UVA Law Students Taking Questions

A forum for applicants and admitted students to ask law students and graduates about law school and the practice of law.
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UVA2B

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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby UVA2B » Thu Nov 30, 2017 3:01 pm

ilpsm wrote:
Nagster5 wrote:Pretty crazy to not take a Dillard IMO, unless you have a full ride elsewhere and don't want DC. Congratulations!


I'm thinking the same but I definitely don't want DC and would prefer NY - would you or anyone else mind speaking to how well UVA places in NY? It appears the plurality of students end up in NY biglaw but I'm not sure if they're still at a disadvantage with regard to """top""" firms (so many quotes because I truthfully don't know at all how it works in law just yet and don't want to seem like a jerk, all I know is public accounting and there is definitely a difference between big 4 firms and the rest).


Every NYC firm is available to UVA graduates. The only marginal impediment is at the elitist of elite (WLRK) that doesn't come to OGI and only does a resume collect, but even that semi-regularly yields offers. If you want NYC at UVA and you're at/near median, you'll find it. Beyond firms that pay above market like WLRK, which firm is truly considered "elite" in NYC depends on practice group. But you don't need to worry about that, since you're not applying to firms yet and know nothing about the job hunt yet.

So broad brush: UVA has similar placement power in NYC as its peers, and the only reason you might see a lower percentage going to NYC from UVA than a place like Penn is because a pretty big part of the class will be DC or bust more than at its peers. If you've got a Dillard and want NYC Biglaw, it's one of the best possible law school outcomes out there.

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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby ilpsm » Thu Nov 30, 2017 3:12 pm

UVA2B wrote:
ilpsm wrote:
Nagster5 wrote:Pretty crazy to not take a Dillard IMO, unless you have a full ride elsewhere and don't want DC. Congratulations!


I'm thinking the same but I definitely don't want DC and would prefer NY - would you or anyone else mind speaking to how well UVA places in NY? It appears the plurality of students end up in NY biglaw but I'm not sure if they're still at a disadvantage with regard to """top""" firms (so many quotes because I truthfully don't know at all how it works in law just yet and don't want to seem like a jerk, all I know is public accounting and there is definitely a difference between big 4 firms and the rest).


Every NYC firm is available to UVA graduates. The only marginal impediment is at the elitist of elite (WLRK) that doesn't come to OGI and only does a resume collect, but even that semi-regularly yields offers. If you want NYC at UVA and you're at/near median, you'll find it. Beyond firms that pay above market like WLRK, which firm is truly considered "elite" in NYC depends on practice group. But you don't need to worry about that, since you're not applying to firms yet and know nothing about the job hunt yet.

So broad brush: UVA has similar placement power in NYC as its peers, and the only reason you might see a lower percentage going to NYC from UVA than a place like Penn is because a pretty big part of the class will be DC or bust more than at its peers. If you've got a Dillard and want NYC Biglaw, it's one of the best possible law school outcomes out there.


Thanks so much! I appreciate the response - it's kinda what I thought, but never hurts to confirm. Getting really excited about the possibility of matriculating to UVA
Last edited by ilpsm on Sat Jan 27, 2018 1:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby Menchie » Fri Dec 01, 2017 5:43 pm

Is Copeley the closest apartment to the law school? How soon should I submit an application to get an apartment there?

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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby UVA2B » Fri Dec 01, 2017 6:22 pm

Menchie wrote:Is Copeley the closest apartment to the law school? How soon should I submit an application to get an apartment there?


Yes, but it’s much more popular to live at Pavilion or Ivy Gardens near the law school. Other close options include the Jeffersonian and Arlington Court. All of them are easily, easily walkable.

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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby Menchie » Fri Dec 01, 2017 6:35 pm

UVA2B wrote:
Menchie wrote:Is Copeley the closest apartment to the law school? How soon should I submit an application to get an apartment there?


Yes, but it’s much more popular to live at Pavilion or Ivy Gardens near the law school. Other close options include the Jeffersonian and Arlington Court. All of them are easily, easily walkable.


