Nashville School of Law is a private law school offering high quality legal education at an affordable tuition with classes at night. NSL welcomes full-time employed individuals as well as new college graduates. Our students are teachers, police officers, paralegals, insurance agents, doctors, business owners, factory workers, real estate agents and various professionals too numerous to list. Our students appreciate the opportunity to study law while continuing to pursue their present career and pay for their education at the same time.
In the fall of 1911, Morton B. Adams, William P. Cooper, Lee Douglas, and Robert Selph Henry, then recent graduates of the law school at Vanderbilt University, opened night law classes at the Y.M.C.A. for the benefit of those unable to attend law classes during the day. The law school has been in operation since that time. It was incorporated under the laws of the State of Tennessee on January 19, 1927, and since that date has conferred the Degree of Doctor of Jurisprudence.
Until November, 1986, the school operated as the Nashville Y.M.C.A. Night Law School leasing space from the Downtown Y.M.C.A. The late James Gilbert Lackey, Jr. (1915-1987) served as Dean of the Law School and instructor in Contracts from 1946 until 1986. Upon his retirement, the faculty elected Honorable Joe C. Loser, Jr., Dean of the school. Judge Loser then retired from the Third Circuit Court of Davidson County after twenty years on the bench to become the fourth Dean in the school’s history, accepting the duties and responsibilities of such office on August 23, 1986. On November 24, 1986, the school officially changed its name to Nashville School of Law. In 1990 the school moved to 2934 Sidco Drive. In Fall of 2005 the school moved into its new state of the art facility at 4013 Armory Oaks Drive. In 2011 Nashville School of Law celebrated its 100th Anniversary.
The mission of Nashville School of Law is to provide high quality legal education at an affordable tuition.
Nashville School of Law is committed to a program of legal education designed to provide its graduates with:
- An understanding of their professional responsibilities as representatives of clients, officers of the courts, and public citizens responsible for the quality and availability of justice under the law; and
- A basic legal education through a course of study that develops an understanding of the nature, basis, and role of the law and its institutions, and skill of legal analysis and writing, issue recognition, reasoning, problem solving, organization, and oral and written communications necessary to participate effectively in the legal profession.
Course of Study
The law course spans a minimum of four years. Entering First Year Students begin classes in August of each year.
Classes begin in August and end in May. Classes are held Monday and Thursday from 6:30 p.m. to 8:10 p.m. and 8:20 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
In recent years the number of applicants for admission to the School has far exceeded the accommodations available, thus causing the School to limit its first year enrollment.
- NSL Application Form, Bachelor’s Degree, LSAT, three letters of recommendation and a personal statement.
- Application Form:
- An NSL application form is included with the catalog and on the NSL website at www.nashvilleschooloflaw.net
An application fee of fifty dollars ($50.00) must be submitted with the application. The application must be sent to the following address or hand delivered to:
Nashville School of Law
4013 Armory Oaks Drive
Nashville, TN 37204
The applicant must sign the application.
Bachelor Degree Applicants must have received, or will receive prior to matriculation, a Bachelor’s Degree from a college or university on the approved list of the Southern Association of Schools and Colleges, or the equivalent regional accrediting association. Transcripts from all undergraduate institutions attended must be sent to CAS for determination of the undergraduate cumulative GPA.
Any applicant that has been accepted to NSL prior to college or university graduation must have a completed official transcript showing the Bachelor’s degree was granted sent from the institution to NSL as soon as possible.
CAS and LSAT Applicants must register with the Credential Assembly Service (CAS) and register to take the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT). Applicants can register both for the CAS and the LSAT at www.LSAC.org. The NSL school code is 1974. When the applicant’s LSAT score is available, CAS will figure the applicant’s Index based on NSL requirements and send a report to NSL.
