Alumna Returns To Lead Admissions Office

Natalie Blazer ’08 Eyes Building Upon Historically Diverse Class
Natalie Blazer

Natalie Blazer previously worked in admissions offices at the Georgetown University Law Center and Columbia Law School. Photo by Julia Davis

October 22, 2020

Natalie Blazer, a 2008 graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law, has joined the Law School as assistant dean for admissions.

Blazer previously served as director of J.D. admissions at the Georgetown University Law Center. She was also associate director of admissions and strategic initiatives recruiter at Columbia Law School, and a senior litigation associate at Weil Gotshal & Manges.

She said she is proud to return to UVA Law and welcome new students.

“My personal experience at UVA was such a positive one,” she said. “I still remember getting my phone call admitting me, and I will always cherish my three years at the Law School. I want everybody to have that same experience.”

Blazer said one of the short-term challenges for admissions is recruiting students without in-person activities. But she said she is committed to building personal connection during the recruiting process.

Dean Risa Goluboff said Blazer’s experiences at Georgetown and Columbia means she will hit the ground running at UVA.

“She also has the benefit of being a UVA Law graduate with firsthand knowledge of our community and all that the school has to offer,” Goluboff said. “We are so glad she will lead our Admissions Office, identify new and innovative approaches to broadening our applicant pool, and continue to recruit academically talented and diverse classes to the Law School.”

The Class of 2023 is the first in the Law School’s history in which women make up a majority, and the most racially diverse class in 10 years. Blazer said she wants to keep that momentum going by connecting prospective students with affinity groups and alumni networks, holding outreach events at places such as historically Black colleges and universities, and highlighting how diverse students contribute to the UVA Law community.

“I’m very mindful of making sure that our incoming class is representative of students of color, first-generation students, low-income students, anyone who’s historically underrepresented in law school and in the legal profession,” she said. “I’m always having an eye toward those populations and making sure we are actively recruiting them, not just admitting them but getting them to commit to UVA by demonstrating how special our community is. Beyond enriching our own student body, continuing to increase representation is critical to the health and future of the bar.”

In law school, Blazer served on the editorial board of the Virginia Journal of Social Policy & the Law, co-chaired the Conference on Public Service and the Law, was a Peer Advisor, and interned for the Sarajevo War Crimes Tribunal’s Office of the Prosecutor. After graduation, she clerked for Judge Liu Daqun of China at the U.N. International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in The Hague.

Blazer majored in political science and French as an undergraduate at Boston College.

With family from and living in the Balkans, she spoke Serbo-Croatian growing up and later became fluent in French. As a law student, she split her time between Weil Gotshal’s New York and Paris offices.

A few years after graduating from law school, she invested in The Juice Laundry, founded in Charlottesville by high school classmate and UVA Law section-mate Mike Keenan ’08. In exchange, “The Blaze” smoothie — made with cayenne pepper — is named in her honor.

Outside of work, Blazer has run three full marathons and 10 half-marathons. Her favorite race is the New York City Marathon, which she’s completed twice.

“In moving to Charlottesville, one of the things my fiancé and I are most excited about is the access to running trails,” she added.

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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