Thanks for the full list! Appreciate ya :)

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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby 5ky » Fri Dec 01, 2017 7:17 pm

isn't copeley university-affiliated family housing? maybe it isn't anymore

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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby UVA2B » Fri Dec 01, 2017 7:20 pm

5ky wrote:isn't copeley university-affiliated family housing? maybe it isn't anymore


Pretty sure it is, but I’ve never actually looked into it, so I just deflected to the better options in case it wasn’t affiliated anymore and I was wrong.

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whats an updog

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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby whats an updog » Sat Dec 02, 2017 2:17 am

Jeffersonian is the closest to the law school and poses the least risk of "hill sweat."

Copeley is UVA run housing, mostly for families, but there are plenty of nonfamilies and students living in the units. Your building will be random within the complex. If you get the very closest building, then you are marginally closer (100 feet?) than Jeffersonian. But you also might get a spot that's 8-10 minute walk away (still not bad). The Copeley units are great for families due to the amount of space and playgrounds and generally the number of kids running around. They are also super cheap and come with all utilities included plus a laundry card with 25 free loads per month. Con side is that they are very old and it is not a social hub at all.

I don't think getting a spot is competitive at all except for maybe the 3BRMs which there are less of.

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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby NorthGroundsRat » Sat Dec 02, 2017 3:29 pm

Menchie wrote:Is Copeley the closest apartment to the law school? How soon should I submit an application to get an apartment there?


Arlington Court is a great option. Very close, only a 5-8 minute walk to the law school depending on which unit you are in. Most of the units are two bedroom with washer and dryer in unit. Some are smaller 1 bedroom basement units with laundry facility on site.

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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby Menchie » Sat Dec 02, 2017 4:34 pm

whats an updog wrote:Jeffersonian is the closest to the law school and poses the least risk of "hill sweat."

Copeley is UVA run housing, mostly for families, but there are plenty of nonfamilies and students living in the units. Your building will be random within the complex. If you get the very closest building, then you are marginally closer (100 feet?) than Jeffersonian. But you also might get a spot that's 8-10 minute walk away (still not bad). The Copeley units are great for families due to the amount of space and playgrounds and generally the number of kids running around. They are also super cheap and come with all utilities included plus a laundry card with 25 free loads per month. Con side is that they are very old and it is not a social hub at all.

I don't think getting a spot is competitive at all except for maybe the 3BRMs which there are less of.


Thank you for the information! Yeah the price for a 1 bedroom at Copeley was very appealing, but it did look a bit dinkier than Ivy or Jeffersonian. I'll probably try and see each in person before deciding on a place. Thanks again!

NorthGroundsRat wrote:
Menchie wrote:Is Copeley the closest apartment to the law school? How soon should I submit an application to get an apartment there?


Arlington Court is a great option. Very close, only a 5-8 minute walk to the law school depending on which unit you are in. Most of the units are two bedroom with washer and dryer in unit. Some are smaller 1 bedroom basement units with laundry facility on site.


Thank you! Close and pretty affordable is all I'm looking for :D

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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby AZ123 » Mon Dec 04, 2017 8:44 pm

Anyone know how the curve usually works out in small classes (like 8-15 people?) I'm mostly worried about being on the bottom of the curve. Do these types of classes typically give out Cs or B minuses?

Edit: fixed typo

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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby rhododactylos » Mon Dec 04, 2017 9:46 pm

AZ123 wrote:Anyone know how the curve usually works out in small classes (like 8-15 people?) I'm mostly worried about being on the bottom of the curve. Do these types of classes typically give out Cs or B minuses?

Edit: fixed typo


The professors are still required to curve and can use a wide curve (i.e., one with several high and low grades as opposed to a lot of B+’s) if they want, but the general rule of thumb is that smaller classes tend to give a lot of B+’s, especially if the grade is based on something like response papers or participation instead of a traditional final exam or paper. Taking a lot of short courses, seminars, paper courses, skills courses, etc. is a very popular strategy for people who want predictable B+’s without having to do a ton of work (conversely, large doctrinal exam classes are great places to gun for A’s, since there will be several to go around even if the curve is narrow).

