Exclusive Interview with David Leitch '85 General Counsel of Bank of America


Christina Luk ’21
Executive Editor

Grace Tang ’21
Lifestyle Editor

The University of Virginia School of Law had the pleasure of welcoming David Leitch ’85, Global General Counsel for BoA, to North Grounds last week. Leitch is in Charlottesville to visit BoA branches in the region to discuss talk with local management. On October 21, the Virginia Law & Business Society held a Q&A moderated by Professor George Geis, with whom Leitch discussed his extensive experiences working at the nexus of global commerce and law. A podcast can be found online on SoundCloud, courtesy of UVA Law. 

We at the paper took this opportunity to snag an exclusive Law Weekly interview with Leitch. Managing Editor Christina Luk ’21 and Lifestyle Editor Grace Tang ’21 had the opportunity to sit down in ScoCo to chat with Leitch about his impressive and wide-ranging career path, his love for Charlottesville, his memories of the Law School, and his advice for current students. 

Leitch fondly reminisced about his days at UVA Law and his 1L professors Emerson Spies, John Jeffries, and John Robinson. When asked if he played softball at UVA, he told Law Weekly, “I did, I didn’t realize I had a choice! Softball was a very important activity then, and it's taken on more prominence since my time here.” When Leitch was a student, law firm interviews were scheduled throughout the semester, and there would inevitably be students who attended interviews in their softball uniforms or softball games in their suits! Given this and UVA’s stellar softball reputation, it’s no wonder everyone asks us about softball during interviews. Leitch gave us additional insight into another softball tradition, the 1L Dandelion Kick-off, which had its origin in the first softball opening parade while Leitch was in school, called the Dandelion Parade. Leitch found the inaugural parade particularly memorable because George Rennick, a popular automobile salesman who starred in funny commercials, was the parade’s grand marshal.  

Leitch grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia and attended Duke University for undergrad before arriving at UVA Law, where he pursued a course of study dedicated to litigation. Leitch spoke at length about the many doors UVA Law opened for him, including clerkship opportunities. For example, just two days after Leitch graduated from the Law School, he drove up to D.C. to interview with then Justice Reinquist. Far from having any expectations, Leitch said, he felt privileged to have met Justice Reinquist and said it was a great opportunity to see the Supreme Court from behind the curtain. When his mom received a call the next day from Justice Reinquist’s assistant, Leitch wondered if he had forgotten his umbrella in the office. The news was in fact much better. “It was all so fast,” recalls Leitch. “I graduated on Saturday, interviewed Monday, and by Tuesday I had the job.” 

When it comes to his long and interesting career, Leitch commented that he had “a number of different jobs, each rewarding in different ways,” which is certainly true. After leaving law school, he clerked for Federal Circuit Judge Wilkinson ’72 in Charlottesville and Chief Justice Reinquist on the Supreme Court in D.C. before working at what is now Hogan Lovells LLP. Afterwards, Leitch worked at the Department of Justice alongside UVA professors Barbara Armacost, John Duffy, and John Harrison. While practicing as an appellate lawyer at Hogan, Leitch worked alongside John Roberts, now Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. 

Throughout our interview, Leitch emphasized flexibility and he advised students to be patient and keep an open mind in their careers. “While you don’t need to take every opportunity presented, consider reasonable ‘stretch’ opportunities.” When he graduated from law school at the age of twenty-four, Leitch was set on litigation and wanted to be a federal judge. “I was a young man in a hurry. But take the long view, let things unfold, and really dedicate yourself to what’s in front of you.” In his career, Leitch worked in many legal fields, and he always dedicated time to master his current role. “I didn’t think I would end up in-house, but I was fortunate to work with people who have helped me develop those skills. I was intentional in terms of being open to opportunity, and you never know where it leads.”

Being open to opportunity paid off for Leitch in 2001. “After working as an appellate lawyer for the better part of a decade, I wanted to try something new,” said Leitch. When the opportunity to gain management experience became available as General Counsel of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Leitch took the role. Shortly afterward, 9/11 occurred and Leitch found himself at the center of a national crisis over aviation and safety. Leitch’s work at the FAA led to contacts that helped him find his next job. After eighteen months at the FAA, in 2002, Leitch became Deputy White House Counsel with an office in the West Wing. “It was an incredible opportunity,” recalls Leitch, “and through those experiences, I was offered a position as GC for the Ford Motor Company where I worked for ten years.” Four years ago, Leitch took over his current role as General Counsel at Bank of America. 

Throughout his career in and out of public and private practice, Leitch has found writing to be one of the most important skills, translating across a variety of legal and non-legal positions. “Developing the ability to communicate clearly and concisely to lawyers and non-lawyers through accurate and clear written word is vital. Good legal writing is not about being formal. But whether it is a brief or email, you need to make sure to be understood.” A reputation for integrity and candor is critical as well. “Be careful not to shade the truth to serve your client’s needs, building a reputation takes a long time so you should guard it carefully.” 

For students interested in working in-house, Leitch recommends developing relationships with clients and in-house lawyers. “It sounds obvious, but sometimes, we can be insulated from the actual people on the other side of the table. You should work for people who let you get to know the people you work for and not just the problems.” This is also a great way to learn what it is really like to work at the corporation. 

Since this is Law Weekly, we had to take a page out of Hot Bench and ask Leitch a series of lightning round questions. We learned that Leitch’s favorite food is usually related to the last country he visited. At the time, Leitch was craving Thai food, because he had a local Thai cooking class with his wife and daughter on his last trip. The next destination on Leitch’s bucket list is South Africa, and London is his favorite city outside of the US for its culture, arts, and history. 

In Charlottesville, Leitch recommends the Virginian down on The Corner. He met his wife in Charlottesville and they had some great meals there. Additionally, Blue Moon Diner and Millers Downtown are also local favorites still around today. 

For podcast listeners, Leitch recommended Malcolm Gladwell’s podcast Revisionist History, especially the episode discussing the history of the timing requirement on the LSAT exam. For novel readers, he recommends In Hoffa's Shadow by Jack Goldsmith, who used to teach at UVA Law, or anything by Hampton Sides.

In the fashion of a true UVA Law alum, Leitch was humble, kind, and generous in his advice. He spoke softly and was warm and approachable. He told us he had read last week’s Law Weekly and that he hoped he would be able to pick up another edition before he left Charlottesville. During our interview with Leitch, he talked about a wide range of topics ranging from his experiences at UVA, to his professors, to Jim Ryan’s book, all the way to stories about how final exams used to be taken on typewriters. The common thread tying together each topic is how much Leitch values and appreciates the Law School. It’s clear that Leitch is a big UVA Law fan and that he thoroughly enjoyed being back on Grounds.

