Vanderbilt Law School offers a rigorous legal education delivered by a world-class faculty in a uniquely collegial and supportive environment.
Law practice is increasingly specialized, and Vanderbilt offers several well-established upper-level tracks that allow students to gain in-depth exposure to fast-evolving technical and complex areas of law.
At Vanderbilt, you will gain the intellectual tools and professional skills to thrive in a fast-changing legal landscape.
Vanderbilt’s Career Services program provides students with the resources and support they need to assess their strengths, explore career options, refine their career goals and launch successful legal careers.
Vanderbilt Law professors are among the nation’s leading legal scholars, taking students to the cutting edge of legal scholarship and preparing them to have national impact.
Most students find it important to balance the demands of legal studies by joining one or more organizations for professional advancement, personal development, community service and professional networking.
An outstanding foundational curriculum in the first year followed by advanced coursework, experiential learning, and professional skills training in the second and third years are the hallmarks of a Vanderbilt legal education. First-year orientation includes Life of the Law, an intensive course that introduces core concepts and essential skills for learning the law. Required first-year courses include the traditional core subjects taught throughout American legal education with the addition of Regulatory State, an introduction to statutes and agency decisions and their central role in modern government and lawyering. First-year required courses are taught to sections of about 60 students, and legal writing groups each number about 20 students. In the second semester, first-year students take one elective course from upper-level offerings.
Studying the foundations of law and legal reasoning reveals a broad range of possibilities for one’s legal education and career. As first-year students identify areas of law and law practice that interest and inspire them most, their plans for upper-level studies take shape. Guided by faculty, students take advantage of our broad curriculum, diverse academic programs, experiential learning opportunities, and extracurricular options to tailor their second and third years to individual intellectual interests and professional career goals.
In the second and third years, Vanderbilt’s broad curricular offerings and academic programs allow extensive flexibility to delve into one or more areas of compelling interest and to prepare for a career in any area of law. An array of clinics, externships, simulation courses and summer stipends allow students to learn both the theory and practice of law in context while gaining valuable experience, and dual-degree programs allow students to gain additional expertise in a variety of fields. Working on Vanderbilt’s academic publications builds legal research and writing skills, and participating in student organizations fosters professional advancement, community engagement, and relationship building.
Law practice is increasingly global, and Vanderbilt students engage in professional practice settings anywhere in the world through externships and stipend-supported pro bono work. Our international law summer study program in Venice and law student exchange programs in Belgium and Brazil extend our academic offerings abroad, while the foreign-trained lawyers and judges in our LL.M. program enrich the school’s global perspective as they study American law alongside J.D. students in our classrooms.