Shaping the Future of Law: A Guide to Vanderbilt University Law School


Vanderbilt University Law School offers a stimulating learning environment with world-class faculty, a rigorous curriculum, and the vibrant city of Nashville as its backdrop. This institution consistently molds graduates who become highly sought-after professionals and leaders in the legal field.

If the prospect of joining Vanderbilt’s esteemed alumni appeals to you, this guide will provide the essentials. You’ll discover how to get into Vanderbilt Law School, understand its acceptance rate, delve into admission statistics and requirements, and learn how to achieve a high LSAT score to gain an advantage in admission.

History of Vanderbilt University Law School

Vanderbilt Law School, founded in 1874, has faced challenges such as limited faculty, financial difficulties, and changes in location throughout its history. The curriculum evolved over time, moving from a one to two-year lecture series to a graded course structure, and the school’s standards and enrollment fluctuated. 

Key developments included the construction of a new building in 1962, the integration of the law school in 1956, a $24 million expansion and renovation under Dean Kent D. Syverud, and the addition of various academic programs such as Law and Business and Economics, among others.

Under the leadership of multiple deans, Vanderbilt Law School has continued to evolve and solidify its position as a nationally ranked institution. Deans like Edward L. Rubin and Chris Guthrie introduced new programs and initiatives, focusing on modernizing curriculum, fostering faculty excellence, and encouraging alumni involvement. 

Several long-standing faculty members have been instrumental in the school’s growth, and the law school has surpassed the expectations of its founders, gaining a reputation for its impressive students, distinguished alumni, and respected faculty. Now in Nashville, Tennessee, the school thrives as a stimulating university community combining rigorous academics and a collegial atmosphere.

Vanderbilt Law School Class Profile of 2025

The J.D. Class of 2025 at Vanderbilt School of Law symbolizes an extraordinary blend of diverse and talented individuals. Below are the key statistics as of September 30, 2022:

Total Applications 5,817
Accepted Students 155 (three first-year sections of 52 students)
Women 54%
Minority 35%
Median Age 23
Geographical Representation 37 states, D.C., Canada, China, and India
Undergraduate Schools Represented 98
Students Holding Advanced Degrees 8 (5%)

The J.D. Class of 2025 class profile at Vanderbilt School of Law paints a vivid picture of a diverse and talented assembly of students. With 54% women, 35% minority representation, students from 37 states and various countries, 98 different undergraduate schools represented, and 8 students holding advanced degrees, the class is an emblem of global inclusivity. 

The blend of ages and extensive professional backgrounds in business, science, and public policy contribute to a rich academic environment. This diversity demonstrates Vanderbilt’s dedication to fostering a learning community where multiple perspectives flourish, enhancing the quality of legal education and reflecting the multifaceted nature of the modern legal landscape.

Is Vanderbilt a Good Law School?

When it comes to legal education, Vanderbilt University Law School is undoubtedly a name that stands out. Let’s further examine the ranking scores, acceptance rate, and statistics.

Ranking Category
16  Best Law Schools
12  Business/Corporate Law
45  Clinical Training
17  Constitutional Law
13 Contracts/Commercial Law
Criminal Law
34  Dispute Resolution
Environmental Law
46 Health Care Law
28  Intellectual Property Law
18  International Law
62  Tax Law
96  Trial Advocacy

The Vanderbilt Law School ranking has been impressively placed at 16 by the U.S. News Best Law Schools, marking its prestigious position among the country’s leading legal institutions. Additionally, the school has earned the 7th spot in specialized areas like Criminal Law and Environmental Law.

Vanderbilt University Law School Acceptance Rate

When choosing a law school, weighing the competition and how challenging it may be to gain admission is essential. The Vanderbilt Law School acceptance rate stands at a selective 14.3%, underlining the school’s rigorous standards.

To put this into perspective, let’s look at some comparable schools. Columbia Law School’s acceptance rate is 11.9% which is more competitive, while NYU Law School’s acceptance rate is 15.7%, which offers slightly more accessible opportunities.

These rates underscore the quality and selectiveness of top legal education providers, and Vanderbilt’s positioning among them is a testament to its commitment to fostering legal excellence. If you are determined and prepared, pursuing a legal education at Vanderbilt could be an excellent choice for your future career. 

Vanderbilt Law School Admission Statistics

If you’re considering admission to Vanderbilt University Law School, there are specific benchmarks you’ll want to meet to be a competitive candidate.

Vanderbilt Law School GPA

The institution requires a GPA of 3.9, so to be admitted, you should not only meet this mark but aim to exceed it. Your Law School GPA reflects your academic performance and ability, so ensuring you reach this level will demonstrate your readiness for Vanderbilt’s challenging curriculum.

Vanderbilt Median LSAT Score

To maximize your chances of being accepted into Vanderbilt Law School, attaining an LSAT score equal to or above 170 is essential. Achieving this score will showcase your dedication and intellectual prowess necessary for thriving in law school. By exceeding both the median LSAT score and GPA requirements set by Vanderbilt, you will position yourself favorably for applying to this esteemed establishment. It’s not only about getting in but showing that you have the ability and determination to succeed at one of the country’s top legal institutions.