When asked what he wanted to tell students at the Law School, Leitch had a simple message, “Savor every moment being at the Law School, and don’t forget to make relationships that will last a lifetime.”




Bearing Witness: Why We Needed an Exhibit on Lynching

Eli Jones
Contributing Writer

The lyrics to the song “Strange Fruit” make a point of contrasting the beauty of natural scenery and the grotesque violence that results after a lynching. This juxtaposition is stark, describing the sweet smell of magnolia flowers blending into the smell of burning flesh. The song is grotesque, disturbing, and haunting, which is exactly why it is such an effective tribute to the crime against humanity that is lynching. Unless an accurate image of such a horrifically violent act is conjured in someone’s head, the concept loses all meaning.

This was exactly what that the Black Law Students Association felt last week as the President of the United States compared his possible impeachment to a lynching on his Twitter account.[1] As students who study the law—and by extension American society and culture over the years—such a comparison was both immensely striking and distressing. We knew such a comparison was neither accurate to the nature of lynching itself, nor sensitive to the atrocities endured. When discussing the matter in our office, our Firm Relations Chair, Nicole Banton ’21, pointed out that some people don’t really know what a lynching looks like.

To address this issue, we decided to create a pop-up exhibit, held in a classroom every morning for three hours a day, three days straight. The finished exhibit, Lynching: An Exhibit on Racial Terror, featured photographs and information on eight separate incidents of lynching, as well as physical artifacts and an electronic interactive map that showed the location of every recorded racial lynching in the United States. The main drive of the exhibit was to provide an educational forum to learn about the widespread practice of lynching in American history and foster a culture that holds individuals accountable for misrepresentations.

The exhibit aimed to be shocking and, we dare say, upsetting. As a society, we can decry comparisons to lynching or talk at length about how awful racism is, but it’s not often that we actually face the blunt reality of what these regimes look like. When you see photographs of women and children laughing at a burning body as if they are watching a sporting event or when you see a souvenir postcard of a lynching jokingly call the man people burned alive “the barbecue we had yesterday,” there is a new level of horror that people feel towards something from which they initially may have felt a great deal of distance.

The legacy of racism and dehumanization of Black people is not something to be invoked lightly, which is why BLSA worked to address the need for this exhibit. I use the word need intentionally, because regardless of what political stripe we fall into, this history is important. Not only important, but vital. As aspiring lawyers, if we cannot look at the full reality of our past, we will never fully be able to adequately address the challenges of today and tomorrow.

This observation is without a doubt the biggest takeaway we wanted people to have from the exhibit. Although President Trump’s tweet was the impetus of this exhibit, this was not about politics or impeachment. This was about Bennie Simmons, Laura and L.D. Nelson, Jesse Washington, John Henry James, Emmett Till, and the thousands more who fell victim to the murderous rage of the lynch mob. Thousands of Black bodies were denied their due process and convicted in the court of public opinion for offending the false notion of white supremacy.

Our country bears the burden of this legacy. Just as every person lays claim to the wonderful and powerful strides towards freedom and justice this nation makes, we each have an obligation to lay claim to the weight of the shameful portions of America’s past that lay on our shared identity. If there is one thing BLSA wants people to remember from our exhibit on lynching, it is to accept the need to reconcile the two.   



[1] https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1186611272231636992?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Etweet

Things That Spook Me on Halloween

Drew Calamaro ’21
Satire Editor

Hohoho, Halloween is around the corner and I’m already sleep deprived! As someone who just stayed up all night for no reason while being highly unproductive, I am just going to slap together some things that scare me and get to my 800-word minimum this fine Monday morning so I can turn in my article to the Editor-in-Chief who I fear above all else[1] and, ultimately, go to sleep. So here are some things that scare me, and they should scare you too.[2]

Figure 1 a chilling berating doled out by our Editor-in-Chief. The article made it at 6:55 p.m..

Figure 1 a chilling berating doled out by our Editor-in-Chief. The article made it at 6:55 p.m..

The thought of speaking to an undergrad on Halloween this Thursday.

I know a lot of you are little K-JDs, but for anyone who has been out of undergrad for a year or more, or anyone who decided they wanted some real life experience (like by trying to take a day off to go to the dentist and the doctor on a Wednesday), the thought of having a conversation with an undergrad, let alone speak to one, gives me the chills. As someone who prides himself on his ability to converse, words escape me when I meet a 20-year-old. They live in a fantasyland, one where you aren’t in a direct zero-sum competition with everyone your age, and you can eat an entire Domino’s pizza along with a D.P. Dough calzone and not gain weight. I would single out the undergrads for having less substance than the pizza, but there are plenty of uninteresting people in this school to fit that bill as well. It really isn’t about them, but more about me,[1] and my aversion of revisiting my own past. Or it’s that we’re all too drunk to talk coherently at Biltmore at midnight.

The fact that we still act like “Gunners n Roses” isn’t a horrible band name.

I am not commenting on their ability as musicians, I am commenting on a pun I would use ironically to get people to groan in pain. I truly hope this band name is tongue-in-cheek, because the thought that I go to a school that thinks it is a “cool” name is too much to bear. In America, we place value on the vocal minority, and by God I will be the extremist voice on this topic. If it is still meant to be ironically bad, then bravo you got me, “Gunners.” But the proportion of people in law school who neither understand puns nor understand irony[2] if it hit them in the face causes me to worry greatly on this topic. 

I feel nothing when I think about Thanksgiving.

I don’t feel much of anything these days. But Thanksgiving used to be my jam (literally—cranberry). Nowadays, I am too busy and my family is too far away for me to feel sentimental about it. Did you know that all pumpkin in pumpkin cans is actually made out of squash but the FDA allows manufacturers to list it as pumpkin anyways? As if Thanksgiving couldn’t be built off of any more lies. But ultimately, I don’t care, because I am too busy to care, and possibly too sleep deprived. Does this mean that in the future, when I have kids, that I’ll be an absent father who is too busy lawyering around to be there for the holidays? At the moment, I can only assume so. But at least I will have done it for them… surely they’ll realize it someday? I am spooked.

Most times I eat candy from the student affairs office, I am disappointed.

Except for Twix on a good day. And maybe Peanut M&Ms. If you’re not a fan of at least one of those two things, then you’re an untrustworthy person. Also Almond Joys. If you choose regular M&Ms over Peanut M&Ms you should fail the bar. Plain and simple. No lawyer worth their salt (or in this case, sugar! Ha ahhh!) is offering regular M&Ms to people or their loved ones that were diagnosed with mesothelioma. Always look for the offices with Peanut M&Ms—that’s how you know you’re at a high-quality establishment.

