J.D. Admissions

Our J.D. degree is a full-time program that combines sophisticated legal theory with numerous opportunities to put theory into practice.

Because of the limited number of seats, we base our decisions on a careful and holistic evaluation of each individual's promise of success at Richmond Law and fitness to become a member of the legal profession.

Learn more about our process below.

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  • Timeline

    September 1, 2022 
    We will begin accepting applications for Fall 2023. All applicants must apply through LSAC.org. Richmond Law does not charge an application fee.

    December 15, 2022
    Early Decision Applications must be received and completed by December 15, 2022. Early Decision admissions are binding.  Additional information on the terms and requirements for this program can be found below.  Applications not complete by this date will be moved to the regular decision process.

    February 15, 2023 
    The priority deadline for scholarship consideration is February 15. We will continue to award scholarships after that date as long as funds remain, but there may be a delay.

    February 25, 2023 (or as soon as possible thereafter)
    FAFSA should be on file (FAFSA available for submission on October 1). Our FAFSA code is 003744.

    March 1, 2023
    Priority consideration for admission. We will continue to accept applications thereafter until the class is filled.


  • Requirements

    Application Form
    The application must be completed in full, with all required and any relevant optional questions answered. Applications may be submitted prior to receiving LSAT scores. All applications must be submitted through the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC). Richmond Law does not charge an application fee. 

    After you register for the Credential Assembly Service (CAS), you must have a transcript sent to LSAC from each undergraduate and graduate institution you have attended. This includes dual credit in high school, college-level summer school, transfer credit, etc. Applicants are advised to wait until they have completed at least six semesters of undergraduate work before requesting transcripts.  Even after application, you should update your transcript with LSAC as more semesters of coursework are completed.

    Students must register and take the exam through LSAC. While applications can be submitted prior to receiving LSAT scores, they will not be evaluated until an LSAT score is received.

    The résumé may be of any length and should provide chronological information about your academic background, work experiences, extracurricular or charitable activities, and accomplishments.

    Personal Statement
    The personal statement should be approximately two pages in length and can address any topic you deem relevant. We encourage you to provide information about yourself not otherwise found in your application. We do not recommend explaining any legal or educational issues associated with your application here. If needed, please address these issues in an addendum.

    An addendum must be submitted to address any legal, character and fitness, or educational issues associated with your application. If there are multiple issues, each should be addressed in its own addendum. There is no required format.

    Other Statements
    Richmond Law considers whether a student comes from an underprivileged socioeconomic background, is a first-generation college student, has a disability, or is from a group underrepresented in the legal profession. We encourage any additional statements you wish to provide.

    Letters of Recommendation
    Applicants should use the Letter of Recommendation Service offered through CAS. Two letters are required; up to four will be accepted. We encourage at least one letter of recommendation come from a professor who can address your academic abilities unless you completed your undergraduate work more than five years prior to your application. Note: Letters of recommendation are held in confidence. The submission of your application constitutes your waiver of any and all rights to review letters of recommendation retained by this law school.

    Letters are used for law admissions purposes only.

    TOEFL Waiver for International Applicants
    International applicants are expected to demonstrate fluency in the English language. Candidates for whom their native language is not English are required to take either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exam. All scores must be submitted through LSAC; paper copies of scores are not accepted.

    International applicants who believe they are fluent in English or have completed their undergraduate (or other advanced degrees) at an institution where the primary language of instruction is English may request a waiver of the English language testing requirement. Applicants must submit a written statement indicating their level of proficiency and how they achieved it, i.e. either through school instruction or work experience in an English-speaking professional job.

  • GRE Policy

    In an effort to increase the accessibility of law school, the University of Richmond School of Law will accept the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) under the following conditions:

    1)    GRE scores are considered only when an applicant does not have a reportable LSAT score.

    • If an applicant has a reportable LSAT score on file at any time during the admissions process, the GRE score will not be considered as part of the process.

    • If an applicant has been admitted with a GRE score, receipt of a subsequent LSAT score will result in a reevaluation of the applicant’s file, and the Admissions Committee may re-evaluate the admissions decision.

    2)    Applicants must submit all GRE scores from the past five years. Both total and individual section scores are required. The Admissions Committee will evaluate scores from all sections of the GRE. 

    3)    Applicants who choose to apply with only a GRE must submit an explanation for why they have chosen to take the GRE over the LSAT.

    We encourage all applicants to take the LSAT; while some merit scholarships will be available for GRE applicants, the majority will be for those with an LSAT score. 

  • Early Decision Binding

    The early decision application is a binding application for individuals who know Richmond Law is their primary choice.  An early decision applicant may apply for admission to other law schools on a non-binding basis, but once admitted to the University of Richmond School of Law as an early decision applicant, the applicant must withdraw all other law school applications and may not initiate any new applications for admission.  

    Early Decision Applications must be received and completed by December 15. Applications not complete by this date will be moved to the regular decision process.  To apply simply answer yes to Early Decision Binding on the J.D. application.

  • Character & Fitness

    State Bar Character and Fitness - An applicant’s character and fitness to practice law must be established as a prerequisite for licensure. When you apply to sit for the bar exam, you are required to provide relevant, detailed background information that will be carefully evaluated by the bar examiners in the state in which you apply. Any information discovered during this background investigation that negatively reflects on your character and fitness to practice law may be treated as just cause for further analysis.