Index Formula: The undergraduate GPA will be considered along with the LSAT score. The admissions process includes an admissions index computed as follows by CAS: multiply the applicant’s cumulative undergraduate GPA, by ten; take 80% of the applicant’s LSAT score; and add the two results to determine the Index. Only applicants with an index score of 140 and above are considered for matriculation at Nashville School of Law.
Letters of Recommendation: The applicant must submit three letters of recommendation, one of which must be from someone in the legal field. The letters of recommendation may be sent to CAS for inclusion in the CAS Report or sent directly to the NSL Admissions Committee.
Personal Statement: Each application should include a personal statement describing any extracurricular activities of the applicant during his/her undergraduate college career and any business/career accomplishments.
Criminal Record/ Disciplinary Action: The application must include a complete explanation of any prior arrests/citations regardless of the outcome and an explanation of any disciplinary action received from any educational institution on separate sheets.
Arrests After Acceptance or During Matriculation: Applicants accepted at Nashville School of Law have a continuing obligation to report any arrests after acceptance and/or during matriculation at Nashville School of Law to the associate dean immediately.
Application Deadlines: The deadline for applications is June 15th.
Applicants may be given credit for subjects completed at an accredited law school, provided a transcript is submitted and the credit is approved by the Dean. No more than 16 credits may be transferred. Credit will be given only for subjects passed with a grade of a C or better and the decision of the Dean is final. Application for such credit must be made in writing and will only be considered after an applicant has been accepted.
Foreign Law Degree
For graduates of a law school in a foreign country to sit for the Tennessee Bar Examination, they are required by the Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 7, section 7.01, to complete one third of a law school’s credits necessary for graduation at that institution. At Nashville School of Law the requirement is sixteen (16) credits. NSL will certify to the Supreme Court those who successfully complete the following courses:
Contracts (3), Torts (3), Crimes (1), Constitutional Criminal Law (1), Criminal Procedure (1), Evidence (3), elective course (1) and either Civil Procedure (3) or Property (3) or Conflicts of Law and an additional elective. Foreign Law Degree applicants also have the option of completing the entire admissions process and applying to matriculate as a regular NSL student for a law degree from NSL.
A student must attend at least two nights each week in the Cooper and Henry Terms and 2 (two) years of Moot Court on an alternate night in order to complete the course of study in four years. Part-time students must be registered for a minimum of 6 credits during Cooper or Henry terms or they will be dropped for non-attendance. All students must complete 48 credits with a GPA of at least 2.25 to graduate. Students failing to maintain a GPA of 2.25 while matriculating will be placed on Academic Probation and must remain at that level to retake courses to improve the GPA. If at the end of the next term, the GPA is still below 2.25, the student will be academically dismissed.
The law school provides a broad curriculum that challenges and develops students’ analytical, communication and legal skills. The 48 credit hours required for the J.D. degree require four years to complete.
The faculty is composed of practicing attorneys and judges, many of whom enjoy regional and national reputations in their specialties. On the cutting edge and forward thinking, they bring a rich and diverse variety of professional experiences to the classroom. They have degrees from Vanderbilt, Tennessee, Harvard, Howard, Memphis, North Carolina, St. Mary’s, Cumberland at Samford, Tulane, Washington and Lee, St. Mary’s and Georgetown, as well as NSL. Faculty members have extensive legal experience in private practice and public service. A number of faculty members have achieved national and international prominence in such areas as litigation, entertainment law, evidence, real estate, mediation and arbitration, criminal law, medical malpractice, products liability, employment and labor law, contracts, taxation, immigration, federal law, and environmental law.
Because Nashville is the center of the state’s legal community and the seat of state and local governments, many members of the faculty are judges from various courts, including the Tennessee Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, Court of Criminal Appeals, and federal, state and municipal courts.
- Cooper’s Inn:The top ten percent of each graduating class is inducted into Cooper’s Inn, the school honor society, and recognized at graduation.
- Founders’ Award:The student who graduates at the top of the class is awarded the Founders’ Award and receives a set of the Tennessee Code Annotated.
