The Campaign for Richmond: Giving to the School of Law

Scholarships: Building the strongest class

With average law school debt for law graduates nationwide exceeding $100,000, prospective students increasingly are choosing their law program based on financial assistance. At the same time, applications to law schools have dropped 40 percent over the past three years—further intensifying the competition for the best students. More scholarship money will keep the University of Richmond School of Law an affordable and accessible option for talented students and maintain our program’s strong reputation.

Summer Stipends: Offering practical experience for all students

Students need summer experiences to build their legal knowledge, gain hands-on training, and expand their professional networks. However, fewer law firms are offering traditional paid summer associate programs, and government and public interest employers rarely have funding to pay summer interns. Richmond Law fills this gap by offering summer stipends to students who take unpaid legal employment with government or nonprofit agencies. Stipends take some financial pressure off our students and allow them to get the real-world experiences necessary to launch successful careers, and so they are a key factor when the strongest applicants choose the law school they will attend.

Bridge to Practice Fellowships: Helping our graduates launch their careers

Students seeking to secure jobs as prosecutors and public defenders, or even to work for nonprofit agencies, face unique challenges. They take the bar exam in July, but must wait until the fall for the results and to be sworn into the bar. Graduates who can afford to do so often take unpaid internships in these organizations to be well-positioned when official hiring begins, but not everyone has the resources to be able to do this. Our Bridge to Practice Fellowship Program eases financial burdens for new graduates to enable them to take these unpaid positions as a prelude to full-time employment.

Student-Faculty Collaboration: Expanding research and mentorship opportunities

The results can be transformative when students work with faculty members outside the classroom. Students get a unique mentorship relationship in which they learn one-on-one about research and writing, and, for example, attend a conference to present their research product. Faculty members benefit from the time and energy of some of the nation’s brightest law students. And Richmond Law benefits from scholarship that is stronger and better by virtue of the collaboration, further enhances our reputation, and expands our students’ networks. Your investment will allow us to increase the number of paid student research assistant positions and thus increase the opportunities for these invaluable experiences.