Fostering Free Expression

“Freedom of expression is a bedrock principle of American democracy and of the law itself. Ours is a profession in which theories are tested, rights are secured, and outcomes are determined through open debate and the free exchange of ideas. That makes law school a critical training ground where the lawyers and leaders of the future learn to engage with every idea and analyze every argument, to speak with respect and professionalism, and to listen with an open mind. It is where they learn how to collaborate, how to disagree, and how to manage and resolve conflict.”

Dean Risa Goluboff

A Message From the Dean

Dean Risa Goluboff discusses the fundamental value of free expression for the UVA Law community, the legal profession and democracy. 



Programs Supporting Free Expression

The Law School supports numerous programs that foster a vibrant intellectual community and facilitate the free exchange of ideas.


Gov. Youngkin speaks at an event held at the Law School.

Events at UVA Law

The Law School hosts hundreds of events each year featuring speakers with many different viewpoints.


Students talk in Spies Garden

Diversity, Equity and Belonging

The students, faculty, staff and alumni of the Law School represent a wide variety of backgrounds, perspectives and views.


A student greets classmates at the student organization fair

Student Organizations

More than 70 organizations and 10 journals allow students to explore a range of extracurricular interests and expose them to a wide variety of views and perspectives.


Community Fellows Program participants and Dean Risa Goluboff

Community Fellows Program

Through the program, select first-year law students are trained to engage in and facilitate productive conversations across difference.


Fundamentals of the First Amendment and Law School Policies on Free Speech

Professor Leslie Kendrick ’06 discusses First Amendment policies, and the law and norms of free speech in legal education. She spoke as part of the Class of 2026 orientation.

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