- Moot Court Award: A student exhibiting outstanding performance in Fourth Year Moot Court will be recognized at graduation and receive a set of Tennessee Code Annotated.
Tuition, Fees, and Books
An education at NSL is an affordable, sound investment in the future. Our graduates have consistently become competent and capable attorneys and judges, involved and practicing in all areas of law throughout the State of Tennessee.
- Tuition: Total tuition rate 2014–2015 is $5,760.00 based on 12 credit hours at $480.00 per course credit hour. The law school’s tuition is among the lowest of private law schools in the United States. Tuition is computed on a per credit basis. This may be paid in full at registration or in monthly installments with no interest or additional charges. The registration fees of $260.00, nonrefundable, must be paid at registration.
- Payment in Full: Full payment of tuition at registration entitles the student to a 5% discount on the total tuition for the year. If unearned tuition is refunded for any reason, the student loses the benefit of the deduction.
- Refund: Partial tuition may be refunded when a class is dropped, subject to proper written notification and approval. There is a nonrefundable $50.00 fee charged for each class dropped and/or added.
- Books: Books may be purchased at the bookstore during registration and regular Bookstore hours. No refund or exchanges will be made for books purchased by students.
- VA Benefits: Students seeking VA assistance must be enrolled 18 clock hours per week to be considered full time. Students with VA benefits should contact Beth McDonald, Registrar.
Nashville School of Law students are not eligible for government loans. Since our tuition is low and students are permitted to pay their tuition monthly with no interest, most students do not need financial assistance. A limited number of partial and full scholarships are awarded to second, third, and fourth year students based on need and merit.
The Library consists of 16,668 hard copy volumes and 2,267 volumes on CD ROM. All students have access to Westlaw and LexisNexis research in the library at the computer lab, from any location in the new facility with a laptop with wireless Internet capability and from any other location with Internet access.
No on campus living facilities are available. For those driving a considerable distance, nearby accommodations are available at a hotel at a modest rate.
Nashville School of Law is approved by the Tennessee Supreme Court for its graduates to take the Tennessee Bar Examination and be licensed to practice law in the State of Tennessee. In order to continue to fulfill its mission of providing high quality legal education at an affordable tuition, Nashville School of Law has never applied for ABA accreditation. Students intending to practice in other states should contact the admitting authority in that state for information regarding the legal education requirements for admission to practice law in that state and whether they may sit for the Bar Examination in that state.
2012–2013 Cooper Term Admissions
- 77 Enrolled first year class
- Median LSAT 146
- Median UGPA 3.12
- 14.3% Minority
- 36% Women
- 30 Undergraduate schools represented
2013–2014 Cooper Term Admissions
- 81 Enrolled first year class
- Median LSAT 146
- Median UGPA 3.06
- 12.3% Minority
- 46% Women
- 37 Undergraduate schools represented
Bar Passage Data
NSL students have been very successful in recent years in passing the Tennessee Bar Examination. 61% of the 2012 graduates taking the bar exam have passed. 81% of the graduates from 2002-2012 taking the bar exam have passed.
Placement Rate And Services
The school maintains a registry of students and alumni who are interested in notification of job opportunities. 100% of the 2010 NSL graduates seeking employment are employed. 94% of those who passed the bar are employed in the legal field and 7% non-legal.
Nashville School of Law enjoys a smoke-free environment. Smoking is allowed in the courtyard only.
Policy on Nondiscrimination
It is the policy of Nashville School of Law not to discriminate on the basis of sex, disability, race, color, religion, age, sexual orientation or national or ethnic origin in its educational programs, employment policies, scholarships, or other school administered programs. Harassment in any form at the School is unacceptable, violates federal law, and will result in disciplinary action.
Assistance For Disabled Students
Nashville School of Law does not have a comprehensive program oriented wholly towards educating students with disabilities, but strives to be supportive of the academic, personal, and work-related needs of each individual and is committed to helping those with disabilities become full participants in the School. This commitment is consistent with the School’s obligations under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504) and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA).
