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University of Virginia

The University of Virginia (often abbreviated as U.Va. or UVA) is a public research university located in Charlottesville, Virginia which was founded by Thomas Jefferson.

The University is notable in U.S. history for being the first educational institution to offer academic programs in disciplines now common, such as astronomy and philosophy. Its School of Engineering and Applied Science was the first engineering school in the United States to be part of a comprehensive university. Officially, the University of Virginia is incorporated as The Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia.

The early Board of Visitors was filled with former Presidents of the United States: Jefferson, James Madison, and James Monroe.

The University is situated in beautiful Charlottesville, which is a city of contrasts. Nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains two hours southwest of Washington, D.C., the city is both cosmopolitan and relaxed. A picturesque and thriving metropolitan area of more than 130,000, Charlottesville has kept its small-town feeling.

The law school

Founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819, the University of Virginia School of Law is a world-renowned training ground for distinguished lawyers and public servants.

The Law School is widely recognized as one of the nation’s best, and its graduates are prominent in the leadership of the bar, legal education and public service both in the United States and abroad. Consistently ranked among the top 10 law schools in the United States, Virginia has educated generations of lawyers, instilling in them a commitment to the ideals of leadership, integrity, and community service.

Faculty members, nationally acclaimed experts in their fields and outstanding teachers, lead Virginia’s 1,100 students to appreciate the power of law to shape human behavior and to influence political, social, and cultural life.

Tuition fees

Entry Requirements

Applicants must have received the academic degree regarded as their countries' first professional degree in law (equivalent to the U.S. juris doctor degree). From France, the University requires either the Maitrise en Droit or the Magistere de Juriste. From Germany, the First State Exam in Law is required. For students who obtained their legal education under the Bologna degree system in Europe, both the bachelor and master degrees or their equivalents are required. From the United Kingdom, the University will consider an application where the bachelor degree is in a non-law subject if the applicant has also completed the two-year program at a college of law required to qualify as a solicitor if the applicant does not have a first degree in law. Contact the Graduate Studies Office if you have any questions regarding your eligibility to apply to the LL.M. program based on your legal education.

The Program

Since the 1960s, the Graduate Studies Program has provided an American legal education to lawyers who have obtained their first law degree in their home countries. By maintaining a small and highly selective program, the Law School ensures a supportive atmosphere for students. In a typical year, several dozen students, all holders of the academic degree regarded as their country’s first professional degree in law (equivalent to the J.D. degree) are admitted to the one-year program leading to the Master of Laws (LL.M.) degree. Virtually all members of the LL.M. class are from abroad. The Law School also offers the Doctor of Juridical Science degree (S.J.D.), the highest degree in law. Normally, a student is admitted to candidacy for the S.J.D. only after completing the LL.M.

For foreign law graduates, the LL.M. program is designed to provide both a broad introduction to American law and legal theory, and advanced training in specialized areas of the law that are relevant to the individual student’s planned career in private practice, academics, or public service.

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