Richmond Home

COVID-19 Impact on Admissions

Does the University plan to hold on-campus classes next semester?

The University and the Law School intend to resume in-person instruction this fall. Classes will begin August 24, and will end on November 20. Students will not return to campus after Thanksgiving break, and exams will be administered virtually.

Will you have in-person classes in 2021?

We hope so! The health and safety of our students, staff, and faculty are our top priority. We will abide by the best practices identified by the Commonwealth of Virginia and current recommendations of the University’s Resilience of Operations Working Group. To learn more about how the University is handling COVID, please see the COVID-19 Response website.

Will I be penalized for having pass/fail grades in the Spring 2020 term?

No. We know that the Spring 2020 semester presented a unique and challenging situation. We understand that these grades are not the same as pass/fail grades under normal circumstances, and will absolutely not penalize you for having them.

Will pass/fail grades affect my scholarship eligibility?

No. Your cumulative GPA will be considered on the same scale, reported in the same way, and used in the same manner for scholarship consideration. Cumulative GPAs also typically account for 100+ hours of academic credit and one semester should not have a major impact unless you have multiple failing grades. Pass grades are generally excluded from conversion.

I was counting on this semester to bring my GPA up, and now I can't.

We know this situation is particularly frustrating, whether that’s because you have no grades thanks to pass/fail classes or lower grades than you were hoping for because of the circumstances. If you fall into the latter group, we would recommend writing a short addendum explaining any special circumstances you may have experienced. Either way, grades are just one factor we use to evaluate applications, and this semester is an even smaller portion of that overall picture.

If I have pass/fail credits, will I be compared with other prospective students who have traditional grades from this past semester?

We never view different applicants as a head-to-head competition. Instead, we evaluate each applicant as an individual, and look at all parts of what you’ve submitted. We won’t give other people a benefit because they have grades, nor will we penalize you for having pass/fail credits. You’ll be considered based on the applicant you are, not the applicant that anyone else is.

I won't be applying for several more years. Will you remember what happened in 2020?

Absolutely! It’s hard to imagine us forgetting the Spring 2020 semester, and we will certainly be on the lookout for unusual grades (or pass/fail) from this semester. On top of that, the Law School Admissions Council will include a note with any Law School Report that has a transcript from this term, reminding reviewers of the circumstances. Finally, most colleges will indicate the circumstances directly on your transcript.

My circumstances this semester were truly awful, and I want to be able to provide context for why I made pass/fail elections or for why my letter grades were not reflective of my abilities. How can I do that?

We understand. If you want to share your circumstances, the best way to do that is to submit an addendum along with your application. This doesn’t have to be a multi-page paper; it should be long enough to explain clearly the situation and how it impacted you.

I had a great job or internship lined up for after graduation, and now I've been laid off.

Sadly, these are the sort of things that are out of everyone’s control in this situation. We know it will be harder for everyone to find a job or internship under these circumstances. If you’re in that situation, we will certainly not penalize you for it. The key, though, is making sure we are aware of the situation and what you’re doing with your time. This should either be reflected in your resume or separately in an addendum. There isn’t a “wrong” thing to do with this time, and no job or activity is looked down upon. Just make sure to avoid unexplained gaps or holes.

Will you treat LSAT-Flex scores differently than the "normal" LSAT?

No. They will be scored on the same scale, reported in the same way, and used in the same way by us, for both admissions and scholarship considerations. Those scores will be treated exactly the same.