- Types of accommodations to be provided to students with disabilities, including those with learning disabilities and with impaired sensory, manual, or speaking skills:
- Classroom Accommodations
- Classes may be audio taped.
- Preferential seating may be provided.
- Access to an electrical outlet will be provided for the use of a laptop computer.
- Such other accommodations as determined reasonable and appropriate to the circumstances, unless such accommodation fundamentally alters the program or would result in an undue burden.
- Examinations Accommodations
- Preferential seating may be provided.
- Access to an electrical outlet will be provided for the use of a laptop computer on which to take the test.
- Extended time for taking the test.
- Private space for taking the test may be provided.
- Such other accommodations as determined reasonable and appropriate to the circumstances, unless such accommodation would fundamentally alter the measurement of the skills or knowledge the examination is intended to test or would result in an undue burden.
- Classroom Accommodations
- Student Responsibility To obtain disability accommodations, it is the responsibility of the student to contact the Associate Dean (615-256-3684) to set up an intake appointment. The student must provide current and appropriate medical or professional documentation.
- Determination of Appropriate Accommodations Based on the individual student’s documentation, the Associate Dean will assess the student’s functional limitations and academic needs, and from those, will determine the necessary services and accommodations for which the student is eligible. The Associate Dean will communicate the approved accommodations to the student’s instructors for implementation. After registering for classes each year, students are responsible for scheduling an appointment with the Associate Dean to arrange reasonable accommodations for that year.
- Required Documentation Students requesting testing accommodations must submit medical or other diagnostic documentation that:
The Documenting Learning Disabilities Guidelines sets forth the type of information Nashville School of Law deems appropriate in order to assess requests for accommodations. The guidelines may be obtained by contacting the Nashville School of Law office at 615-256-3684 or the form may be downloaded from the school website here: Disabilities Documentation
- Establishes the existence of a disability;
- Describes how the student’s functional limitations impact his or her ability to take the examination in question; and
- Demonstrates the need for the accommodation.
- Insufficient Documentation To insure that student requests for accommodations are handled appropriately and expeditiously:
- The Associate Dean will communicate with students to help resolve documentation issues in a timely manner, including incomplete documentation and discrepancies in documentation.
- If the Associate Dean deems the documentation submitted in support of a request for testing accommodations insufficient to establish the individual’s disability, the individual’s functional limitations in relation to taking the exam, or the need for the requested accommodations, the Associate Dean will promptly notify the student in writing that the documentation is insufficient. In addition, the Associate Dean will provide a clear explanation as to why the submitted documentation is deemed insufficient and shall indicate what specific additional information might cure the documentation problem identified by the Associate Dean.
- If a student cures the defects within a reasonable time frame, the Associate Dean shall consider the application for testing accommodations for the exam and conduct an individualized assessment of the supplemental documentation.
- Appeal Process If a request for testing accommodations is denied because the Associate Dean determines that the testing accommodations are not warranted based upon the documentation provided, the Associate Dean will promptly notify the student in writing of such a denial and provide a clear written explanation of why the requested accommodations were denied. The denial letter will inform the student that he or she may request reconsideration of the Associate Dean’s decision.
- If after reconsideration, the Associate Dean determines that the testing accommodations are not warranted based upon the documentation provided, the Associate Dean will promptly notify the student in writing of such a denial and provide a clear written explanation of why the requested accommodations were denied.
- The denial letter will inform the student he or she may appeal the Associate Dean’s decision to the Dean.
- Confidentiality Nashville School of Law protects each student’s right to privacy. All medical and health-related records are kept strictly confidential.
The school is located in a 33,000 square foot building at 4013 Armory Oaks Drive, just south of beautiful downtown Nashville, Tennessee. The school is easily accessible by taking the Armory Drive exit from I-65 South.