    As part of the process, all applicants must disclose any information regarding events both before and during law school. The State Bar’s Character and Fitness Committee will compare your answers to its questions with those provided in your law school application. Any discrepancies can result in adverse consequences, so the information you provide on your law school application must be accurate and complete.  Should the committee find that your responses on the law school application are inconsistent with those provided on the bar exam application, the Board of Bar Examiners will likely initiate a more intensive review of your file. Should this review occur, you may be subject to sanctions, including revocation of law school admission and/or a delay in certification of fitness.

  • Scholarships & Loans

    Merit Scholarships
    The University of Richmond School of Law offers generous scholarship assistance. All applicants for admission are considered for these scholarships; no separate application form is required. Awards are based on LSAT score, undergraduate academic achievement, and aptitude for the study of law. For further information on merit scholarships, contact the Law School Admissions Office at 804-289-8189. For additional information on loans, check our Financial Aid Office website contact them at finaid@richmond.edu or 804-289-8438.

    Educational Loans
    The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the application for all federal aid at the University of Richmond School of Law. Ideally, the FAFSA should be received by the federal processor by February 25 or as soon thereafter as possible (FAFSA available for submission on October 1). The FAFSA may be submitted online here.

    Parental information is not required on the FAFSA for law students. Our FAFSA code is 003744.

  • Policy Prohibiting Discrimination

    The University of Richmond prohibits discrimination and harassment against applicants, students, faculty, or staff on the basis of race, religion, national or ethnic origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, disability, status as a veteran, or any classification protected by local, state, or federal law.

    As a recipient of federal funds, the University complies with federal laws prohibiting discrimination, including Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX). Title IX provides that: “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”

    Admissions applications will be reviewed in a holistic approach and decisions will not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, religion, national origin, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, age, or disability, or military status. 

    You are assured both by school policy and by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act that the information will be confidential and accessible only to school officials, government agencies, and others with a legitimate educational interest in this information. 


  • Admissions Policy

    Richmond Law seeks to admit highly qualified applicants who have demonstrated the potential to complete not only a rigorous course of legal study but also possess the promise of contributions to the law school, the legal profession, and the broader community. Using a holistic review process, the Admissions Committee seeks to admit a student body of wide-ranging backgrounds, education, and experience.  In so doing, the Committee seeks to bring a variety of skills and perspectives to the classroom and campus community.

    In determining an applicant’s suitability for the program, the Admissions Committee reviews academic factors such as the candidate’s GPA, transcripts, undergraduate institution, and the quality of the applicant’s prior academic experience. Emphasis is also placed on the applicant’s capacity for law school study, as reflected through appropriate evaluative mechanisms, including but not limited to standardized tests and writing samples.  In addition, the Committee recognizes that other factors such as location, ethnicity, leadership qualities, challenges overcome, and work experience can contribute to an applicant’s likelihood for success in law school.  The Committee further acknowledges that such factors can affect the applicant’s ability to constructively impact the legal profession as well as the society at large.

    Character and Fitness

    Applicants to Richmond Law are required to complete all questions in the Character and Fitness section.  Applicants have a continuing obligation to update their responses to these questions if the answers change, even after their application is complete. 

    Admission Decisions

    Once an application has been marked complete, candidates can expect a timely decision, usually within six to eight weeks. On occasion, some applications may be held for future review.

    Offers of Admission & Deferral

    Offers of Admission are good for the year in which the offer is made. An applicant who chooses not to enroll for the year in which the admission offer is made may reapply the following year by completing an updated application. Admission in one year does not, however, guarantee admission in subsequent years, and applicants are considered holistically each year.

    Applicants may request a deferral of enrollment by emailing the Associate Dean of Admissions. Deferrals are evaluated on a case-by-case basis, and applicants must provide a statement explaining their reasons for requesting a deferral. Deferments may be granted for up to two years for military service, or other recognized paid service work such as Teach for America, Peace Corps, etc.

    Applicants who are not granted deferral may reapply for admission in subsequent year(s) and will be considered with the applicant pool for that year.

  • GDPR Statement
    In compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the University of Richmond has a legitimate interest in collecting information needed to evaluate an applicant’s personal, educational, and work background in order to make admissions decisions and otherwise process such applications. The University of Richmond General Data Protection Privacy Notice can be found at https://policy.richmond.edu/documents/policy-pdfs/Public/Information-Services/general_data_privacy_regulation_notice.pdf.
  • Licensure & Certification Disclosures

    The University of Richmond School of Law programs for professions that require licensure or certification are intended to prepare the student for Virginia licensure and certification requirements. Admission into any programs for professions that require licensure and certification does not guarantee that students will obtain a license or certificate. Licensure and certification requirements are set by agencies, not controlled by or affiliated with the University of Richmond School of Law, and licensure and certification requirements can change at any time.

    The University of Richmond School of Law has not determined whether its programs meet other states’ educational or professional licensure and certification requirements. Students planning to pursue licensure or certification in other states are responsible for determining whether the completion of the University of Richmond School of Law programs will meet their state’s requirements for licensure or certification. This disclosure is made pursuant 34 CFR §668.43(a)(5)(v).