The Law School, despite being progressive on many things, has no parental leave policy.

Sure, you can take a leave of absence, and sure I don’t know how a parental leave policy would work in the real world at Law School, but I find this to be interesting. Also, like Thanksgiving, I don’t care since my hypothetical children are used to my absence. They should just be grateful for all I provide them, including my occasional presence.

 Overall, I think that if you feel the same way as me, you should be scared about where your life is going. Essentially, you’re someone who hates young people and well-meaning cover bands, eats only 3 types of candy, doesn’t care for the holidays, and is doing this all without the safety net of a parental leave policy. The bright side is that you can dress up as Ebenezer Scrooge on Thursday and it’ll all make sense. 



[1] Keep in mind this is what it has always been.

[2] Read: self-awareness.

Court of Petty Appeals: Tonseth v. LUKE

Tonseth v. LUKE

369 U.Va. 33 (2019)


Once upon a time, in a world not so long ago, there was peace.[1] 3 at 3 was actually held at a bar named 3, Crozet Pizza was the best biker bar in Virginia, and The Virginian was true to its roots and traditions. This world has slowly deteriorated, and the last straw has come upon us. Despite ordering an injunction against the renaming of the original 3 at 3 hotspot and ordering damages for every biker who no longer felt at home at what is now Crozet Pizza, both of which failed miserably,[2] this Court is here to try once more to right the wrongs of The Corner. What has gone wrong at The Virginian is nearly unspeakable, but it is the order of this Court to try and right the pettiest wrongs of this esteemed university.

Summary of the Facts

Plaintiff law students brought this case several weeks ago, complaining about the new policy that The Virginian (nicknamed Virg (now nicknamed Less Fun Virg (further nicknamed LFV for short))) has ordered to be followed for the rest of eternity. Sometime in the last few weeks, an accident––a tort, if you will (although members of this Court and 98% of attorneys still aren’t sure what a tort even is)––occurred at what was then known as Virg. Apparently, some undergrad (we’ll call him “Loser Undergrad who ‘K’an’t hang in a bar Engineer (hereinafter, LUKE))[3] was enjoying too many libations and hopped up on a Virg table. Anyone who has been to Virg knows this is not only acceptable but strongly encouraged during late night festivities, so friends of said undergrad gladly welcomed him to the overcrowded, sweaty, and dirty tabletop where unsuspecting visitors likely let their food sit just a few hours earlier. Tragically, these welcoming undergrads had no idea that they were welcoming the demise of all they had ever known.

Once LUKE joined his fellow undergrads on the table, he promptly committed the greatest party foul this Court has ever seen. While the details are a bit hazy (the members of this Court hear that happens when you indulge too heavily in libations, but obviously wouldn’t know as sophisticated law students who can actually handle their liquor[4]), one fact is clear: LUKE fell off the table. LUKE was injured and Virg shortly thereafter became LFV. This formerly fun bar did the unthinkable: It banned late night Corner visitors from dancing on the tables.

The Complaint

Plaintiffs contest that this new policy is despicable, inappropriate, and “straight up bogus.” They contend that LFV does not have proper ownership of the tabletops, since students have adversely possessed these for, like, a long time. Consequently, they argue this action by the bar is not meritorious and unenforceable. They further demand a preliminary injunction requiring LFV to revert back to its former state (aka Virg) by allowing students back on the tops of tables. Finally, plaintiffs assert that LUKE should pay for the harm that he caused students by having to wait even longer in line to get into LFV (no table dancing = more floor space taken up = grumpy bouncers) and must pay such damages by purchasing drinks for everyone at the bar on Halloween.


To win a claim of adverse possession, claimants must prove that their possession was open and notorious, exclusive, hostile, for the required statutory period, and continuous and uninterrupted. The lower court judge, Judge Jones, found that the alleged possession was clearly open and notorious (not sure how much more obvious claimed possession gets than a bunch of kids from NOVA belting out “Country Roads” while stomping their wannabe cowboy boots (aka Sperrys) in bright pink pastel shorts). Further, the lower court found possession exclusive––recognizing plaintiffs as a group in pursuit of a common goal and, for purposes of adverse possession, allowed them to stand as one exclusive unit. Finally, the court below found that possession had occurred for the full relevant statutory period (“a long time,” as claimed in the complaint, sufficed). However, the court ruled against plaintiffs for insufficient evidence regarding the hostility of possession and proof of possession being truly uninterrupted in the relevant sense. 

While this Court respects Judge Jones and his attempt to correctly interpret the law of our jurisdiction, we hereby correct some clearly erroneous findings determined below. The alleged adverse possession was both hostile and uninterrupted in the relevant sense in this Court’s eyes; it follows that the lower court decision must be reversed and the case must be remanded for further decisions as consistent with the rest of this opinion.

The first definition of hostile that appears on Google is “unfriendly, antagonistic.” The definition goes on to define synonyms of hostile, which include both “aggressive” and “belligerent.” This Justice has not yet completed her legislation class, nor has she learned much up to this point,[5] but she does vaguely recall some ability to look at a dictionary definition and, if it seems like one word or phrase somewhere supports the interpretation a judge desires to find, then she can selectively use such word or phrase to advance her own preconceived notions of what is the “right” outcome.[6] Here, I find it hard to believe that anyone could describe students out on a Saturday night on a Virg table as anything but aggressive and belligerent, and hereby find the lower court’s determination clearly erroneous. 

Next, regarding the uninterrupted nature of the alleged adverse possession: While it is true, as Judge Jones points out, that students are not constantly on the tables to show their claim of the property, must one always be in a place one is adversely possessing? Or is the relevant time frame more narrowly defined? Here, plaintiffs don’t contend to have the right to dance on a Virg table at 2 p.m. on a Sunday afternoon; rather, they claim ownership when night life is at its peak––mainly the weekends after 10 p.m. Under this narrower definition of time, clearly plaintiffs would prevail as uninterruptedly possessing the relevant property given the long-standing tradition of table dancing that predates you, me, and this Court as a whole. While this Court doesn’t find Judge Jones clearly erred in his finding, we also subscribe to our well-known Rule 1 of Petty Procedure: “We do what we want.” Therefore, we overrule the lower court and find all the elements of adverse possession met.


This Court vacates the lower court judgment and remands the case for further decision of the case on the merits. We strongly urge the lower-court judge to remember the angry mob that will come for him should he rule against the students, and also recognize that he will be overruled on appeal to this Court if he doesn’t grant an injunction and damages as requested in the original complaint.




[1] Not world peace, don’t get ahead of yourself.

[2] Yes, we are petty about it.

[3] Acronyms are hard, I did my best.

