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University of Virginia School of Law

University information
NameUniversity of Virginia
School of Law
Established 1819
TypePublic charter, Private funding
EndowmentUS $ 300 million
DeanPaul G. Mahoney
CityCharlottesville, VA
CountryUnited States

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The University of Virginia School of Law (Virginia Law) was founded in Charlottesville in 1819 by Thomas Jefferson as one of the original subjects taught at his "academical village," the University of Virginia. The law school maintains an enrollment of approximately 1,100 students in its initial degree program (the Juris Doctor or J.D.). It also offers the Master of Laws (LL.M.) and the Doctor of the Science of Law (S.J.D.) degrees.

Virginia Law is regarded as one of the top 10 most prestigious and selective law schools in the United States. U.S. News & World Report currently ranks Virginia Law 9th in the nation, and ranks Virginia Law as 6th among major law firm recruiters. In's Top 25 Law School Rankings, Virginia Law is ranked 4th. In the 2010 Super Lawyers Law School Rankings, Virginia Law ranks 4th in the nation.

Virginia Law is third nationally in the number of alumni who are chairpersons and managing partners at law firms nationwide, and a survey by the National Law Journal found that the law school ranked fifth in the number of graduates hired by NLJ's top 250 firms in 2009. Additionally, Virginia Law is second only to Harvard in the number of alumni serving as general counsel at Fortune 500 companies.

From 2000 to 2010 (the latest available data), Virginia Law had the fifth-highest placement of law clerks on the United States Supreme Court (tied with Columbia), surpassed only by Yale, Harvard, University of Chicago and Stanford.

The Princeton Review ranked Virginia Law as 1st in "Best Quality of Life" among the nation's law schools, along with 2nd in "Best Classroom Experience," 4th in "Best Professors," 5th in "Hardest to Get Into," and 7th in "Best Career Prospects"

Virginia Law receives virtually no funding from public coffers except for in-state student tuition subsidies. Thus, the Law School depends upon the largesse of private donors, its substantial endowment and student tuition payments. In 1995-1997, the Law School used entirely donated funds to renovate and expand its buildings on the University's North Grounds to include the former facilities of the Darden Graduate School of Business Administration which built a new campus several hundred yards away. The Law School's 51% alumni giving rate is among the highest of the nation's law schools.

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