University of Richmond School of Law

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University of Richmond School of Law
Location Richmond, VA, US
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University of Richmond School of Law is located in Richmond, VA

The University of Richmond School of Law (T.C. Williams School of Law) is located in Richmond, Virginia. The Law School is fully accredited by the recognized standardizing agencies in the United States.

Richmond law is a member of the Association of American Law Schools; it is on the approved lists of the American Bar Association and the Virginia State Board of Bar Examiners; and its Juris Doctor degree is fully accredited by the Regents of the University of the State of New York. Although each state has its own requirements for admission to the bar, a law degree from the Law School qualifies the holder to seek admission to the bar in any state in the nation and in the District of Columbia.

The University of Richmond campus can be found on 350 acres located about six miles west of the center of the city of Richmond, Virginia.

Past and Present[edit | edit source]

The school was founded in 1870 as a college within the University of Richmond. In 1890, the family of the late T.C. Williams, a devoted and valued trustee, donated $ 25,000 as the nucleus of an endowment for the law school. In recognition of this gift, the school was named The T.C. Williams School of Law in 1920, its official name to this day.

In 1914, Richmond College, including its Law Department, moved from its location downtown to the present campus. Returning service men from World War I created space problems for the College and the Law Department had to be relocated in the old Columbia Building at Grace and Lombardy streets. In 1920, the Law Department was reorganized as a separate School of Law within what was now the University of Richmond[1].

The current Law School building, constructed in the Collegiate Gothic architectural style, was originally opened in 1954, and it was enlarged in 1972 and 1981. In 1991, the building was significantly expanded, renovated, and refurbished. The Law School building now provides modern and technologically equipped classrooms, seminar rooms, an expansive law library, a beautiful moot courtroom, faculty and administrative offices, faculty and student lounges, and offices for most student organizations.

The Richmond School of Law was tied for 77th in the most recent ranking of law schools by U.S. News and World Report. The school has approximately 500 students, but plans to expand that number to 600 within the next few years, and is in the process of hiring between ten and twelve new faculty members. The school currently has a student to faculty ratio of 18:1.

Plans are underway for yet another addition to the law school, to be named in honor of the late Robert R. Merhige, Jr, a 1942 alumnus of Richmond Law. The Merhige Building addition will house new classrooms and seminar rooms, office space for new faculty and concentration programs, and communal study space for students.

City of Richmond[edit | edit source]

Downtown Richmond

Richmond, the capital of the Commonwealth of Virginia, is a city of more than 200,000, with a metro population of more than one million. The Virginia General Assembly holds its annual sessions downtown at a capitol designed by Thomas Jefferson. The Supreme Court of Virginia, the Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia and the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit also hold regular terms here. In addition, the State Corporation Commission, the Industrial Commission, and many federal administrative agencies hold hearings in the city. Washington, D.C., home to the United States Supreme Court, is only a two-hour drive from Richmond. The school's proximity to the capitals of both Virginia and the United States give students "unsurpassed opportunities for observation of the legal process". [1]

Initiatives[edit | edit source]

Entrance to Richmond law

Richmond law has recently launched several new initiatives focusing on expanding areas of the law such as intellectual property, wrongful convictions and family law. The school is making a strong push to become a center for intellectual property law, as evidenced by the recent founding of the Intellectual Property Institute (IPI) and the offering of a joint degree program with Virginia Tech that will enable students to earn both a Bachelor of Science degree and a law degree in as little as six years’ time. Through the IPI, Richmond law students are able to obtain a certificate of concentration in Intellectual Property Law.

The Institute for Actual Innocence, founded in 2005, works to identify and exonerate wrongfully convicted individuals in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The Institute is an academic program that partners students with local attorneys and community leaders to seek post-conviction relief for wrongfully convicted prisoners in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Furthermore, the school is working to establish the The National Center for Family Law, which will serve the best interests of families and children through academic and service programs dedicated to enhancement of the quality of the American legal system in relation to family law.

Sampling of Student Organizations[edit | edit source]

  • ABA Law Student Division
  • Alliance of Gay and Lesbian Law Students and Supporters
  • American Constitution Society
  • Black Law Students Association
  • Children's Law Center
  • Christian Legal Society
  • Client Counseling and Negotiation
  • Environmental Law Society
  • Equality Alliance
  • Federalist Society
  • Health Law Forum
  • Hispanic Community Legal Liaison Association
  • International Law Students Association
  • Juris Publici
  • Latino Law Association
  • Law Review
  • Law Students for Choice
  • Law Students for Life
  • Moot Court Board
  • Non-Traditional Law Student Association
  • Phi Alpha Delta, Law Fraternity International
  • Public Interest Law Association (PILA)
  • Richmond Law & Technology Association
  • Sports and Entertainment Law Society
  • Street Law Program
  • Student Bar Association
  • Student Intellectual Property Law Association (SIPLA)
  • Trial Advocacy Board
  • Virginia Bar Association, Young Lawyer’s Division
  • Women's Law Student Association (WLSA)

In addition, Richmond publishes four scholarly legal journals: the flagship University of Richmond Law Review, the Richmond Journal of Law and Technology, the Richmond Journal of Global Law and Business, and the Richmond Journal of Law and the Public Interest, as well as Juris Publici, the law school's student newspaper. Recently, Juris Publici launched its own blogto keep students and visitors updated on news and events at the school.

First year schedule[edit | edit source]

First year students at Richmond law are divided into three sections. In their first semester, 1L students take Torts, Property, Civil Procedure, and Legal Writing and Research/Law skills I. Second semester includes Constitutional Law, Contracts, Criminal Law, Law Skills II, and a choice between Environmental Law, Corporations, Family Law or Intellectual Property.

Notable faculty[edit | edit source]

Notable alumni[edit | edit source]

Miscellaneous facts[edit | edit source]

The University of Richmond Law School was the first law school in the country to require laptops as a requirement of matriculation, beginning with the students who entered in the fall of 1994.

The UR Law School was one of only eight law schools in the top 50 “tech-savvy” law schools to score in all four categories highlighted in a recent law school technology survey completed by National Jurist. Richmond Law ranked number 17 overall.

The Richmond Journal of Law and Technology, launched in 1995, is the world's first exclusively online law review.

The tuition for the 2006-07 year at Richmond is $28,390 plus an estimated $14,040 for other costs, making a total of $42,430.

External links[edit | edit source]