University of Virginia School of Law students with the North Grounds Softball League raised $15,000 this past weekend for a Charlottesville nonprofit.

The annual spring softball invitational, established 38 years ago, normally attracts more than 1,000 law students from 50 law schools to Charlottesville. The event, held Friday and Saturday, was comprised of 18 UVA-only teams playing three games each, with over 130 students participating.

Dean Risa Goluboff threw the ceremonial first pitch of the tournament on Friday.

Samantha McCarthy ’21 and Nicole Pidala ’21, the tournament’s directors, reached out to law firms that had previously supported the event, and the firms continued to provide a substantial portion of the donations, despite uncertainties posed by the pandemic.

“We are incredibly appreciative of those firms’ continued generosity for such a great cause,” said Brian Patterson ’21, NGSL’s commissioner.

As in years past, NGSL donated the proceeds to ReadyKids, a local nonprofit that provides early childhood learning programs and other services for disadvantaged children. NGSL also raised $500 for UVA Law’s Public Interest Law Association to fund summer public service jobs for students.

The student organization also held a diaper drive in January after meeting with ReadyKids and learning that diapers were one of the charity’s biggest needs.

“With so much disruption this year, it means a lot to us and to NGSL to be able to honor the tradition of the tournament in whatever form we can,” McCarthy and Pidala said in a statement. “The most rewarding part has been doing our best to maintain our commitment to ReadyKids, whose incredible work continues to serve the Charlottesville community. This organization is especially important during these difficult times when more families than ever are struggling, so we were thrilled to be able to still provide them with some financial support so they can continue their mission.”

Contributing law firms were Hogan Lovells, Bradley, Simpson Thatcher, King & Spalding, Skadden, K&L Gates, Davis Polk, Norton Rose Fulbright and Proskauer.

Ethan Silverman ’20 also helped by planning additional fundraising events in coordination with his company, Fantasy4, an online platform that manages the dues of members in fantasy sports leagues and competitions.

“Truly, the entire board and organization have done a great job making this possible,” Patterson said, “and most importantly, we will be able to continue our support of ReadyKids and the local community.”

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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