What do you know about the University of Virginia School of Law? People sometimes get in the habit of thinking that universities are all the same. This is especially true when it comes to a lot of law schools. You might be surprised to learn that each of these schools are actually quite unique in their own right. If you’re not convinced yet, consider reading through this list about the University of Virginia School of Law. In it, you’ll find 20 things about the school that you probably didn’t already know. In some cases, it might be something that you never even expected in your wildest dreams.
1. The school was founded by Thomas Jefferson
It might surprise a lot of people to know this, but the school was actually founded by one of the country’s founding fathers, Thomas Jefferson. It’s interesting to note that one of the individuals who was so incredibly involved with forming the basis for this country also was the one responsible for creating the school, one that is still turning out lawyers at the top of their field with each passing year. It serves as not only a testament to Jefferson’s driving commitment, but also to the school itself which continues to demonstrate that same level of commitment in everything they do.
2. It’s been a staple in the area for more than 200 years
The school was built and began operations in 1819. Three years ago, they celebrated their 200th anniversary. That’s something that very few colleges of any level can boast. As a matter of fact, you don’t typically see any school that can claim the same longevity unless you’re talking about an Ivy League school. The fact that the school has been around for this long is impressive enough in and of itself. Understanding that they are at the top of their game takes things to an entirely new level.
3. It has a special standing due to its longevity
Because of the school’s longevity, it has gained special standing with many individuals who have either gone there or have an interest in attending. As a matter of fact, many individuals make the decision to attend this school because it has been doing the same job for hundreds of years. The school has a reputation for preparing lawyers for great careers, and that is what any prospective law student wants. As such, a number of people travel from all over the country in order to attend there.
4. It’s very well regarded
It’s not just the school’s longevity that causes it to be so well-respected, although that definitely does come into play. It’s also about the fact that the school has been able to achieve what many others have not, preparing lawyers for careers that go all the way up to the Supreme Court. As a matter of fact, they are the school that is fifth most likely to turn out lawyers that will eventually go on to serve on the Supreme Court, behind only Ivy league law schools. Considering its fairly humble beginnings, that’s something to be proud of, indeed.
5. It’s also one of the most prestigious law schools in the country
Of course, it’s easily one of the most prestigious law firms in the entire country. At the moment, it is currently ranked number two on the list of schools that provide the greatest return on investment. That’s definitely saying something, especially when you consider the fact that the college goes up against others like Yale. It’s no wonder that so many people have a strong desire to attend there. Typically, they educate just over 1,000 students every year.
6. It’s a public school, not a private one
You might be interested to know that this is not a private school, despite the fact that many people think it is. As a matter of fact, it is very much a public school. It puts to bed all of those rumors that a high-quality education cannot be achieved at a public school, because everyone who attends the school has been getting exactly that type of education at a school that refuses to change the way that it does business for years. The school is actually very keen on remaining a public education institution. They’ve had several opportunities over the years to become a private entity, and they have refused them at every turn.
7. The school doesn’t get any funding from the state
It’s interesting to note that even though the school is a public education facility, it does not receive any funding whatsoever from the state. The law school is part of the University of Virginia and the university itself does indeed receive state funding. However, the law school operates as a separate entity and does not receive any of this funding whatsoever. This is the direct result of an agreement that was entered into several years ago, fully stating that the school would have to be self-sufficient in order to continue operating. That is something that they have not only achieved, but excelled at throughout the years.
8. It’s completely financially self-sufficient
As a matter of fact, the law school is completely self-sufficient when it comes to securing its own finances. It does not receive additional funding from the state, nor from the federal government. Instead, the school relies on other resources in order to ensure that it has enough money to operate every year. More of that will come into play later on, so it’s important not to discuss too much right now. What is important to know is that they don’t rely on any state or federal funding programs in order to keep their doors open.
9. They routinely offer dual degree programs
The school not only offers both Master’s and Doctoral programs, but they also offer dual degree programs that allow people to become skilled attorneys while simultaneously studying business or something similar. This prepares students for a career that allows them to be more well-rounded than someone who studies only a single degree program.
