Dean’s Message

Risa Goluboff

Here at the Law School, our mission has three parts. We educate the next generation of lawyers for careers of distinction, leadership and service. We create and disseminate new legal knowledge — in the classroom and the pages of scholarly journals, trials and judicial opinions, and in congressional hearings, podcasts and treatises. And we serve the public through the intellectual leadership of our faculty, our pro bono and clinical work, and the significant support we provide students entering public service.

This issue’s cover story details the deep engagement of faculty with how federal courts are shaping our nation and democracy. We profile the work of nine professors — some long-standing members of our faculty and some more recent additions — who take up matters ranging from whether judges should adhere to “personal precedent” to the tempo at which they resolve cases concerning executive privilege; from the imposition of administrative stays by federal appellate courts to the use of universal injunctions by district courts; from the validity of state and federal government standing in certain cases to the creation of the first restatement of law on constitutional torts.

The work of our faculty, and the impact it is having on the law, reminds us of what we have long known: that our legal system is created and sustained by every generation of lawyers, judges and litigants. The cornerstone institutions of our legal system and democracy have been in place for centuries, but every day we build, refine and adapt them as we actively engage the mechanisms of justice. Our faculty play a critical role in that process — through their scholarship, their teaching and their public engagement.

So too do so many of our students, faculty, staff and more than 20,000 living alumni — as lawyers and lawmakers, students and scholars, judges and best-selling novelists. Their accomplishments are myriad and varied, given that the members of our UVA Law community come from all walks of life, hold vastly different views and pursue a wide range of careers. In this issue, we profile Professor Douglas Laycock, who retires this summer from a distinguished career as a leading authority on the law of religious liberty and the law of remedies. We also highlight Judge Patricia Tolliver Giles ’98 of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Seyfarth Shaw’s managing partner-elect Lorie Almon ’94, a group of accomplished assistant U.S. attorneys from the Class of 2011, and a host of other remarkable alumni.

You will read about two of the flagship programs that help us fulfill our mission of preparing students for the dynamic, challenging and critically important profession that is the law. We celebrate the 20th anniversary of the John W. Glynn Jr. Law & Business Program, which educates our students inside and outside the classroom for a suite of careers in corporate law and the business world. We also share the exciting news that we have made our Virginia Loan Forgiveness Program both more generous and more broadly available to our graduates. These programs exemplify the investments we make in our students’ professional and intellectual development, equipping them in every way to launch and sustain the fulfilling and wide-ranging careers we know await them when they graduate.

That we continue, more than 200 years after our founding, to produce not just any lawyers but UVA lawyers is a source of unending pride. The integrity and judgment of our alumni, their ability to collaborate with and listen to those with whom they disagree, the humanity and joy they share here and bring with them to every institution they join are what make UVA lawyers so special. Our graduates have shaped the law, the profession, the commonwealth, the nation and the world for generations. And their — your — generosity and engagement ensure that we will be able to do so for generations to come.