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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby yan » Tue Dec 05, 2017 2:42 am

Wasn't really considering UVA before, but after receiving a hefty scholarship offer, it's now on my radar. After some further research, the school sounds like a great place to spend three years. Dean Faulk really sold it in the interview. I just have some follow-up questions that I'd appreciate if any current or former students could shed any light on.

1. I am not athletic and would not be participating in any softball related activities. The very idea stirs some mild anxiety in me. Will this be a large social impediment?

2. If my goal is landing district and CoA clerkships after graduation, is this a probable outcome if I put my head down and study, don't slack off in classes, and nurture professor relationships, or is this not something that students should come in expecting?

3. How accessible are professors? Do they hold office hours, or do you really need to hound them down to get face time?

4. How bike friendly is the area around the campus, as well as the city at large? If I only had a bike, no car, would that be feasible for three years?

5. How difficult is it to get on to the Supreme Court clinic? The professors for it seem like they have a good record with the court and this looks like a great opportunity, or am I wrong?

6. Is the law review admissions process in any way ideological, or are they friendly to students of all political stripes?

7. Are students more focused on the vocational aspects of the education provided, or is there also interest in discussing legal theory, social justice, politics, morality and the law, etc., in colloquial settings? (I don't mean to come off as a pretentious douche with this question, I'm just genuinely curious how the climate is in this regard at law school.)

8. If you're interesting in legal academia, in what ways does/can the school support you with this?

Thanks in advance!

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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby UVA2B » Tue Dec 05, 2017 8:49 am

yan wrote:Wasn't really considering UVA before, but after receiving a hefty scholarship offer, it's now on my radar. After some further research, the school sounds like a great place to spend three years. Dean Faulk really sold it in the interview. I just have some follow-up questions that I'd appreciate if any current or former students could shed any light on.

1. I am not athletic and would not be participating in any softball related activities. The very idea stirs some mild anxiety in me. Will this be a large social impediment?

2. If my goal is landing district and CoA clerkships after graduation, is this a probable outcome if I put my head down and study, don't slack off in classes, and nurture professor relationships, or is this not something that students should come in expecting?

3. How accessible are professors? Do they hold office hours, or do you really need to hound them down to get face time?

4. How bike friendly is the area around the campus, as well as the city at large? If I only had a bike, no car, would that be feasible for three years?

5. How difficult is it to get on to the Supreme Court clinic? The professors for it seem like they have a good record with the court and this looks like a great opportunity, or am I wrong?

6. Is the law review admissions process in any way ideological, or are they friendly to students of all political stripes?

7. Are students more focused on the vocational aspects of the education provided, or is there also interest in discussing legal theory, social justice, politics, morality and the law, etc., in colloquial settings? (I don't mean to come off as a pretentious douche with this question, I'm just genuinely curious how the climate is in this regard at law school.)

8. If you're interesting in legal academia, in what ways does/can the school support you with this?

Thanks in advance!


1. Softball is fun, but is not required that you participate. I would recommend minimally showing up for a few of your section's 1L games to watch/cheer for esprit de corps, but even that isn't required of students. If you want to play softball, great and you're encouraged to do that even if you don't have an athletic bone in your body. If you really have no interest in playing, that's totally fine and no one will bat an eye at it.

2. Many students come in wanting a clerkship, and if you do the right things like get good grades, cultivate strong relationships with professors, and get on the clerkship train early with the clerkship office, it's very attainable. There is an obvious correlation with how well you do and what clerkships you're competitive for, but UVA students regularly get some of the most highly desirable clerkships in the country, to include feeder clerkships to SCOTUS clerkships (UVA seems to get 2-3 SCOTUS clerks per year, although these are usually a mixture of graduation years because it's almost unheard of to get SCOTUS straight out of law school anymore. Maybe out of HYS, but I don't have/seek any data on that).

3. Professors are very, very accessible. Every professor I've had so far had regular office hours, open door policies they really mean (some are more enthusiastic than others seeing students outside office hours such as asking you to email first to set up a meeting, etc.). Professor availability has been nothing short of fantastic in my experience.

