took a sharp focus on Virginia's attempts to control, treat, and prevent the opioid epidemic that has recently hit both the state and the nation. The keynote speakers included Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring, Dr. James C. May, Henrico County Commonwealth's Attorney Shannon Taylor, Winchester Public Defender Timothy S. Coyne, Director of Constituent & Legislative Affairs for the Office of the Attorney General Brittany Anderson, and former WDVA United States Attorney and Chair of the Hunton & Williams White Collar Defense Group Timothy J. Heaphy. Past authors include experienced practitioners, esteemed legal professors, and insightful advocates working to change the world around them both regionally and nationally.

Richmond Journal of Law and Technology

The Richmond Journal of Law and Technology (JOLT) is a law review published by the School of Law. It was the first student-edited law review in the world to be published exclusively online.

First published on April 10, 1995, the Journal focused on the impact of computer-related and other emerging technologies on the law. Today, JOLT publishes four issues per year containing a variety of technology-related articles including traditional intellectual property issues, telecommunication law, biotechnology, computer law, and emerging areas of constitutional law. Additionally, the Journal publishes an annual survey concerning the emerging issues in Electronic Discovery. Every two years, JOLT hosts the Richard P. Klau Law and Technology Student Writing Competition.

Notable faculty

  • James Comey - Former Director, Federal Bureau of Investigation; former Deputy Attorney General; former United States Attorney, 4th Circuit; former United States Attorney, 1st Circuit
  • Tim Kaine - United States Senator, Virginia; former Governor of Virginia, 2005; former Lieutenant Governor of Virginia, 2001; former Mayor of Richmond, 1998
  • Marla Decker - Virginia Court of Appeals judge; former Virginia Secretary of Public Safety

Notable alumni

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