Among the original schools contemplated in Mr. Jeffersons
plan for the organization of the University of Virginia was "Law: Municipal
and Foreign, Embracing the General Principles, Theory and Practice of Jurisprudence,
together with the Theory and Principles of Constitutional Government."
Accordingly, the Law School was established with the opening of the University
in 1825 and has been an integral part of the University since that date.
Located on the North Grounds, along with the Darden Graduate
School of Business Administration and the Judge Advocate Generals School,
the Law School features new classrooms, seminar rooms, and moot courtrooms.
The Law Grounds also include comprehensive computer facilities; an expanded
library with a magnificent three-story reading room; a large career services
complex; attractive offices for student organizations; full dining services;
and numerous student lounges. Surrounded by inviting gardens and an elegant,
tree-lined lawn, the setting reflects Jeffersons conviction that locating
an intellectual community within a beautiful environment fosters learning and
As of 2004-05, the J.D. student body is composed of 1,100 students from virtually every state, the District of Columbia, and numerous foreign countries. They hold undergraduate or graduate degrees from over 250 colleges and universities. The teaching faculty includes over 70 full-time members who have been educated at this and the country's other major law schools and who bring to Virginia wide experience in education, private legal practice, and government service. Their offerings are supplemented by several dozen distinguished adjunct and part-time faculty drawn from private practice, government agencies, the judiciary, as well as educators and practitioners from numerous other countries.
The Law School is justly famous for the collegial environment
that bonds students and faculty, and student satisfaction is consistently cited
as among the highest in American law schools. Intellectual challenges are complemented
by a spirit of cooperation and camaraderie. Small first-year sections promote
individual inquiry while providing support and friendship. Students read each
others work and learn together, freely share course outlines and other
materials, and rely on the honor system to maintain the highest ethical standards.
Intellectual rigor, dynamic teaching, and rich diversity of
courses distinguish the Virginia curriculum. The Law School fosters creative
scholarship in all aspects of law, blending skilled craftsmanship with an enlarged
understanding of laws changing functions in contemporary society. At Virginia,
law in its origins, impact, implications, and full range of possibilities is
analyzed and debated in classes, workshops, lecture programs, student organizations,
and faculty-student informal exchanges. Faculty meet with and mentor students,
exploring ideas and fostering understanding and creative scholarship. Interdisciplinary
thinking comes naturally at Virginia, with a third of the faculty holding advanced
degrees in fields such as psychology, economics, philosophy, history, and the
social study of science and technology.
The Arthur J. Morris Law Library, with more than 870,000 volumes,
is one of the largest law libraries in the country. While its primary mission
is to support the Law Schools faculty and student body, it also provides
service to the University and the legal community beyond the University. As
a member of a global community of research organizations, it links the Law School
to local, national, and international information sources. It is an instructional
unit within the Law School responsible for teaching techniques of effective
legal research and publishing materials that assist the researcher in understanding
School of Law
580 Massie Road
University of Virginia
P.O. Box 400405
Charlottesville, VA 22903-1789