[4] Maybe if we pretend it’s true one day it will happen.

[5] Through the complete fault of her own @Professor_Gilbert you’re great and we don’t deserve you.

[6] #JudicialActivism at its finest.

Hot Bench: Jolena Zabel '21


Jolena Zabel ’21

Where did you grow up?

A small town on the Mississippi called Hastings, Minnesota.

What did you do this summer?

I was a law clerk at the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office (HCAO) in downtown Minneapolis. One thing that attracted me to the program is the fact that Minnesota gives rising 2Ls student practice licenses. The program is also filled with incredible mentors and chances to get feedback. These opportunities really helped me grow both in and out of the courtroom this summer.

We heard you had the opportunity to help with a case before the Minnesota Supreme Court. Can you tell us more about that experience?

This summer I helped write the respondent’s brief for a criminal case on appeal to the Minnesota Supreme Court. It was a statutory interpretation question involving a lot of grammar. I really enjoyed diving into it and ended up winning a law clerk competition by presenting on its main issue. After the brief was filed, my supervising attorney asked if I would like to return to “second-chair” the argument.

I agreed and came back a few days before the argument in early October. I participated in preparation meetings with other attorneys, talked through the case with the supervising attorney, and got to observe how he prepared for the argument. The night before the argument, it finally clicked that the justices would be questioning arguments for which I was responsible and I would be trying to help someone respond in real time. I felt some nerves, but my supervising attorney and everyone at HCAO were incredibly supportive throughout the process. I also felt really prepared for the experience from Professor Ruth Buck’s Legal Research and Writing class, Criminal Law with Professor Josh Bowers, and Criminal Procedure with Professor Rachel Harmon. 

At the argument itself, I sat at counsel’s table with my supervising attorney. I felt energized being so physically and intellectually close to the proceedings. Adding to the excitement, the Minnesota Supreme Court chose to hear this case on the road, so the argument was in front of around 900 high schoolers in rural Minnesota. After the argument finished, the justices took their robes off and returned to the auditorium stage to answer questions from the students (just not about the case, of course!). I don’t know if other state supreme courts have similar programs, but it was really neat.

 What are you involved in around the Law School?

I’m grateful to be a Co-Chair of Feminist Legal Forum (FLF), a Law in Public Service Fellow and board member, a PILA board member, and a Productions Editor for VJIL. I also love participating in JLSA and First-Generation Professionals. Shout-out to my Legal Research & Writing 1Ls too!

 What are you going to be doing this summer?

I’m crossing the pond to work for Latham & Watkins in London.

FLF seems to be really taking off. Can you talk more about the organization and some cool projects you’ve done with them?

FLF is dedicated to advancing feminist discussion, lawyering, and awareness at the Law School. Already this fall, we held a fundraiser for a local reproductive justice organization, organized a joint response to sexual assault allegations against Justice Kavanaugh, and co-sponsored events with over a half-dozen student organizations. We’re also really proud of our revamped weekly emails and have received lovely feedback. Reach out to myself or my co-chair, Eliza Schultz ’21, to get on the list! We have a few themed potlucks coming up this November (open to anyone in the Law School community) and plan to host a feminist lawyering workshop and book club this spring.

Now, time for some more fun ones:

What is your favorite thing about Minnesota?

I’m so glad you asked! Minnesotans, but the lakes are a close second.

What is your favorite word?

If I had to pick? Coven.

If you could meet one celebrity, who would it be and why?

Queen Elizabeth II, so I could bring my mom and fulfill her lifelong dream of meeting royalty.

Backstreet boys or *NYSYNC?

Neither, sorry! For a variety of reasons, I basically missed all pop culture of the late 1990s/early 2000s. I actually just learned after Googling this question that “Bye Bye Bye” and “I Want It That Way” are not by the same group. My bad.

Favorite fall activity?

Talking about foliage ad nauseum.  

What are your seven wonders of the Law School?

In no particular order:

1.     The big trees out front, especially this time of year.

2.     Public service community.

3.     Cow painting in Withers-Brown. It reminds me of home!

4.     Every single outdoor study space.

5.     Fruit snacks from Student Affairs.  

6.     Gambini Study Room. The natural light is amazing.

7.     The people, of course!



Hot Bench: Krzysztof Kolakowski '20

Krzysztof Kolakowski LLM ‘20

photo with K.jpeg

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Poland, in the countryside not very far from Warsaw, in a tiny village called Wola Wierzbowska … This is probably the first time the name of this place has been mentioned abroad.

What were you doing before coming to UVA Law?

I was working as an in-house lawyer in an international logistics capital group. But I was also helping as a pro bono lawyer with Amnesty International Poland and the Polish Association of Anti-Discriminatory Law.

What was that like?

Intensive, but rewarding. I’ve been practicing law in Poland for over ten years and I was admitted to the Bar in 2011. As an in-house, you are much more connected to the daily business of the company than, say, in a firm.

What made you decide to come here?

I was thinking about pursuing an LLM degree for several years, but I was always either too busy or just couldn’t take the plunge. After participating in a summer program for foreign lawyers in Boston last year, I finally made the decision. I chose UVA Law, because not only did the reputation and academics tick the right boxes, but Charlottesville’s small-town feel was the icing on the cake. Imagine, a small town with both a Whole Foods and a Wegmans! Studying at UVA Law is a great way to develop and meet interesting people. And Virginia is my husband’s home state, so he was also lobbying for it.

You’re the Vice President of LLMs, what is that like?

I love this role. The LLMs are awesome, we’ve only know each other for two months or so but I feel we can already count on each other. I feel privileged that I can support my class and colleagues through the GLSA!

What do you wish the JDs knew about the LLMS?

I could tell a long story here, but I know I should be concise. The LLMs are dynamic and interesting people …. similar to the JDs. I think we all could learn a lot from each other. When I am talking with other LLMs …. I feel like I’m constantly learning about culture, food, politics, law and new languages, including some bad words (very useful) …. We also love having fun! The LLMs are very friendly and open and I would encourage JDs to approach us, even though some of us may be a little shy at the beginning.

What is your favorite English word?

I like “y’all.” I know it’s a southern thing.

What is your favorite Polish word?

“Przyjaciel.” This word is generally translated as ‘friend,’ but it means so much more. In the US, the word friend is used rather broadly. However, in Poland, przyjaciel is limited to very, very close friends, of which we usually have no more than two or three during our whole lifetime.

What’s the best meal you’ve ever had?

My birthday dinner two years ago. We had the best seafood ever.

If you could meet one celebrity, who would it be and why?

Now, it would be Olga Tokarczuk, a Polish writer who won the Nobel Prize in Literature this year. She is a visionary of tolerance and understanding as well as a great writer.