4. Cville is pretty bike friendly so long as you don't mind hills. You can't get past the fact that it's in Central Virginia, which is pretty hilly, but beyond that, there are bike lanes pretty much everywhere, and certainly has at least decent bike accessibility everywhere on North and Main Grounds. Plus most of what you'll want or need is within walking distance of the most popular places for law students to live such as Ivy Gardens, Pavilion, Jeffersonian, and Arlington Courts. You would theoretically need a car for a few things like visiting a winery, Carter Mountain apple orchard, Skyline hiking trail, etc., but this can be covered by friends with cars and obviously Uber/Lyft.

5. I can't speak to this, outside of knowing it's competitive and needs really good grades to qualify. If you end up on the right side of the curve, it'll probably be possible, but I can't speak with authority on that, so I'll defer to others.

6. Journal tryout is in no way ideological. The journal tryout process is entirely blind graded, and is based entirely on your grades, writing ability, and legal analysis (there is also a blue book citation fixing exercise, but this is much more about familiarity with proper legal citations and not ideology or writing ability). Whether you lean right or left, if you have good grades and sound legal reasoning that is clearly demonstrated through your writing, you'll have a good shot. How you get on VLR can also be through several qualifications. 15 make it on grades alone. Another 15 will make it strictly on the journal tryout. Another 5 will be the next 5 on the grades ranking who place in the top half of journal tryout submissions, and another 5 will be the next best journal tryout submissions with top half grades, and finally 5 will be admitted based on what is called the Virginia plan, which means you had top half grades, top half journal tryout, and submitted a compelling personal statement with your journal tryout submission that is selected. I hope this is clear, but if not, feel free to ask.

7. There's obviously a spectrum of people who are primarily in school to get the job they want, while others really enjoy the academic nature of classes, but the most accurate thing I'll say is you'll find people at the school with interests similar to yours. Not everyone is going to want to discuss legal topics outside of class just for fun, but others will. If that's something that interests you, you'll find it. With few exceptions (I can't actually think of any off the top of my head, but any good lawyer or law student will hedge when they're not sure), you will find people with similar interests to your own at UVA Law. Despite the cliche of being incredibly congenial (it is, but it's tired to hear it from those not actively involved in admissions), just understand that your experience at UVA Law can be what you want to make of it. There are even groups formed if you want to purposefully cross ideological divides (Common Grounds started following the last presidential election, and is geared specifically to letting ideologically diverse students exchange ideas without polarizing the discussion).

8. This question kind of goes back to professor availability and interest in students along with support for clerkships. If you show a consistent interest in academia, and you show a knack for it, you'll get the support you need. Not everyone can meet this bar, as academia is an incredibly difficult field to get into generally, but if you have the chops and demonstrate it, you'll get all the institutional support you'll need. That doesn't necessarily guarantee a career in academia (seriously, it's a tough market if you're not a Ph.D from my understanding, and you can't really plan on academia from most places without practicing first, publishing a ton, and having other credentials like a Ph.D), but the support from the school won't hold you back if you're qualified.

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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby Br3v » Tue Dec 05, 2017 10:57 am

yan wrote:Wasn't really considering UVA before, but after receiving a hefty scholarship offer, it's now on my radar. After some further research, the school sounds like a great place to spend three years. Dean Faulk really sold it in the interview. I just have some follow-up questions that I'd appreciate if any current or former students could shed any light on.

1. I am not athletic and would not be participating in any softball related activities. The very idea stirs some mild anxiety in me. Will this be a large social impediment?

2. If my goal is landing district and CoA clerkships after graduation, is this a probable outcome if I put my head down and study, don't slack off in classes, and nurture professor relationships, or is this not something that students should come in expecting?

3. How accessible are professors? Do they hold office hours, or do you really need to hound them down to get face time?

4. How bike friendly is the area around the campus, as well as the city at large? If I only had a bike, no car, would that be feasible for three years?

5. How difficult is it to get on to the Supreme Court clinic? The professors for it seem like they have a good record with the court and this looks like a great opportunity, or am I wrong?

6. Is the law review admissions process in any way ideological, or are they friendly to students of all political stripes?

