University of Virginia School of Law students hosted 31 law schools and raised $27,500 for charity over the weekend as part of the 39th annual North Grounds Softball League Invitational.

NGSL will donate $25,000 of the proceeds to ReadyKids, a local nonprofit that provides early childhood learning programs and other services for disadvantaged children, and $2,500 to UVA Law’s Public Interest Law Association to support students working in public service jobs over the summer.

Tournament directors Alex Castle ’22, Christina Kelly ’22 and Eric Feldman ’22 and Commissioner J. Carr Gamble ’22 organized the invitational. Photos by Slade Sinak

More than 700 law students journeyed to Charlottesville for the event, held in its traditional format for the first time since 2019. Teams from other schools did not compete in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, though students raised funds for charity throughout and had UVA team games in 2021.

“When we started planning this event in September, none of us had seen or been a part of the softball invitational before since it was canceled during our 1L and 2L years,” third-year students Alex Castle, Eric Feldman and Christina Kelly, the tournament’s directors, said in a statement. The students said they “were proud to revive this unique law school tradition” and help the local nonprofit.

“We are so happy with how the event went and would like to thank all of the sponsors, volunteers, players and North Grounds Softball League members who made this year’s tournament such a success.”

UVA mathematics professor Ken Ono throws the first pitch.

UVA Co-Rec Gold defeated the Darden School of Business team to win the co-rec final, and UVA Open Gold bested Florida State University College of Law for the Open League title.

UVA and William & Mary Law School opened the tournament with an opening pitch by UVA mathematics professor Ken Ono. After initial round-robin play, the teams with the best records competed in NCAA-style brackets to determine the two champions of the tournament.

The invitational featured 52 teams in total from law schools across the Eastern half of the United States, stretching from New England to Michigan to Florida.

J. Carr Gamble ’22 was this year’s NGSL commissioner. Second-year students Jack Brown, Jackson Grubbe and Andrew Norman served as head field monitors.

The UVA Co-Rec Blue team.

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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