Vanderbilt University Law School – Acceptance Rate, Ranking, and More

When Cornelius Vanderbilt initially donated the 1 million dollar endowment needed to jumpstart Vanderbilt University, he did so with the hopes of unifying a nation. 

No one could have possibly predicted how successful that dream would become.

Though the American Civil War ended in 1865, the traumatizing effects lingered for decades afterward. 

In a nation wracked by division, the states bordering the line between the North and South felt that pain worst of all.

In 1873, Vanderbilt was established with a clear goal: to bind the country together through the power of education.

Today’s Vanderbilt student body is more diverse than the founders ever could have imagined! 

A full 60 percent of the incoming class are in minority groups, and more than 8 percent come from all over the world. 

Though this historic university has gained national recognition in several areas of study, few are more prestigious than the Vanderbilt Law School.

Founded a year after the original university, Vanderbilt Law School quickly rose through the ranks to become one of the top law schools in the young nation. 

Through hard work, the professors challenged students to help establish the United States as a powerhouse of learning, forward-thinking, and change.

Today, those initial values stand.

Vanderbilt Law School takes pride in its ability to fully prepare students for whatever their dreams may be, whether that means fighting for the rights of others or pursuing a thriving career in politics.

To learn more about how to join the list of Vanderbilt alumni already changing the world, read on!

Vanderbilt Law School Acceptance Rate

Vanderbilt University Law School
15Everett, VULS, CC BY-SA 4.0

The acceptance rate into Vanderbilt Law School is 14.5%.

In 2021, Vanderbilt Law School received a staggering 6,884 applications. 

Of those, the application team spent weeks pulling the cream of the crop to create the incoming class of 2024.

Of all applications accepted, 53% were women, an increase of about two percent from the usual average. 

In addition to being made up of 33% minority groups, this class also includes representation from thirty-one of the fifty states, as well as Puerto Rico and Canada.

Potential students approaching with only a bachelor’s degree have nothing to fear. In the class of 2024, only eight students already had experience in higher education before applying.

Additionally, over half of the incoming students had already graduated college at least one full year before applying. 

Vanderbilt is open to students from all walks of life, both those who knew in their hearts that they wanted a career in law and those who took the time to learn their dream!

Though potential students should not feel too much anxiety when applying, there’s no getting around the truth: Vanderbilt Law School is one of the most selective law schools in the country.

Because this historic university receives so many applications per year, they are limited in the number of applicants they can take on per semester. 

Though this can be reasonably stressful, there is a bright side. 

Those accepted applicants can be assured that they are among the best and brightest learners in the nation!

Vanderbilt Law School GPA & LSAT Requirements

Because this school must sift through so many applications, the application process can be rigorous. 

Before applying, a student must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university, typically in English, political science, or another related field. 

They should also come prepared with at least two letters of recommendation and a personal statement describing their dedication to a career in law.

Students must also provide copies proving their academic success, including GPA and LSAT score. 

Though there is no minimum score required for application, this is a major part of the process, and a stellar academic record is certainly helpful in giving applicants an edge.

In the class of 2024, the average accepted applicant had a GPA of above 3.95 with an LSAT score of around 170. 

Though some applicants had lower scores– with 25% having a GPA of 3.7– few had an LSAT score of lower than 165.

Though academics make up a huge portion of the acceptance process, there is another element to contend with: a personal interview. 

Vanderbilt Law School alumni all over the nation hold personal interviews with prospective students to better learn about their goals, composure, and general communication skills. 

Though usually held in person, these interviews are now also available via zoom, protecting the health of both students and alumni alike. 

The final step of the application process is the character and fitness assessment, which helps ensure that the students graduating from Vanderbilt Law School truly have the integrity to carry forth the prestigious name.

Vanderbilt Law School Notable Alumni

There’s truly a reason that Vanderbilt can afford to be as selective as they are; they have had the joy of graduating some of the most successful students in the nation.

After graduating from Vanderbilt Law School, Greg Abbott went on to celebrate a successful life in politics, even returning to his home state of Texas as governor. 

The second ever US governor to serve his term in a wheelchair, Greg Abbot was known for his strong Christian values and firm leadership.

Alumni of Vanderbilt University Cornelia Clark returned to Nashville after a career teaching, determined to make a difference in the world of law as well as education. 

After receiving her degree from Vanderbilt Law School, she served as the vice president of the Nashville bar association before being appointed to the Tennessee Supreme Court. 

Though most celebrated alumni are best known for their role in politics, that isn’t always the case. 

Alumni Fred Thomas graduated from Vanderbilt Law School and became an actor, radio personality, writer, and politician!

Thomas rose to fame through his active role in the Republican party, even becoming a presidential candidate in 2008. 

Known for his strong presence, Thomas’s charisma and manner of speaking led him to a successful career in acting, where he appeared in numerous television shows and movies. 

Regardless of whether they serve in the courtroom, in political office, or on the silver screen, Vanderbilt Law School Alumni make their mark in the world however they choose!

Vanderbilt Law School Ranking

Ranked as one of the top twenty law schools in the entire nation, Vanderbilt Law School has easily established itself as one of the best educational institutions in the nation.

In 2022, US News recognized Vanderbilt Law School as the seventeenth-best law school in the country, beating out 186 other accredited schools to earn the spot. 

Journalists took a holistic view in their rankings, examining student achievement both in and out of their time at the school.

In 2022, this establishment’s dedication to supporting diversity on campus brought about even more national recognition.

A recent list published by Lawyers of Color– a nonprofit dedicated to supporting diversity in the field of law– declared Vanderbilt one of the best law schools for Black students, placing it seventh in a listing of the top sixty-five.

To come to this ranking, the organization studied the percentage of black representation within the student body, bar passage rate, and students who went on to join big law associates, as well as other markers of success.

Widely known for its dedication to nurturing students into the most effective, well-established lawyers possible, Vanderbilt Law School takes pride in the endless success stories to come from its campus. 

Rather than simply providing education, this university goes beyond, helping connect students to the networking opportunities they need to start building their careers immediately. 

All around the country– and beyond– a J.D. degree from Vanderbilt Law School is seen as a sign of honor, hard work ethic, and world-class knowledge. 

Should You Apply to Vanderbilt Law School?

When considering the high competition, prospective students may wonder if an application to Vanderbilt Law School is even worth the fee.

In short: yes!

Though difficult to get into, Vanderbilt Law School keeps thousands of hopeful students applying each year for a good reason. 

The professors at this establishment are some of the best around, providing an education that is an almost guaranteed stepping stone into a successful future.

95% of Vanderbilt students pass the bar on their first attempt, a stunning number when compared to the state average of only 59% success

By maintaining small class sizes and intensely dedicated mentorships, Vanderbilt ensures that every student has exactly the tools they need to find success in their chosen fields.  

On average, 80% of all Vanderbilt students have a job offer upon graduation. 

Of those who pursue a career in the private sector, the median average starting income is around $170,000. 

Public servants begin their careers with a comfortable salary averaging around $64,000, with the potential to rise quickly in their fields. 

Though law school of any level has a reputation for being notoriously stressful, Vanderbilt takes care to balance the rigor with support. 

The Office of Student Affairs helps pave the road for students suffering in the face of illness or grief, making sure that a minor roadblock does not stand in the way of any student’s future. 

The Student Care Network provides counseling to support the general wellness of each and every student.

Overall, this prestigious establishment has earned its reputation as one of the top law schools in the country. 

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