7. Are students more focused on the vocational aspects of the education provided, or is there also interest in discussing legal theory, social justice, politics, morality and the law, etc., in colloquial settings? (I don't mean to come off as a pretentious douche with this question, I'm just genuinely curious how the climate is in this regard at law school.)

8. If you're interesting in legal academia, in what ways does/can the school support you with this?

Thanks in advance!


1. Softball is just for fun and hanging out, people at all sort of skill levels both male and female

2. Clerkships are probably a big reason to go to UVa over any peer school. We are consistently one of the top schools for placing federal clerks

3. Profs are great, as much face time as you want. I used to go and talk to a bunch of them regularly anout random legal topics we shared interests in

4. If you're coming from a major city then you won't find Charlottesville bike friendly. It's about as bike friendly as the rest of the country though (no worse and no better). I'd say a large portion (25%?) of students don't have a car and just walk to school/stores and Uber to the corner.

5. It's competitive but if you make it your goal you can certainly get on. The biggest factor is probably your grades because they don't want to have to give out below median grades considering most people in that class are in the running for COA clerkships, etc (not that a single below median grade kills those chances though)

6. The admissions process is treated really seriously and fairly, politics/legal viewpoints isn't a criteria

7. You have a mix of people. If you want to have a drink and discuss legal topics you can certainly find that crowd. On average though I think the average uva student would rather talk about politics of the day/sports/etc.

8. Biggest help likely comes from clerkship recommenders. It is definitely possible from UVa but you see a noticeable difference if your jd is from HYS/Chi. If you aren't in the running for those schools though, you will still have a chance at academia from UVa if you put your head down and understand the path that you need to take in school and after.

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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby thebrownnote » Tue Dec 05, 2017 5:23 pm

Any Class of 2017 people out there who want to take some guesses at what the Order of the Coif cutoff was?

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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby OakBrook2021 » Wed Dec 06, 2017 11:43 am

Can any current students that are debt financing speak to the ease/struggle of living off the COL loan budget? Is it possible to live reasonably (i.e. not eating ramen every meal, sharing a bedroom, or living more than 10-15 minutes walking from grounds) and pay less than the COL budget? And can the $ from a Biglaw 2L SA cover (or come close to covering) 3L living expenses? Thank you!

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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby Nagster5 » Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:13 pm

OakBrook2021 wrote:Can any current students that are debt financing speak to the ease/struggle of living off the COL loan budget? Is it possible to live reasonably (i.e. not eating ramen every meal, sharing a bedroom, or living more than 10-15 minutes walking from grounds) and pay less than the COL budget? And can the $ from a Biglaw 2L SA cover (or come close to covering) 3L living expenses? Thank you!


Yes and yes. The COL here is actually pretty low, and a market paying 2L summer will more than cover it for a year, depending of course on how much your summer COL eats into it

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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby anon sequitur » Wed Dec 06, 2017 1:58 pm

If your travel and entertainment expenses are modest, you can live in an apartment on Arlington Blvd without roommates and eat normal grown up food on the loans they give you. It’s not a hardship at all.

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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby Cavalier123 » Sat Dec 16, 2017 9:28 am

When do they usually announce the winners for the best LRW memos?

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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby UVA2B » Sat Dec 16, 2017 9:30 am

Cavalier123 wrote:When do they usually announce the winners for the best LRW memos?


Once spring LRW kicks off.

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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby potatoes » Tue Dec 19, 2017 11:58 pm

yan wrote:Wasn't really considering UVA before, but after receiving a hefty scholarship offer, it's now on my radar. After some further research, the school sounds like a great place to spend three years. Dean Faulk really sold it in the interview. I just have some follow-up questions that I'd appreciate if any current or former students could shed any light on.

1. I am not athletic and would not be participating in any softball related activities. The very idea stirs some mild anxiety in me. Will this be a large social impediment?

2. If my goal is landing district and CoA clerkships after graduation, is this a probable outcome if I put my head down and study, don't slack off in classes, and nurture professor relationships, or is this not something that students should come in expecting?

3. How accessible are professors? Do they hold office hours, or do you really need to hound them down to get face time?

4. How bike friendly is the area around the campus, as well as the city at large? If I only had a bike, no car, would that be feasible for three years?