10. The school also supports external degree programs
One of the things that students tend to love about the school is that it also supports external degree programs through some of its partner universities. One of those partner universities just happens to be located in Paris, France. This gives students an opportunity to study abroad and remain on track with their degree program at the same time.
11. They rank second in the nation for placing graduates in top law firms
It’s already been discussed that this is a very prestigious school. As a matter of fact, they are second in the nation for placing graduates in some of the country’s top law firms immediately upon graduation. It’s interesting to note that the majority of their students go on to begin working at some of the most well-regarded law firms in the country within weeks of graduation. That is an impressive record, to say the least. This is especially true when you consider the fact that a lot of other law schools don’t achieve similar results.
12. They only have 6-7 students per professor
One of the reasons that there is such a high level of success at this school is because they only have six to seven students per professor. As a matter of fact, this is done by design so that professors can provide their full attention to each student, recognizing when a student might be struggling with something and then providing the necessary level of guidance to help them achieve their best as opposed to simply running them through to graduation.
13. Students routinely rank the school with top marks
As you can imagine, students tend to like the way they do things there. They routinely rank the school with top marks for everything from life on campus to relationships between students and professors and even classroom interaction. Overall, students tend to have very good things to say about the school throughout the entire three years that they spend there.
14. The school places a heavy focus on public service
The school also places a great deal of focus on public service. There are more than 60 student organizations that can be enjoyed while individuals are studying there. No less than 10 of them are directly related to public service of one type or another. The school encourages their students to get involved in these organizations so that they can begin to pay forward their success. As a matter of fact, they even have programs where individuals who are nearing graduation can provide legal counsel to those in need on a pro bono basis. It gives them real-world experience while simultaneously helping individuals who may not otherwise be able to afford legal counsel.
15. There are almost as many women as men attending the school
The school also prides themselves on their diversity. As a matter of fact, it’s split almost exactly down the middle between men and women who attend the school. The most recent statistics available indicate that females make up 49.5% of the student body, while males make up the remaining 50.5%.
16. More than 95% of their students pass the Bar on the first try
It’s also worth noting that more than 95% of the students who attend the school pass their Bar on the first try. To be more exact, that number typically hovers right around 95.6% of the student body. There’s nothing easy about a Bar exam and it’s something that most students worry about throughout their entire college career. Clearly, the individuals that attend this institution are well-prepared to pass the Bar and go on to work in the real world as soon as they graduate.
17. It costs a lot of money to study there
Remember, the school does not rely on any form of state or federal funding in order to keep its doors open. Unfortunately, that cost has to be incurred by someone. Tuition to attend the school is not cheap in any manner. As a matter of fact, it costs more than $85,000 to send a student to the school for one year, and that’s for students who live within the state. In order to complete the entire three years, the cost for in-state tuition is approximately $306,000. Individuals who are attending from out-of-state will obviously be expected to pay more. At the moment, out of state tuition for the full three-year program is slightly more than $314,000.
18. The school survives financially through endowments and voluntary gifts
The school also survives through endowments and voluntary gifts from alumni. It’s not at all uncommon to see alumni paying several thousand dollars to the school on a yearly basis in order to help it continue to operate in the same way that it did when they were attending. It’s a way of showing their thanks for helping them get the education they needed to prepare them for their chosen career.
19. The school is not devoid of the Arts
People have a tendency to think that a school of law is completely devoid of the Arts, but that isn’t the case here. As a matter of fact, the school holds an annual play that involves students and professors writing their own skits that they will then perform. There is also a great deal of singing involved. Typically, it serves as something like a roast from the students to their professors, giving professors ample time to read what the students have written and then write their own responses which will then be performed in song. It’s all done to raise money for the community.
20. The school raises money for local at-risk youth every year
The school also holds an annual softball game that raises money for at-risk youth. Typically, they raise more than $25,000 a year for this program, something that they can then take out into the community in order to help many of the people who need it most.