J.D. Admissions: Transfer & Visiting Students

Transfer Students
The Office of Admissions welcomes transfer students each year for the J.D. program. In order to be eligible for transfer, you must be a student in good standing at an ABA-accredited law school. Most successful transfer students are in the top half of their law school class. Our review process is holistic and considers all the information you submit, but we pay particular attention to your performance in the first year of law school.

Visiting Students
Typically, a few students are admitted each year as visiting students after the second year of study at another law school. Students interested in visiting the University of Richmond School of Law should follow the instructions for transfer students. Additionally, the letter from the dean of the law school you are presently attending should state that your current law school is willing to accept grades earned at the University of Richmond School of Law as credit toward your degree.

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  • Timeline

    Visiting Applicant Timeline

    September 15, 2023
    Visiting applicants may apply for the 2024-2025 academic year. Admissions decisions are made on a rolling basis depending on the semester for which you are applying.  Individuals may apply for fall, spring, or an entire year.  Early application is encouraged.

    Transfer Applicant Timeline

    September 15, 2023
    The transfer application opens on September 15. Transfer applicants may apply by submitting the necessary information listed below. Decisions will not be released until second-semester grades are submitted. You may begin your application before this time and submit the required documents as they are made available.  Decisions are made on a rolling basis after files are completed. 

  • Requirements

    Application - The application must be completed in full, with all required and any relevant optional questions answered. All applications must be submitted through the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC).

    Transcripts - After you register for the Credential Assembly Service (CAS), you must have a transcript sent to LSAC from each undergraduate, graduate, and law institution you have attended. This includes any dual credits earned in high school, college-level summer school, and all transfer credits, etc. This must also include an official transcript showing your grades and class standing at the end of the first year of law school.

    Letters of Recommendation - Applicants should use the Letter of Recommendation Service offered through CAS. Although Letters of Recommendation are not required, we strongly encourage at least one Letter of Recommendation, and that it comes from a professor at your current law school.

    Letter of Good Standing - The Dean of the law school you are presently attending must send a letter to the Richmond Law Admissions Office stating that you are in good standing and eligible to continue your studies there.  Letters of Good standing may be sent directly to the Admissions Office.  Visiting students must provide a letter stating they are eligible to visit and credit hours taken will transfer back to their degree-granting law school.

    Résumé - 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 otherwise not 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. We do encourage addressing why you wish to transfer or visit.

    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.

    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 position.

    GRE Takers - Applicants who were admitted to law school with a GRE score in lieu of the LSAT, must submit both their GRE score(s) and an explanation of why they took the GRE in place of the LSAT.  Both total and individual scores must be reported.
  • 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.

  • Loans

    For additional information on loans, check our Financial Aid Office website and 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.

  • Summer Fellowships

    Incoming transfer students working in qualifying public sector positions are eligible for funding through the School of Law’s Summer Public Service Fellowship Program. Qualifying public sector employment is unpaid, law-related work for a government agency, public interest organization or the judiciary. To qualify for a full stipend of $4,000, you must work full-time for at least eight weeks between May and August. Note that you do not need to complete an Intent to Participate form, but all other guidelines apply. If you do not enroll in the School of Law in the fall, you will be required to repay the summer stipend. 

    You may contact the Career Development Office with questions regarding the program.

  • Journals, Clinics, & Moot Court
    Once admitted and deposited, all transfer students are eligible to pursue acceptance to any of the journals, competition boards (such as Moot Court), and clinics.
  • 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 Discolsures

    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).