What is your favorite hobby to escape the stress of law school?

Traveling, I love short and long trips. Changes of scenery help me to relax and recharge.

Where is your favorite place to vacation?

Melbourne, Australia.

What did you eat for breakfast?

Oatmeal with banana and gold kiwi. Plus a cappuccino—can’t start the day without a good coffee.

What is your least favorite sound?

The sound of metal scratching glass.

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

It would in the southern hemisphere again. Probably New Zealand; there are no snakes there, the landscape is breath-taking, the people are laid back and there are wonderful wineries all over the country.

What’s the best gift you’ve ever received?

Oranges during Christmas time when I was a child. During the communist times in Poland in the eighties, oranges were very hard to come by and it was really something extraordinary to get them. When I smell oranges I always think about Christmas. Nowadays we take so many things for granted.

What is your favorite thing to do in Charlottesville?

I should say “studying” …. but I think my honest answer would be visiting vineyards in the area. I wish I had more time for that.

Which student organizations have you joined?

I’m on the board of the Lambda Law Alliance and a member of the Virginia Law and Business Society. I am also active in the Polish Student Association—sometimes I need to be active outside of law as well. All these organizations are doing great things.

What was your favorite concert?

I went to the Adele concert in Melbourne. She was amazing!

What is your favorite food?

Nothing can beat my Mom’s vegetable salad–a Polish traditional dish. She was a true inspiration and I miss her very much. Here in the U.S., I really like Pecan Pie—maybe I am becoming a true Southerner.

Do you have a nickname?

Not really, sometimes my friends from Poland call me Krzysiu (diminutive from Krzysztof) or Xtof.

And who is Kaiser?

Kaiser is THE member of our family. He is a beautiful, cream-colored Golden Retriever and he also moved from Warsaw to Charlottesville. He’s cute and he knows it; he uses it with both me and my husband to get whatever he wants—and it usually works ... When you see someone running after a dog around school… it’s probably either me or Michael. He is crazy, but we love him.



Club Spotlight: Lone Star Lawyers

Christian Rice’20
Guest Writer

As I write this, it’s 94 degrees in Austin, Texas. But the weather isn’t the only thing that’s hot in the Lone Star State; the Texas legal market is on fire. Law firms are doing everything they can to attract top legal talent to the fastest-growing state in the country;[1] including (at some firms) $25,000 summer associate signing bonuses. Some might say such incentives are nuttier than a port-o-potty at a peanut festival but, with many businesses moving to Texas, the legal market is growing quickly and firms must compete to hire top talent into the state.

It’s no wonder businesses nationwide are moving to Texas; Texas is both the best state for business and the best state to start a business.[2] Texas’s economy has been strong for decades, including through the financial crisis. During the recession, numerous news outlets from the Atlantic to the Houston Chronicle deemed Texas’s economic performance “the Texas Miracle,” as Texas didn’t lose any jobs during the recession and housing prices decreased only briefly before quickly rebounding.

Texas also features world-class food (even beyond life-changing BBQ and Tex-Mex), diverse cultures (Houston has been named the most diverse city in America for several years running),[3] and metropolitan cities with major attractions. Three of the nation’s ten biggest cities are in Texas (Houston, San Antonio, and Dallas), as is America’s fastest growing city (Austin).

As if this isn’t enough reason for businesses and law firms to increase their Lone Star presence, Texas has no state or local income tax. The effective state and local taxes on a $190,000 salary are high in cities like New York City (9.68 percent), San Francisco (9.14 percent), and D.C. (7.18 percent), while Texas’s 0 percent tax rate means employees and attorneys moving to Texas keep more dollars in their pockets. This, combined with lower cost of living, means that Texas’s most expensive city, Austin, is still much cheaper than its out-of-state counterparts. $210,000 in salary plus bonus in Austin is equivalent to roughly $343,000 in D.C., $437,000 in San Francisco, or $525,000 in New York City.[4]

For these reasons and many others, businesses and lawyers are flocking to Texas faster than ever: to Austin for appellate litigation and venture capital; to Dallas for finance and real estate; and to Houston for corporate and energy practices.

As Texas’s business and legal markets have heated up, so has UVA Law’s Texas presence; in the four years since Lone Star Lawyers (“LSL’s”) founding, LSL has grown to some 130 dues-paying members (including 70 1Ls) who want to practice at a big law firm in Austin, Dallas, or Houston.

With such a large Texan contingent, law firms have a strong desire to interact with students at UVA Law. LSL hosts panels and happy hours with attorneys roughly once every three weeks to teach LSL members about different practice areas, what it’s like to be an associate at a big law firm, and how to make a big law application more competitive.

But LSL isn’t solely business: law firms also sponsor regular, members-only events to promote their name. This fall, law firms have sponsored several social gatherings, including a Texas-themed event featuring Texan drinks, BBQ, and Brazos Tacos. Last spring, firms hosted vineyard and axe throwing events to give LSL members the opportunity to interact with attorneys in a more comfortable environment. Law firms have also been generous enough to sponsor LSL merchandise. In the last year, firms have sponsored LSL-branded mugs, sweaters, and softball jerseys for our softball team, the “Rio Grande Slams.”

In addition to law firm and social events, LSL offers a variety of mentorship opportunities. Every LSL 1L is assigned a 2L or 3L mentor to help him or her with the big law firm application process. LSL’s board also hosts office hours roughly once per month in the fall to review resumes and cover letters, conduct mock interviews, and give interview tips. Finally, LSL connects 1Ls to LSL alumni-attorneys in Texas to give more specialized advice when needed.

As we say in Texas, LSL is not “all hat and no cattle.”[5] Interaction with attorneys, mentorship by law students and alumni, and application assistance has made a big difference in LSL members’ big law success; last year, 76 percent of LSL’s 1Ls who sought out a summer associateship in big law were given at least one offer.[6] LSL’s Vice President of Marketing, William Kelly, recently completed the 1L hiring process and says: “LSL is a freaking machine at getting people jobs in Texas. Working at a big firm in Houston last summer, I compared notes with my coworkers from across the top fourteen law schools—they were amazed at what LSL does at UVA and it’s clear that no other Texas law school organization functions even close to LSL’s level.”

Now, LSL is focusing on ramping up its alumni base. New to LSL this year are UVA Law alumni events hosted in Dallas and Houston. Our first alumni happy hour in Dallas featured roughly fifty attorneys, current students, and admitted students, and LSL is planning a similar happy hour in Houston this winter. In addition, LSL’s first newsletter will go out to all LSL alumni in January.