5. How difficult is it to get on to the Supreme Court clinic? The professors for it seem like they have a good record with the court and this looks like a great opportunity, or am I wrong?

6. Is the law review admissions process in any way ideological, or are they friendly to students of all political stripes?

7. Are students more focused on the vocational aspects of the education provided, or is there also interest in discussing legal theory, social justice, politics, morality and the law, etc., in colloquial settings? (I don't mean to come off as a pretentious douche with this question, I'm just genuinely curious how the climate is in this regard at law school.)

8. If you're interesting in legal academia, in what ways does/can the school support you with this?

Thanks in advance!


1. I don't play softball and it's not a social impediment. I occasionally watch because it's fun to hang out in the dug out.
2. After HYS, UVA places the most clerks on the SC. I know a lot of people with clerkships. That said, I don't think getting a clerkship is an easy thing to do from any law school. A federal COA judge will receive hundreds of competitive applications per spot, which makes it somewhat random. One thing that's nice about UVA is it's easy to cultivate strong professor relationships so you can get strong recommendations. We have the clerkship office, and I found that professors here were also immensely helpful/willing to talk about their experiences clerking, give advice, etc.
3. Super accessible. I've never had a professor who wasn't accessible.
4. I would want a car. It's probably doable, though.
5. Grades, classes taken, and writing sample. In addition to good grades and a good writing sample, you'll want to have taken a variety of federal law classes (e.g., antitrust, fed courts, con law II, evidence, admin, etc.). If you spend most of your time taking state law classes (e.g. family law, trusts & estates, etc.), you won't have a good doctrinal background for litigating in front of the Supreme Court.
6. http://www.virginialawreview.org/about/ ... g-a-member gives a comprehensive overview. One thing that's nice about UVA is the journal tryout takes place over a weekend, as opposed to many schools that have a week long journal tryout. A lot of schools do their journal tryout after finals, which would suck, because you'll be burned out at that point. UVA's is during the spring semester.
7. I have academic conversations with my friends all the time. Like most schools, you'll find a variety of people, and you'll find a group that has similar interests to you.
8. Idk because this isn't something I want to do.

Finally, something to add that you didn't ask, after 1L, you can take your exams whenever you want during the exam period. I don't think this is true at other schools, and it is a game changer. I can't imagine having 4 hour comprehensive exams 2 days in a row. But at UVA, that will never happen to you, unless you actively choose to take your exams on such a schedule. I have a friend at a different school that had 3 exams in one week. When I told him we get to take ours basically whenever we want, he was like, "Why on earth doesn't the admissions office advertise that; that's amazing!" And he's right. It's great to have that kind of control over your exam schedule.

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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby Br3v » Wed Dec 20, 2017 12:18 am

potatoes wrote:5. Grades, classes taken, and writing sample. In addition to good grades and a good writing sample, you'll want to have taken a variety of federal law classes (e.g., antitrust, fed courts, con law II, evidence, admin, etc.). If you spend most of your time taking state law classes (e.g. family law, trusts & estates, etc.), you won't have a good doctrinal background for litigating in front of the Supreme Court.

The rest of Potatoes' post is very helpful but I don't think the above is really correct. Maybe the clinic would like you to have Fed Courts, but that's marginal, and thinking about classes in terms of "state law" or "federal law" is not very common or helpful. As far as the Supreme Court Clinic, the class itself/readings will allow you to learn the substance of the small niche legal questions you will eventually focus on.

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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby OakBrook2021 » Wed Dec 20, 2017 12:23 am

Any perspective on how hard it is to get biglaw in a secondary market with strong ties (i.e. originally from there, family lives there, etc.)? Is it doable with median grades? Think Atlanta/Miami/Houston

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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby Br3v » Wed Dec 20, 2017 12:28 am

OakBrook2021 wrote:Any perspective on how hard it is to get biglaw in a secondary market with strong ties (i.e. originally from there, family lives there, etc.)? Is it doable with median grades? Think Atlanta/Miami/Houston

You're certainly in the running



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