Being located in both a vibrant small city and minutes from outdoor adventure has always been among the benefits of attending the University of Virginia School of Law, and one student organization takes full advantage of the area’s natural beauty.

Outdoors at VA Law plans excursions such as nature walks, hikes and outings that involve caving, rafting, skiing and snowshoeing. About 60 students participated in trips sponsored by the organization this year.

“The rafting trip was definitely my favorite," Hall said. "The water was frigid and Tim Horley [’18] and I were getting soaked at the front of the raft. For the first hour or so, the six of us struggled to find our rhythm. But after Joe Charlet [’18] fell out in the middle of a rapid, we figured out how to paddle as a team, and had a blast.”

Madison Bush ’18, who served as OVaL president last year, went on her first trip during the fall break of her first year in Law School, and organized hikes this spring and last year.

“I love hiking, the farther the better,” Bush said. “I loved the experience of bonding with people from all years, and getting to know people outside my section.”

Clare Myers ’19, who serves as co-president with Shruthi Prabhu ’19, said building relationships is a main draw as well, in addition to taking a break from the library.

“We meet new people on every hike and every trip,” she said. “OVaL has done a great job of creating a place where everyone is welcome; even if you've never met someone before, you bond pretty quickly when you're sliding across a frozen waterfall together.”

She recalled the group’s hike to Spy Rock in the George Washington National Forest during the fall.

“I was co-leading the hike, so I climbed up with the last group, and when we reached the summit, it was incredible. The sun was setting, the air was crisp, and the view was breathtaking,” she said. “We were all so excited to have made it to the top. Someone had brought her dog, and many people had brought picnics and everyone was having a blast. I looked around and thought, ‘I can't believe this is how I get to spend my three years of law school.’”

They recently shared pictures from their recent trips, and spread the adventuring spirit. Featuring photos by Bush, Myers, Prabhu and Eric Hall ’18.

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.

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