Everyone knows Texas is hotter than a two-dollar pistol, and now that phrase applies to its legal market as well. LSL will continue to serve students interested in the Texas legal market and, hopefully, UVA will remain among the top schools for Texas-bound law students for decades to come. If you are interested in the Texas legal market, please reach out to me at cr6xh@virginia.edu.

I would like to thank LSL’s board members for the many hours of work they put in to make LSL’s success possible: Haley Cambra ’20 as Co-President; Reese Gwinn ’20 as Vice President of Finance and Softball Captain; Garrett Engel ’21 as Vice President of Career Development; Peggy Porter ’21 as Vice President of Social Events; William Kelly ’21 as Vice President of Marketing; Will Brown ’21 as Vice President of Mentorship; and Hunter Bezner ’21 as Vice President of Professional Relations.



[1] Texas has been the fastest-growing state in the U.S. by population since 2010. http://worldpopulationreview.com/states/fastest-growing-states/.

[2] https://www.bizjournals.com/dallas/news/2019/05/08/texas-best-state-for-business.html; https://www.statesman.com/news/20190708/texas-is-best-state-to-start-business-says-study.

[3] https://www.houston.org/news/houston-still-most-diverse-city-nation-report-finds.

[4] All figures were calculated using Nerd Wallet’s Cost of Living Calculator, which can be accessed at: https://www.nerdwallet.com/cost-of-living-calculator.

[5] “All hat and no cattle” is a saying that means “they speak highly of themselves but don’t have anything to show for it.”

[6] This statistic is based on a survey of 100 percent of LSL’s 1L members in the summer of 2019 and was not developed by UVA Law’s Office of Private Practice.

Court of Petty Appeals: Mindy St. Claire v. SBA

Mindy St. Claire v. SBA

323 U.Va 126 (2019)  

Luk, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Shmazzle, C.J., Ranzini, and Schmid, JJ. join.

Justice Luk delivered the opinion of the Court. 

Petitioner Mindy St. Claire filed suit in the lower court to enjoin SBA from hosting Bar Review on Friday nights and to return the event to Thursday nights as was the custom two semesters ago in Fall of 2018. Petitioner Claire asserts that her “weekend starts on a Wednesday” and she “shouldn’t have to wait until Friday to get lit.” Furthermore, Petitioner Claire points out that “Darden’s party nights are on Thursdays and we should totally be on that wavelength to network and stuff.”  

The trial court disagreed and we affirm. Bar Review remains a Friday event.

Under the Petty Constitution, Student Bar Association may delegate executive powers to its subcommittees. And the Programming Committee, pursuant to 21 Code of Petty Regulations § 420(a)(1), was created by SBA to “vouchsafe the mental well-being of law students through programming or whatever,” and, under such directive, the committee has historically held broad agency powers especially when planning events featuring drinks of the “fun” variety. See, Participants with Hangovers v. “The Punch” 430 U.Va 707 (2012) (“The Programming Committee has a very specific role to fill. We have plenty of organizations dedicated to ‘well-being’ and ‘getting jobs.’ We need something dedicated to life, liberty and the pursuit of drink specials.”). As such, the standard of review upon appeal is not only arbitrary and capricious but, pursuant to our decision in the Punch case, plaintiffs must also prove that the committee decision was “uncool.”  

The Court recognizes that our standard of “uncool” has not been further expanded since the seminal Punch case and we take this opportunity now to clear up the confusion that has ensued in our lower courts. “Uncool,” according to Google’s browser dictionary, denotes that which is “not fashionable or impressive.” This definition does not apply, however, where SBA has never held itself out to be either “fashionable or impressive.”  The “uncool” standard is better articulated as “not cool,” whereby “not cool” should be interpreted according to its common usage among students. (“You were assigned a paper over Fall Break? Not cool.”) We amend our petty common law now to reflect this meaningful change and we trust that this clearer standard will confuse no one.  

With that in mind, the Court considers whether the Programming Committee’s decision to hold Bar Reviews on Friday as opposed to Thursday meets the standard of arbitrary, capricious, and uncool sufficient for the Court to intervene. The SBA’s response brief on behalf of the Programming Committee defends the decision to move the event to Friday evenings as “a valid exercise of committee power, backed by some research, which is better than no research.” The record shows that the Programming Committee did indeed solicit feedback from the student body. Although Petitioner Claire argues that Snapchat is neither a legitimate nor rigorous polling mechanism, the legitimacy of a committee’s research method is not a question we consider today.   

SBA’s response brief concludes with a gif of former president Barrack Obama’s face with a pair of technicolored shades sliding repeatedly over his eyes. The Court admires this brief and baller response, which reminds the Court of that most important offshoot to the Petty Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 1: "We do what we want." (See, e.g., GOOGLLE v. Dugas, 9 U.Va 1 (2017) ("Certainly, the defendants cannot mean we do not have the power to create such rules. As Petty Rule of Civil Procedure Rule 1 points out, 'We do what we want.' Implicit in this statement is the power to do whatever we want.") (opinion of HADEN, C.J.). The important offshoot to the rule, “We do what we want,” is of course: “Deal with it.”

In support of SBA’s position, Gunners for 1Ls has filed an amicus brief. The group astutely whines that “1Ls have classes on Friday” and that it would be the height of “uncool” to chill the 1L right to party by returning Bar Review to a “quote-unquote school-night.” The Court abhors the use of scare quotes and would ordinarily write only to censure Gunners for 1Ls for using them. However, despite the Court’s long settled stance that 1L concerns are “mere ephemera,” “shorter lived than a mayfly,” and “generally unimportant,” the Court recognizes that in this particular instance, involving mental well-being and budding alcoholism, 1Ls do have a compelling interest in fostering their own coping mechanisms early on in their careers 1Ls v. Those Who Don’t Care, 14 U.Va. 159 (1986) (“We all know what the legal profession entails. We gotta do our part to get those 1Ls prepped for the hours involved in their future careers and how they deal with the sadness.”).  

In light of the Programming Committee’s historically broad agency power and the legitimate health interests the committee promotes by having the event on Friday, coupled with our distaste for meddling in SBA affairs, we hold that the trial court correctly found that the committee exercised its discretion within the lawful bounds of 21 C.P.R. § 420. As such, we affirm.


Elicegui, J., dissenting.

