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Welcome from Student Bar Association President Alexander matthews

Alex MatthewsIt is my great privilege to congratulate you on becoming a member of the Class of 2018 at the University of Virginia School of Law. The Student Bar Association (SBA) is the student government of the Law School, entrusted with representing the interests of the student body and improving the law school experience for current and future students. On behalf of the SBA, I would like to introduce you to our close-knit community and give you a brief glimpse into some of what you can look forward to in a few short months. Charlottesville is a wonderful place to call home for three years, and our law school community encourages its students to enjoy and take full advantage of their time here. I think you will find the atmosphere to be welcoming and supportive as you begin the path to becoming a lawyer.

One of the most distinctive characteristics of Virginia Law is the strong sense of community that informs everything we do. Students learn cooperatively here by discussing their thoughts and perspectives in and away from the classroom. Classmates are always willing to share notes with their peers or to make time to catch up in person on the nuances of a missed lecture. At Virginia, we maintain the perspective that our classmates are friends first. While we learn together, we also relax; whether it’s by going on hikes, playing softball or frisbee, attending concerts or sharing meals, UVA students live life together as a community of friends. This atmosphere of collegiality and collaboration defines the Virginia Law experience and is one of the reasons why our alumni are so successful after graduation.

UVA Law students encompass a wide range of diverse backgrounds and are both extremely driven and genuinely engaged. There are approximately 70 student organizations that sponsor activities, speakers, symposia and gatherings. Whatever your interests or passions, there is a good chance that an organization for them exists. If one does not, you will find classmates who will be eager to bring it into existence with you. During your three years here, you will meet incredible people who share your interests and passions, and your knowledge and perspective will be expanded as a result. More importantly, these peers will become life-long friends and future colleagues. 

At Virginia Law, you will have the opportunity to take classes from some of the finest legal scholars in the country. Equally important, you will have countless opportunities to interact with these professors outside of class. You will go out to lunch with them, talk to them in the hallways and their offices, and be invited to their homes for dinner, wine-tastings and poker games.

Finally, I remember well the sense of anticipation that I felt in the months leading up to my first year of law school. My excitement was tempered by concerns about the fabled cut-throat nature of law school and whether there would be any time for life outside of classrooms and the library. My doubts were quickly put to rest; the intellectual engagement was as collegial as it was stimulating and, from the very first day, my classmates and I were made to feel at home by the UVA Law community. Now, after nearly three years here, I cannot imagine having attended law school anywhere else.  While every student's journey is uniquely their own, I am most confident that each of you will have an overwhelmingly positive and memorable experience while studying at Virginia Law.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate at all to contact me at I wish you the very best of luck—welcome to Virginia!

Alex Matthews
President, Student Bar Association


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