Jansen VanderMeulen ‘19
Allison Angel, a member of the Class of 2019, passed away in February after a battle with cancer. In tribute to her memory, her friends wrote the messages below. To commemorate her life, The Class of 2019’s Gift Campaign are designating funds to a remembrance tree in her honor that will be placed at the Law School. If you'd like your pledge to go towards that memorial fund, please chose "unrestricted funds" on your pledge card and include a note that this is for the "Allison Angel Fund." If you pledge online and would like to do this, choose “unrestricted funds” and email Julia (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Robbie (email@example.com) with that preference. The Law Weekly salutes Allison’s memory and sends its sincerest condolences to her friends and family.
Brian Diliberto ’19
Allison and I were both in Section D so we naturally spent a lot of time together during our first year at UVA Law. We immediately connected because we were both from California, we each attended the University of California, we both had an interest in entertainment law, and we both had no idea what was happening in Torts.
I will always remember Allison as someone who was a champion for women and the LGBT community. During law school, she always sought out new ways of helping others. We spoke about her interest in participating in the Innocence Project Clinic and I remember encouraging her to apply because I knew they would be lucky to have her.
Before law school, Allison worked at a law firm in San Francisco and gained knowledge in the area of entertainment law. I was fascinated with her experience and excited to meet another student with the same curiosity and passion for the industry. We spoke about our professional aspirations and she described returning to California and possibly pursuing entertainment law as a career.
Allison left an enormous impact on our section and the law school. She was deeply loved because she was incredibly down to earth, optimistic, and a joy to be around. She loved EDM, music festivals, and was a real adventuress. She had a free spirit and a level of charisma that I deeply admired. I will always remember Allison for her great sense of humor, unapologetic hipster vibes, and her vivacious approach to life.
Allison will forever be a part of my experience at UVA Law and I will always cherish our time together. My thoughts are with Allison’s family and friends during this very difficult time.
Clay Davis ’19
When I close my eyes and bring Allison to mind, I can see her smile, her infectious smile, so clearly. Allison and I became friends through our many hours spent in the climbing gym, trying to escape the stress of 1L. A small group of us formed a climbing crew: Allison, Alex, Jenny, Taylor, and I.
The afternoons spent bouldering at Rocky Top were some of my happiest in 1L. A mix of physical activity, mental release, and laughs as we fell time and time again off the wall. Allison’s smile permeates those memories. We were both horrible at climbing but, nevertheless, still loved every moment.
As the year progressed, I got to know Allison better. And what I witnessed was a truly remarkable woman. I wish I could give light to Allison through my words, but it is simply impossible.
Allison was kind. She was thoughtful. She was genuine and confident in herself. She was light and fun. She was a true friend. Above all, she was strong as hell: through all the trials and struggles of 1L, Allison never complained, even as she silently suffered from cancer.
I miss her dearly. The pain of losing her hurts, hitting deep inside my chest. What I would not give to see Allison walking around the halls of the law school, looking like she just stepped out of a Coachella fashion magazine, just one last time.
Allison was a free spirit, with a subtle light around her and sense that she was on the edge of growing wings, leaving the troubles of law school behind her. Reflecting now, her body was only holding her free spirit down, chaining her to the ground. But now, she’s been freed to soar the heavens as, living up to her own name, an angel.
Jenny Lamberth ’19
Allison and I became friends during 1L when we started rock climbing together with a few other classmates from the law school. Allison had such a calming presence and radiated love and laughter. It still amazes me that, while battling stomach cancer and 1L all at the same time, Allison never told anyone or complained once. Rather, she was walking around the school in her bell bottoms and excited to be jetting off to fashion week or a music festival that weekend. I will always remember Allison as being adventurous, sunshiney, and making the most of everyday.
Teddy Kristek ’19
Allison was, and still is, an inspiration to me. She was courageous, pursuing her dreams in the face of so much adversity. And through it all, she never took a smile off her face. She would light up every single room she walked through and made every day brighter. I am so grateful to have been placed in her section and have gotten to call her a friend. I could not have made it through 1L spring finals without her. Whether it was her unique sense of style (almost always complete with trendy glasses and a big hat) or her love for music and dancing, Allison lived life in her own perfect way. Everything she did, she did with an unmatched passion and enthusiasm. The way she treated life should be a model for all to live by. She will be missed dearly.
Mary Seraj ’19
It’s hard to put Allison Angel into words. She was really something else. She was the sort of friend that would pull an all-nighter with you to support you during a long night of studying, the type of person that never judged or asked anything of anyone, and, honestly, the most inspiring human I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. Our best memories weren’t the ones that involved extravagant trips or once-in-a-lifetime events, but ordering in takeout and just bonding over all life had to offer. She was a radiant human being and a source of unparalleled positivity. For Allison, it was all about being the best version of yourself and enjoying life for what it is. I will always remember her as the girl I met at Admitted Students Weekend who rocked bell bottoms, lived for sunshine and music festivals, and saw the absolute best in everyone she met. My memory of her is this image and every time I walk down Withers-Brown Hall, I see Allison and think just how lucky, we the Class of 2019, were to have had her in our lives.
Kyle O’Malley ’19
In the six years I knew her, Allison played many roles. At first, she was just my colleague. Then, she became my comrade. After a while longer, she became my best friend. Finally, she became my classmate and conscience. I looked forward with joy to see what she would accomplish. At no point along the way did she fail to show the kind of generosity of spirit, and openness of mind, for which she was so well regarded and so well respected. Like so many others, I am devastated by her passing. This world will never be the same without her sense of humor, her sense of style, and her sense of justice. But that devastation cannot, and with the support of others will never, erase the memories she left me with; nor will it expel her spirit from its home in my own. Instead, her spirit will remain, a reminder to ask, as the late Mary Oliver did: “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your wild and precious life?”
Jessie Michelin ’19
Allison Angel is someone I looked up to and will continue to throughout my life. She was nothing but kind to me from the moment I met her and from what I saw, she treated everyone with this same kindness. Allison listened to you and cared what you had to say. She was someone I knew I could turn to whenever, and she would be there. One of the things I admired most about her was her positivity. She saw the good in any situation and did not want anything to stop her from enjoying her life––even her own illness. Moreover, Allison was determined. She was determined to accomplish her dream of becoming a lawyer and was determined to beat her illness. She continued to be the bright, passionate, warmhearted, and tenacious spirit that she was throughout it all. Some of my favorite memories with Allison are staying up until 4 a.m. eating the famous C’ville dumplings after nights out with our friends and chatting about everything and anything until we realized what time it was and that we should probably go to bed. Allison will not be forgotten and will be deeply missed. I am extremely saddened that she will not be able to accomplish her dreams, but I will try to carry her spirit with me the rest of my life. I love you Allison!