While my honorable colleague Justice Luk does an admirable job at an attempt to do justice, she fails to correctly apply the “uncool” standard articulated in her opinion. You know what’s not cool? Having Bar Review take up a typical night of the weekend, instead of having Bar Review be an extra night to the weekend. That would definitely be cool and further the Programming Committee’s mission—to help students chillax.  See Punch, 430 U.Va at 707. Programming Committee already furthers their mission on every other Thursday with weekly socials, but sometimes they run out of chicken nuggets. The way I see it, they have two choices. Either buy enough chicken nuggies and have socials every Thursday or make every Thursday chill by moving Bar Review. I would so order if I could. *le sigh*




On the Road in the Post-Apocalypse: A Problematic Journey Part II

Will Palmer ‘21
Staff Editor

Part I of this series can be found online in Volume 72, No. 4 from September 18, 2019


            The Chief of Equals scurried offstage to join the rest of the Blue Checks in their macabre ritual. As directed by Fawkes, the hooded kangaroo bailiffs dragged me and Dennis away, up a set of roughly-carved stairs into a cave set in the face of the nearby cliffside. A pair of doors fashioned from reclaimed scrap metal clanged shut behind us. The macropods snuffled ominously in the fresh darkness and continued to direct Dennis and me forward. A torch crackled and started burning, casting Fawkes’ mask in an even eerier light than usual. Dark eyes observed us from underneath.

            We had walked about a hundred feet into the cave when our escorts abruptly brought us to a halt. I looked up to see a ragged, bone-festooned banner splayed above us, its colors long faded: “Welcome to Our Safe Space.” A stooped, robed man shuffled towards us from an alcove to our side, holding what appeared to be a guestbook borrowed from a Red Roof Inn.

            “Please, ah, if you wouldn’t mind signing into our cooperative living space?” the receptionist queried. Dennis and I looked at each other and burst out laughing. Between guffaws, Dennis managed to hack out, “You guys- hah- really- hah- got the euphemism game- hah hah- down pat, you know that?”

            Fawkes and the kangaroos were not amused. The receptionist appeared to be on the brink of soiling himself, so I took pity on the man and reached for the book. He opened it to a page towards the end and held it out to me. “Do I get a pen? Or a quill or something?” I asked. The receptionist shrank back in fear. From behind me, Fawkes growled, “You shall write in blood, as all the others have.”

            I spun towards him, flustered. “Alright, now, you listen to me, you grimy, Hacktivist-looking jackass. I know you guys are all into this freaky holistic crap but that is just super unsanitary. You know how Lord Byron died? Well, it wasn’t this, but it’s kind of analogous.” *

            “It’s not really that analogous, honestly,” mumbled Dennis.

            I sighed. “Et tu, Brutus?”

            “That’s your chinchilla. My name is Dennis. You’ve known me for, like, seven years, man.”

            “It’s a turn of phrase.” I pricked my finger on a pin the receptionist had produced and looked down to the guestbook.

            I filled in my preferred pronouns and the required list of “subconscious biases,” but paused when I came to the next section: “List Ten Ways You Have Checked Your Privilege in the Past Day.” I looked up at the receptionist, then at Fawkes and the ’roos, then back at the receptionist. “Uh…seriously?” I pointed at the checklist, a drop of crimson slowly falling from my fingertip and spattering across the page. “I haven’t had much time to check my privilege since you did the hipster equivalent of taking us to a CIA Black Site. Only thing you missed was waterboarding us with hoppy IPAs.” No response was forthcoming. Blood dripped onto the paper. “And this part here? My entire voting history? How am I supposed to remember that? Are you saying I’m the only one here who pregamed election day?”

            Dennis looked at me. “Yeah, man. I mean, I’m pretty sure you were. Well, except for Brexit.” Fawkes cocked his head approvingly. I sighed again, defeated, then scrawled “I plead the fifth” in the remaining space before handing the book over to Dennis.

            “I don’t think that’s how the Fifth Amendment works,” Dennis observed.

            “Jeez, why don’t you tell them about all my tweets from 2009 while you’re at it?”

            “Well, there was that one that was pretty bad. You know. The whole Inuit community was pretty upset with you for a while there, if I remember correctly.”

            “How was I supposed to know they held the Narwhal in such particularly high esteem?!” I responded. “I thought those things were extinct!” I paused, remembering. “But yeah, getting death threats in scrimshaw was pretty interesting. I knew those folks had a lot of words for snow, but they have even more for murder.” **

            One of the kangaroos loudly defecated beneath its robes, as if to punctuate my recollections. Dennis held his bound hands up to cover his nose. “Oh, man, that is just heinous. What the hell do you feed—”

            “Please don’t answer that,” I interjected.

            Fawkes abruptly turned to the receptionist and spoke, rubbing the temples of the mask as if fighting a headache. “The macropods appear to have encountered a period of great gastrointestinal distress. Such as to not befoul the soy mines, I shall return them to their pastures. You may complete the registration process for our latest. . .residents.” They spun on their heel and strode up the passageway. The kangaroos hopped after, soiled robes trailing on the floor.  

            As Fawkes and the macropod enforcers disappeared down the hallway, the receptionist seemed to find his spine and adopted a more upright posture, much in the style of an inflatable tube person. He wiped a sheen of sweat from his brow and let out a heavy sigh of relief. “Man, the one with the mask really gives me the willies. Like, how do they eat?”

            Dennis and I looked up from the registration book, confused. “Wait,” Dennis said, “You’re…”

            “Normal-ish?” replied the receptionist. “Yeah. But only when the kangaroos aren’t around. My name is Anthony, by the way. But my lovers call me Carlos.” He took the registration book from Dennis and slid it under his vestments. “Walk with me. I’ll show you to the cooperative living space.”

            A short trek led us to the “co-op”: a poorly lit cavern hacked into the stone, filled with stacks of beds and a haze of cheap incense. We passed several sorry-looking individuals who we presumed to be workers, covered in globs of soy from the mines and lugging heavy pickaxes with them.

            “If you wouldn’t mind waiting here briefly,” Anthony began, “I’ll go and get some uniforms for you. Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do!” He swept out of the room.

            I turned to Dennis. “OK, see, those directions leave us some pretty questionable wiggle room, if I’m not wrong about who that guy is.”

            Dennis ran a hand through his hair. “I don’t think you’re wrong. How’d he end up all the way out here with the crazy brigade?”

            “And more importantly,” I added, “How did he avoid getting canceled?”

            Anthony spoke up from behind us. “Oh,” he said. “I lied. Obviously.”

To be continued…

*Sepsis. It was sepsis.

** If you would like to learn more about the Inuit community, go online and visit: itk.ca



Court of Petty Appeals: Classmates v. Gunners

Classmates v. OverEnthusiastic Class Discussion Volunteer d.b.a Gunners
323 U.Va 142 (2019)

Pickett, J., and Luévano, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Shmazzle, C.J., Elicegui, Luk, Schmid, Jones, JJ. join.

Justices Pickett and Luévano delivered the opinion of the Court.


