The Year in Photos, 2016-17

Explore the milestones and achievements of the 2016-17 school year at the University of Virginia School of Law.

Dean Risa Goluboff

Dean Risa Goluboff took the helm as the Law School’s first female dean July 1.

Law School

For a record 11 years in a row­­, more than 50 percent of alumni participated in the Law School’s annual giving campaign.

Dasha Smith Dwin '98

Dasha Smith Dwin '98, an executive with global investment and advisory firm GCM Grosvenor, welcomed the Class of 2019 during orientation in August, and participated in a Q&A beforehand.

Class of 2019

The accomplished Class of 2019 officially began its journey in legal studies Aug. 24. Read stories about the class’ Dillard Scholars and how it has the highest concentration of military-affiliated students since the school started keeping track. 

Brandon Garrett, Douglas Laycock and Caleb Nelson

A new ranking showed that UVA Law faculty rank No. 3 in the number of professors among the top 100 faculty in the country cited by the judiciary. Three professors — Brandon Garrett, Douglas Laycock and Caleb Nelson — rank among the top 25.

international students

Sixty international students pursued graduate degrees at UVA Law this year to build their knowledge of U.S. law.

Aerial of Spies Garden

In the fall we took a drone tour of the Law School and captured some amazing aerials.

Former National Security Adviser Tom Donilon ’85

Former National Security Adviser Tom Donilon ’85, then the co-chair of presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s transition team, discussed the challenges the next president would face on national security.

Students in Clay Hall

The 2016 Princeton Review rankings rated UVA Law as No. 1 in quality of life and top five for best professors, classroom experience and career prospects.

A. Benjamin Spencer

Professor A. Benjamin Spencer’s expertise was recognized in two significant ways: He was named an author of Wright & Miller's "Federal Practice and Procedure," and Chief Justice John Roberts appointed him to the Advisory Committee on Civil Rules of the Judicial Conference of the United States.

Austin Raynor '13, Nicole Frazer '15 and Andrew Ferguson '12

Among the 90 alumni who are clerking during the 2016 term, a record 37 are clerking for U.S. Courts of Appeals. Austin Raynor '13, Nicole Frazer '15 and Andrew Ferguson '12 clerked for the U.S. Supreme Court during the 2016 term.


From environmental crimes to free speech on campus, the Law School hosted a range of symposia that touched on hot topics, including environmental crimes, expansion of administrative regulations, free speech on campus, human rights scholarship, President Barack Obama's foreign policy legacy, conflicts in the Middle East, and criminal justice and mental illness.

Supreme Court Litigation Clinic

Ten years after the Supreme Court Litigation Clinic officially launched in the fall of 2006, the number of cases the clinic has taken on and successfully argued is the envy of any law firm in the nation. In the fall,  the Supreme Court will hear the clinic case Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis, which could have far-reaching implications for class actions, collective bargaining and an employee's right to take his employer to court.

Migrant Farmworker Project

UVA Law students Siarra Rogers and R. Cooper Vaughan touch base with a fruit picker on a Central Virginia farm where he works — part of the yearly outreach the Migrant Farmworker Project provides. The project has been running for more than 30 years.

Faculty books

Faculty books published this year include Kimberly Kessler Ferzan’s “Legal, Moral, and Metaphysical Truths: The Philosophy of Michael S. Moore”; Kim Forde-Mazrui’s “Racial Justice and Law: Cases and Materials”; John Norton Moore’s “The Presidential Debates: Issues and Questions for the 2016 Election and Beyond”; George Rutherglen’s “Transnational Civil Litigation: Principles and Prospects”; and Richard Schragger’s “City Power: Urban Governance in a Global Age.”

Virginia Law in Prison Project,

The Virginia Law in Prison Project, a new organization launched by students, supports incarcerated people and provides students with a better understanding of the correctional practices behind prison walls.


A total of 150 students have participated in the Externships Program since the program launched in the spring of 2013. This year participants included Emily Reeder '17, who externed for Sen. Patrick Leahy, and Danny Cohen '17, who externed with Sen. Sherrod Brown. More


UVA Law welcomed new faculty members Aditya Bamzai, whose expertise ranges from federal courts to national security; Maureen E. ‘Molly’ Brady, a legal historian and property expert; Cale Jaffe ’01, who leads the Environmental and Regulatory Law Clinic; and Joshua Fischman, a law and economics scholar who returned to UVA Law from Northwestern. The school also welcomed Lauren Parker '08, formerly commercial litigation and antitrust attorney, to the Career Services office; Kate Duvall ’06, formerly an attorney at the Legal Aid Justice Center, as director of student affairs; and Chris Colby ’04, who joined the Admissions Office as director of admissions after working at the Law School Foundation.

BLSA trip

Students journeyed far and wide: Members of the Black Law Students Association, above, traveled to Tanzania for their annual service project, and the Human Right Study Project marked 15 years as they ventured to Zambia.

UVA Law team of alumni, faculty and students

A UVA Law team of alumni, faculty and students challenged Virginia's policy of automatically suspending the driver's licenses of individuals who are willing, but unable, to pay their fines and court costs. Though the case was dismissed by a federal court judge, the team plans to appeal.

Dean Strang

“Making a Murderer” attorney Dean Strang '85 returned to UVA Law to co-teach the January Term short course Persuasion. Strang, a defense attorney who was featured prominently in the popular Netflix documentary, spoke about the importance of storytelling.


Students are gaining practical experience working on civil rights and racial justice cases through a new pro bono clinic launched in the spring.


