University of Virginia School of Law student A.J. Collins ‘17 has been elected president of the Student Bar Association. His one-year term began March 1.
Hometown: Rappahannock County, Virginia
Prior Education: B.A., economics and political science with minors in math and the computer-based honors program, University of Alabama
Prior work experience: In undergrad, during my junior year summer I worked on survey distribution and analysis for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in American Samoa, which was an amazing opportunity. I took a year off after graduating and did a number of small things, most notably working as a Kaplan SAT and ACT instructor in the Washington, D.C., area where I taught at four different high schools. I also served as a research assistant for Professor Andrew T. Hayashi and worked at Lightfoot, Franklin and White in Birmingham, Alabama, last summer.
Other organizations and positions held: I'm currently managing editor of the Virginia Journal of Social Policy & the Law, writer for the Libel Show, logistics chair of the Federalist Society, vice president for finance for Student Legal Forum, and a Law Ambassador.
Future career plans: This summer I'll be working at Baker Botts in D.C., where I'm hoping to do work in litigation and antitrust.
Favorite law class or subject: That's tough because we have so many great classes and professors. Anything constitutional law focused, but I must admit that my three favorite professors here are professors Michael G. Collins, Anne Coughlin and Michael D. Gilbert. I had Professor Collins for Evidence and now have him for Conflict of Laws and Federal Courts, and he's a funny, but incredibly clear, lecturer. Professor Coughlin was my Criminal Law professor. I now have her for Criminal Investigation, and I am always amazed by how accomplished and caring she is. I had Professor Gilbert for Law and Economics and now have him for Regulation of the Political Process, and his self-deprecating humor always brightens my day. If students are on the lookout for a J-Term class, Professor A. E. Dick Howard's class, Virginia and the Constitution, is top notch.
What are you looking forward to as SBA president: Working directly with student organization leaders is something I am excited to do. We have so many talented students here at the law school, and sitting down with them to make sure their needs are met will be such an honor. I can't wait to get started. I'm thrilled that I'll be working with incoming dean Risa Goluboff, as she formulates new goals for the law school.
Top goals as SBA president: I hope to make SBA into a more inclusive organization, and I hope to represent student opinion to the administration while communicating administrative decisions to the student body. Also, I would love for us to have closer relations with Main Grounds by connecting law groups with their undergraduate counterparts. Otherwise, there are a lot of odds and ends that I think we can accomplish this upcoming year, and I have confidence we'll be able to succeed if we all work together.
Founded in 1819, the University of Virginia School of Law is the second-oldest continuously operating law school in the nation. Consistently ranked among the top law schools, Virginia is a world-renowned training ground for distinguished lawyers and public servants, instilling in them a commitment to leadership, integrity and community service.