Student Orientation Information for the Class of 2023

Student Orientation Information for the Class of 2023

Dear Members of the Class of 2023, 

Welcome to the Law School! We are very excited to have you join our community, and we are confident that you will find it welcoming, supportive, engaging and challenging.

As Dean Goluboff’s email from last Thursday indicated, the Law School is planning on holding classes both in person and online in the fall. We are currently working internally and with the larger University on what that will look like for our community, and will share that news as we know more.

Although we are planning to be on site in the fall, as President Ryan and Dean Goluboff emphasized, students with health risks or other concerns about attending in-person classes will be welcome to take courses remotely, from Charlottesville or elsewhere. If you have questions about this possibility, we are happy to discuss it. We are working on instruction and community events that encompass both in-person and online participation.

Orientation will go forward as normally scheduled, with some changes. We expect that some portions of orientation will be in person and some will be online, depending on guidance we receive from the University. We will have a mandatory orientation day on Monday, August 17. Students who do not attend the August 17 orientation day, either in person or online, will forfeit their place in the Class of 2023. We will also have a mandatory orientation day on Tuesday, August 18. Classes start for first years on Wednesday, August 19. We will post a detailed orientation schedule in the coming weeks.

Instead of holding our optional orientation day on Friday, August 14, we will run online programs over the summer introducing law school to you and providing important context for the things you will be learning in the fall. We will have online programs on the flow of the semester, managing time, setting goals, managing stress and Law School systems. The Student Bar Association, Peer Advisors, Admissions Ambassadors and student organizations have also planned online events to meet you and introduce you to the Law School community. We will send out an email each Friday giving you the Zoom information for the following week.

In the meantime, what should you be doing?

Get Set Up

  • All of you should log in to SIS and set up your account. You should have gotten an email from Jennifer Hulvey giving you your SIS ID (sometimes called your EMPL ID) and your computing ID, and giving you instructions to set up your SIS account and your email account. Your UVA email address will be For help, contact Law IT.
  • Start thinking about whether or not you should purchase a new laptop. If your laptop is on its last legs, you will probably want to get something before you start school. You can join a Zoom call on June 10 to hear from Law IT about computer recommendations and setting up your access to UVA systems.
  • Send in a photo to the Student ID Office. You will need your Student ID for a number of things, such as getting into the Law School building, checking out an exam in your second semester, using University Transit, and getting discounts around town. You need to submit your photo no later than July 24, 2020. We will distribute them during orientation.

Health Forms and Insurance

  • Make sure you get your required health form completed. You need to have it uploaded by August 1 or you will be fined, and ultimately, not permitted to continue your enrollment. Especially given the COVID-19 crisis, it may take longer than you expect for your doctor to complete your form, so plan ahead. 
  • Decide if you want to enroll in Aetna Student Health Insurance or get a waiver to allow you to use another type of insurance. The deadlines for this process are found here. Please note that you will be charged for Aetna Student Health Insurance if you do not get a waiver. This is not a Law School process, and the policy is rigidly enforced by Student Health.


  • If you are on Facebook, join the Class of 2023 Facebook group. We will be sending you information about programs that will be available over the summer, and you will have a chance to connect with other new students.

Disability Accommodations

  • If you need disability accommodations, review our policy and procedures, and send me your documentation. Disability accommodations are confidential. We do not inform professors (except to the extent necessary to put accommodations in effect in the classroom), other students, employers or the Bar about your disability accommodations. Your disability accommodations are not made part of your formal UVA Law file.

If You Have Free Time

  • There are many books out there on how to succeed in law school. If you want to read them, go ahead. The difficulty is that, until you have been in law school, it is hard to imagine what the classroom is like and what preparation is required. So, if you do pick up a “How To Law School” book, don’t get too worried if you don’t understand it. You have plenty of time, and orientation will help prepare you. UVA Law professors also recommend these books for incoming students if you are eager to start thinking like a lawyer.
  • If you are not good at typing and have some free time on your hands, take an online typing class. It will help with taking notes and taking exams. Again, this is not something to stress about, but if you are already stressed about it, you can do something about it now.
  • Pick a habit that you think will help you beat stress in law school and start on it now. It might be doing 30 minutes of exercise every day. It might be meditating daily, or journaling daily. It might be getting used to setting a schedule and sticking to it. Whatever it is, get into the mode now so that it is a habit by the time you start law school.
  • Your final weeks before law school are a good time to unwind and do fun stuff. Connect with family and friends. Read books. Binge-watch Netflix. Get outside and move around. Make art. Learn to play an instrument (who knows, you could be in the Law School band). Volunteer. Join the Law School Zoom sessions over the summer.

Have Questions?

We look forward to meeting you all!

Sarah E. Davies ’91
Assistant Dean for Student Affairs 

UVA ID Cards

Each student must secure a photo ID from the University. Students may submit a passport-style photo on line by July 24, 2020. Instructions for photo submission are found here. We will distribute IDs at the Law School during orientation. 

You must present an original valid, government-issued photo ID (such as a driver’s license or passport) in order to pick up your ID card.

Your ID photo will be used in the Law School’s photo directory and seating charts. You will need your ID in order to enter the Law School building when it is locked.