UVA Law will share in a $1.4 million grant that may help end the problem of mistaken eyewitness identifications that lead to false convictions.

The Black Law Students Association

A banner year for BLSA: The Black Law Students Association won National Chapter of the Year honors at the organization's national conference in Houston in March. A number of students took national leadership offices, and Charis Redmond ’17 reflected on her time as vice chair of the National Black Law Students Association

Shaping Justice Conference

The Shaping Justice Conference brought students, alumni and public interest lawyers together Feb. 3-4 to mark the 20th anniversary of the Public Service Center and recognize alumni who are having an impact in their fields.

Students and faculty

Law students are working with others at the University to clear a legal path to recreate a historic trail once trod by Native American hunters, slaves and U.S. presidents.

Professor John Norton Moore

Professor John Norton Moore marked 50 years at the Law School this year. In that time, his work has explored boundaries of war and pathways to peace.

Book cover

The University of Virginia released a new book that tells the story of the Law School through its buildings, one by one, while making no attempt to put a fig leaf on history.


Several students traveled across the country to help the indigent during spring break.

Neil Gorsuch

Librarians collaborated on a new website that compiles a comprehensive dossier of opinions, publications and speeches by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Judge Neil Gorsuch.

Libel Show

The 109th Libel Show, the annual comedy musical send-up of Law School life, delivered the 1980s-themed "Libel's Day Off."

 Common Law Grounds

Students and faculty collaborated on a new student group, Common Law Grounds, that seeks to understand diverging points of view as a first step toward finding common ground.


The North Grounds Softball League topped off its 40th anniversary season with a UVA Law championship win at the annual invitational, which raised $25,000 for charity.

International and European Tax Moot Court competition team

For the first time, the Law School fielded a team for the International and European Tax Moot Court competition in Belgium, and took home several top prizes.

Innocence Project

The Innocence Project Clinic at UVA Law recently helped free a man who had been imprisoned for 30 years. In April, author John Grisham and Slate Senior Editor Dahlia Lithwick headlined a fundraiser for the Pro Bono Innocence Project Clinic.

Loretta Lynch

Former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, this year's recipient of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medal in Law, said in a lecture in Caplin Auditorium that lawyers carry a unique burden to pursue the truth.

Leslie Kendrick

Professor Leslie Kendrick '06, an expert in free speech, torts, property and constitutional law, will be the new vice dean starting July 1. Kendrick also received an All-University Teaching Award this spring. She was nominated by former students who say she reached them on a deeper level.


Soon, an online library of 375 books hand-picked by the founder of the University of Virginia will be one click away, thanks to the efforts of law librarians.

Professors Bob Sayler, Tom White and Rich Balnave

Professors Bob Sayler, litigation and public speaking expert; Tom White, a tax expert; and Rich Balnave, who ran the Family Law Clinic and other clinic efforts over the years, retired from the Law School.

Katie Barber '15

Katie Barber '15 will clerk for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg during the 2018 term.

Mila Versteeg

Professor Mila Versteeg, who studies the world's constitutions, was named a 2017 Andrew Carnegie Fellow.

PILA grantees

The grant program supporting students who will work in the public interest over the summer offered 137 students $568,587 in funding, a new high on both counts.

Winners of the Goluboff Cup

Students in Section H won the inaugural Goluboff Cup, which recognizes charitable giving, pro bono service and student-organization leadership, in addition to participation in the North Ground Softball League's regular-season play.

Tuba Ahmed and Kyle Cole

Tuba Ahmed and Kyle Cole found their differences offered the right combination of strengths to win the 88th William Minor Lile Moot Court Competition. Students collected a number of other accolades this year. See stories about GPA stars; the award-winning Tax Assistance Program; the new Ritter Scholars; a National Jurist Law Student of the Year; an award-winning tax paper; the new Virginia Law Review chief; a clerk for the World Court; the new SBA president; the Rosenbloom Award winner; an American Bankruptcy Institute medal award; the extramural moot court teams' winning year; how students, alumni and a professor helped the UVA mock trial team win a national championship; and the latest from the Tri-Sector Fellows program.

Amber Strickland '17

And UVA Law students and alumni made their mark on public service awards. Amber Strickland '17 (pictured above) won the Virginia State Bar Association's Oliver White Hill Award; Angela Ciolfi '03 won the Virginia Legal Aid Award; Megan Durkee '15 became the 16th Powell Fellow; six alumni were named inaugural Shaping Justice award winners for outstanding public service; and two new student DeWilde Fellows, Jennifer Popp and Cassondra Murphy, were named.


More than 1,250 alumni and their family members returned to Charlottesville for Reunions Weekend during May 12-14. Photos

Former FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III ’73

Former FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III ’73 was appointed as special counsel to oversee the investigation into Russia's interference in the presidential election and ties to the Donald Trump campaign. Another graduate, Aaron Zebley '96, also joined the investigation team.

Jefferson Clerkship

Jefferson Clerkship, quite possibly the greatest '90s cover band ever to be comprised of future lawyers, gave its final show on graduation weekend.

Catherine Keating

Catherine Keating '87, the president and CEO of investment firm Commonfund, used the concept of a briefcase's contents to illustrate what qualities members of the Class of 2017 should take with them into the working world. More: The Class of 2017: The Stories Behind the Graduates

John Duffy

The Supreme Court released a decision in May that will significantly curb so-called "forum-shopping" in patent infringement cases, handing a landmark win to a legal team that included Professor John Duffy.