The year at the University of Virginia School of Law was marked by new achievements and milestones, even as the community was tested in the spring when classes moved online due to COVID-19.
UVA Law launched its Honor the Future campaign in October with help from campaign chairs J. Warren Gorrell Jr. '79, Dasha Smith '98, Catherine M. Keating '87 and David C. Burke '93, pictured with Dean Risa Goluboff, center, and (not pictured) Bruce A. Karsh '80 and Martha Lubin Karsh '81. In the lead-up to and launch of the campaign, Nancy L. Buc ’69 funded the first of 20 new Research Professorships in Democracy and Equity at UVA, and three new endowed professorships tied to the Karsh Center for Law and Democracy were announced.
The 2019-20 school year marked the Law School’s bicentennial as well as its centennial of coeducation. The fall 2019 issue of UVA Lawyer showcased women who led the way and who became leaders in their fields.
A decade after the birth of the Program in Law and Public Service, three alums who were there in the beginning, including Jeree Thomas ’11 and Aditi Goel ’12, shared their career stories at an event in December.
“Healing Hate: A Public Health Perspective on Civil Rights in America,” a conference hosted by the Schools of Law and Medicine in January, focused on the impact of racial and ethnic discrimination in driving public health disparities. Pictured are Vernice Miller-Travis of Metropolitan Group, Columbia law professor Jeffrey A. Fagan, and Yale lecturer and Vermont Law School professor Marianne Engelman-Lado.
In January, Erin Seagears ’20 was named this year’s recipient of the Gregory H. Swanson Award, an honor named for UVA and the Law School’s first black student that recognizes students who demonstrate courage, perseverance and a commitment to justice within the community.
Some familiar faces returned to the Law School. Professor Sarah Shalf ’01 was named director of clinical programs, and Professor Scott Ballenger ’96 joined the faculty as director of the Appellate Litigation Clinic. Juvenile justice and child advocacy expert Andrew Block, and water law and policy expert Leon Szeptycki rejoined the faculty.
The school’s first African American female tenured professor, Mildred Robinson, a groundbreaking tax law instructor whose scholarship and community service emphasized equity, wrapped up teaching in the fall and retired in the spring.
Faculty scholarship and teaching was awarded or otherwise recognized. (Clockwise) Barbara Spellman, a professor of law and psychology, received the Women in Cognitive Science Leadership Award. Frederick Schauer received an honorary doctorate from the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration. Dayna Matthew was named director of the UVA Equity Center. Michael Gilbert earned an All-University Teaching Award in April, and Cynthia Nicoletti won a UVA Student Council Distinguished Teaching Award in May. George Geis is lending his corporate law expertise to The Great Courses series. ...
... Professors Pierre-Hugues Verdier and Mila Versteeg were cited in a landmark decision by the Supreme Court of Canada. Professor Darryl Brown ’90 will conduct research at the University of Cambridge as a Thomas Jefferson Visiting Fellow in spring 2021. Professor Joe Fore ’11 was elected a board member of the Legal Writing Institute.
In March, former Student Bar Association President Jasmine Lee ’20 was named this year’s recipient of the Law School’s Rosenbloom Award, which honors students with a strong academic record who have significantly enhanced the academic experience of other law students.
In the span of eight days in March, the novel coronavirus changed almost everything about how the Law School operates, as classes moved online. Pictured, Professor Aditya Bamzai teaches in an empty classroom, one of several images captured by UVA photographer Sanjay Suchak.
Faculty continue to serve in public service roles. Professor Andrew Block served as vice chair of the Governor’s Commission to Examine Racial Inequality. Professor Thomas Nachbar was appointed to the Federal Communications Commission advisory subcommittee that promotes the resiliency of the nation’s communications system. Professor Margaret Foster Riley was appointed to a new National Institutes of Health advisory committee that’s exploring challenges with emerging biotechnologies.
The Law School is leading the UVA CARES Project, which provides information to University contracted and student workers, employees referred by UVA Human Resources, and others in the community seeking unemployment benefits in the wake of the novel coronavirus.
Professor Dayna Bowen Matthew ’87 was named the next dean of George Washington University Law School. She is the fifth woman to serve on the UVA Law faculty before becoming dean at a top law school. Professor A. Benjamin Spencer was named the next dean of William & Mary Law School and will be the first black dean of any school at William & Mary.
As states struggle with significant budget shortfalls nationwide due to the coronavirus pandemic, UVA Law professors Ruth Mason and Andrew Hayashi helped organize a coalition of tax scholars to form Project SAFE, which provides policy recommendations to help ease the crisis. See how other UVA Law scholars weighed in on COVID-19.
The Public Interest Law Association grant program supporting summer public interest work is giving a record $710,351 to 168 students this summer. Taylor Fatherree ’22, Austin Hetrick ’21, Donna Faye Imadi ’22 and Sydney Phipps ’22 are among grant recipients.
On the eve of what would have been graduation weekend, faculty toasted the Class of 2020.
A virtual celebration May 16 honored UVA graduates with musical performances, videos and an address by President Jim Ryan ’92. Dean Risa Goluboff offered remarks to law grads, and the celebration included performances by Yo-Yo Ma and Dave Matthews.
The school’s Mortimer Caplin Public Service Center and Program in Law and Public Service are joining forces under one leader, Assistant Dean for Public Service Annie Kim ’99, while adding a new, full-time director of public service to assist in counseling students. The school will also offer more skills-based courses to prepare students for careers in public service. Former program director Crystal Shin ’10 will teach a new juvenile justice clinic.
UVA Law’s Student Bar Association and Student Affairs Office honored Unsung Heroes for making a positive difference in the community, including, clockwise, Judy Baho ’20, Cat Guerrier ’21, Wilson Miller ’21, Lena Welch ’20, Will Kelly ’21, Jana Ruthberg ’21 and Grace Tang ’21.