Degree Programs at Vanderbilt School of Law

Vanderbilt School of Law offers the following degree programs:

  1. Juris Doctor (J.D.): A foundational program for aspiring lawyers covering key legal areas for bar examination readiness. Application deadline: April 1st.
  2. LL.M. Program: Designed for foreign law school graduates, offering a comprehensive understanding of American law and enhancing global legal careers.
  3. Ph.D. in Law and Economics: An interdisciplinary course exploring the interaction between legal structures and economic forces.

Vanderbilt School of Law’s commitment to academic excellence doesn’t stop in the classroom. The school emphasizes practical experience, ethics, and professional development, ensuring graduates are well-equipped to meet modern legal challenges. These degree programs reflect the school’s dedication to shaping versatile legal professionals, mirroring Vanderbilt’s reputation as a leader in legal education. 

Vanderbilt Law School Cost and Scholarships

How much does law school cost? The cost of law school can vary significantly depending on the institution and the region. For Vanderbilt Law School, the total cost of attending involves both direct and indirect expenses.

  • Tuition & Fees (Direct Costs): $72,184
  • Estimated Indirect Costs (books, supplies, housing, food, etc.): $33,334
  • Total Estimated Cost of Attendance: $105,528

These figures represent the Vanderbilt law school tuition per year. The cost of attendance is not the whole story, though. The school offers various financial support options to help make your legal education more affordable. VLS merit scholarships and need-based grants, awarded during the admission process, automatically renew each semester, provided you remain in good academic standing.

Furthermore, with the support of Vanderbilt Law alumni, VLS offers groundbreaking Access2VLS grants to incoming J.D. students who have proven financial need for assistance with tuition expenses. Unlike other institutions, VLS does not award conditional scholarships.

Federal Direct Loans are also available for tuition costs not covered by scholarships or grants and for living expenses. These diverse financial aid options demonstrate Vanderbilt’s commitment to supporting students and easing the financial burden of legal education.

Vanderbilt University Law School: Admission Process and Requirements

Aspiring legal professionals must understand law school requirements to prepare and meet specific admission criteria. 

The admission process for Vanderbilt Law School’s J.D. program is comprehensive and follows specific steps. Here’s a summarized view of the procedure:

Application Process

  • Sign up for LSAC and complete the LSAT.
  • Bachelor’s degree required.
  • International students may require TOEFL.
  • Pay the $70 application fee or use a waiver if applicable.
  • Apply online between September 1 and April 1 for Regular Decision or by November 1 for Binding Early Decision.
  • Schedule an in-person interview if possible.

Additional Requirements

  • LSAT and J.D. Credential Assembly Service (CAS) registration.
  • Provide official college transcripts to CAS.
  • Submit at least two letters of recommendation.
  • Write a personal statement and possibly a diversity statement.
  • Request an alumni interview if applying for fall 2023.
  • Understand character and fitness requirements for bar admission.
  • For international students, TOEFL or Duolingo English Test may be necessary.
  • Optional application for Law Scholars Merit Awards.
  • Pay a non-refundable $70 application fee unless waived.

The selection process at Vanderbilt Law School is rolling, allowing for careful comparison of applications completed at different times. Every application receives individual attention, with consideration given to a range of information beyond GPA and LSAT score, ensuring a quality educational environment. 

Level Up Your LSAT Preparation with Odyssey Test Prep

Here are some options you can choose to better prepare for the LSAT:

  1. LSAT Prep Course

By enrolling in an LSAT Prep Course, students can access comprehensive lessons, practice tests, and personalized strategies tailored to their strengths and weaknesses. This targeted approach helps improve critical thinking and problem-solving skills, ensuring a competitive edge in the LSAT and a higher chance of securing admission to Vanderbilt Law School. Unleash your potential with Odyssey Test Prep’s LSAT Prep Course and get acquainted with the intricacies of the test, enhancing your logical thinking and analytical abilities.

  1. LSAT Tutoring

Personal guidance can make a difference in your LSAT preparation. With LSAT tutoring, you can work on specific areas that need improvement. Pass the LSAT with Odyssey Test Prep’s personalized tutoring, and see yourself on the path to Vanderbilt University Law School. LSAT tutors understand the pressure of the test and aim to make the journey as smooth as possible for you.

  1. Law School Admissions Consulting

Achieving your Vanderbilt University Law School goals might seem like a complex maze. Law School Admissions Consulting can guide you through every twist and turn of the application process. Achieve your Vanderbilt University Law School goals with us and ensure you present the best version of yourself to your dream institution. 


Vanderbilt University Law School is renowned for its academic excellence and competitive edge. Enrolling here sets you on a path of success in the legal world. Since LSAT scores are often the best predictor of admission to law schools, preparing effectively is essential. 

Odyssey Test Prep offers the guidance and support to master the LSAT, from comprehensive prep courses to one-on-one tutoring and professional admissions consulting. We offer LSAT Free Consultation to understand your unique needs and design a preparation strategy that aligns you closer to your aspirations of being a part of the esteemed Vanderbilt Law School.


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