            Despite UVA Law’s reputation for collegiality and friendliness, there remain some students who recklessly misinterpret the school’s unwritten rules and wish to trespass upon classroom interactions to which there is no implied license and no invitation. Given the lack of understanding of the Covenant of the Cold Call, colloquially known as “Minding Your Own Business,” the Court will restore order by condemning the actions of Over-Enthusiastic Class Discussion Volunteers and defining when and how cold calls can be trespassed upon.



            On October 3, 2019, plaintiff John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt (hereinafter ‘JJJS’) suffered a common law school misfortune—he was cold called. JJJS, having been cold called just last class, mistakenly believed he was safe “at least until November.”[1] He was so confident in his safety, in fact, that he had chosen to read ahead for Civil Procedure[2] instead of reading for Torts.

            As JJJS searched through his book in a panic to find the paragraph the professor was asking him about, something flickered in the corner of his eye. At first, he thought it would be a fellow student directing him to the mysterious paragraph,[3] as is the typical UVA Law way. But as he glanced over, he quickly realized that it was the section’s Over-Enthusiastic Class Discussion Volunteer (hereinafter ‘The Gunner’) who had made the motion. The Gunner stared JJJS in the eyes and, with an expression akin to that of Scar before pushing Mufasa off the ledge into a herd of stampeding wildebeests,[4] raised his hand to the sky. The professor called on The Gunner, who relieved JJJS of his duties, but the damage was done. Their classmates had witnessed a repeated, reckless disregard for the Covenant of Cold Calling.

            After class, the students quickly gathered together to file a complaint on behalf of JJJS against The Gunner and those like him.[5]



The Covenant of Cold Calls, again known as Minding Your Own Business, provides that fellow students may intervene in a cold call only when the professor opens it up to the class or in order to subtly suggest the correct answer to their on-call classmate next to them. The Covenant strictly prohibits students from inserting themselves into an on-going cold call, particularly in order to demonstrate their own close reading abilities and self-perceived mastery of the legal issue in question.

The Covenant of Cold Calls is as old as the Cold Call itself, and it is a principle that has been passed down from Peer Advisors to 1Ls for centuries as part of Common Knowledge. First laid out in the case before a fellow court, Elle Woods v. Vivian Kensington, 317 Harv. 11, 98 (2001), the Covenant of Cold Calls was established as a general standard against making your fellow students look stupid in front of their colleagues. It has since been refined to a set of rules defining the act of Minding Your Own Business. McLovin’ v. Professors Who Don’t Cold Call in Alphabetical Order, 159 U.Va. 13, 3 (2007), first recognized the widely followed rule that classmates will always forget another’s cold call (or at least pretend to) and, if asked after class by the person on call, “Was it as bad as it felt?” always respond with “No! You did great! Plus I was barely paying attention.”

Restatement Twelve of Law School Etiquette expanded this doctrine to protect on-call students from classmates infringing upon their right to answer the question, even after taking a long pause or saying nothing in the hopes that the professor forgets they were on call. Finally, the recent case of 1L Gunners v. Everyone Else, 324 U.Va. 22, 24 (2019), established that, “emotional distress is a harm within the risk of attending law school.” However, in Caesar v. Brutus, 114 U.Va. 19, 31 (1950), this Court clearly carved out an exception for emotional harm at the hands of sectionmates (“Like family, the bond between sectionmates is forged in the fire of 1L, and they are expected to have and protect each others’ backs.”).

The Gunner’s actions were clearly in violation of the Covenant of Cold Calls. Not only did he fail to wait for the professor to open the cold call to the rest of the class, but he also maliciously trespassed upon the cold call of another and willfully embarrassed a sectionmate. While The Gunner attempted to assert a defense of Trying to Move the Class Along, we find that this is the job of the professor, and that there is no place for a student in this duty. The Gunner should have acted like he was similarly confused about the case and comforted JJJS in the aftermath of the bloodbath with words such as, “that was totally unfair” and, “that has to be a tort, we should sue.”



We hold in favor of the plaintiffs and award emotional damages in the form of a round of drinks at Bilt for JJJS and his pals,[6] which is the only proper way to respond to a brutal day of cold calls and make JJJS whole.

[1] JJJS alleges, and this Court finds as fact, that his professor used a randomized system and (almost) never cold called someone twice in a row.

[2] And catch up on the new episodes of the Great British Baking Show...but this fact is irrelevant to the issue at hand.

[3] Which, it turns out, was in a footnote. This would constitute a separate violation under the Covenant of the Cold Call, which recommends that professors avoid questions pertaining to footnotes, dissents, and other wildly unfair material found in a casebook. However, the plaintiff has not alleged that complaint today.

[4] See The Lion King (1994). Not the new one, though. It’s just not the same.

[5] The Gunner is also facing criminal charges for “Impersonating a Police Officer” or “Being a Cop,” as filed by his fellow classmates.

[6] OR if JJJS is not a drinker, we remand this case to the lower court in order to find the non-alcohol equivalent.

Club Spotlight: Older Wiser Law Students

Peter Cirka ‘21
Guest Writer

I was thirty-four years old the day I began my second career here at UVA Law. Having skimmed the demographic profiles of various schools’ incoming classes, I had applied knowing I’d be among the oldest students of any law school’s incoming class. I had discovered that, typically, half of first-year law students nationwide were twenty-six or older and one out of every five was at least thirty. Even better, I had detected an especially healthy presence of older students at many of my target schools. For example, Northwestern and Temple reliably reported 1L median ages at or above twenty-seven. Both also reported age ranges that typically reached into the forties and fifties. Most promisingly, I learned of a student organization called Older Wiser Law Students (OWLS) that existed at most schools to facilitate social events and professional guidance for students like myself.

When I was accepted at UVA, I was thrilled and grateful for the opportunity to start my second career at one of the country’s elite law schools. But I also knew that UVA’s student body tended towards the younger side as compared to broader trends. In fact, our incoming 1L median age is historically around twenty-four, and our age range rarely reaches beyond the mid-thirties. So, I moved to Charlottesville, navigated orientation exercises, and began the first semester with mixed feelings. Professionally, I had chosen the best place possible. But on a personal level, I knew I would probably meet far fewer students near my age than I might have elsewhere. 

All the more reason, I thought, to swoop in and join UVA’s chapter of OWLS as soon as I was settled in. Better yet, I guessed from the slimmer numbers that I might find an especially tight-knit group (or, at the very least, one that was skilled at knitting). Having already spied a student mailbox owned by “OWLS at UVA Law,” I circled the courtyard at the September Student Activities Fair eagerly. Imagine my consternation, then, when I asked around and learned that the UVA OWLS had actually died off years ago. Sadly, I was told that the mailbox in ScoCo was an empty nest—a mere memorial of some forgotten age when OWLS had prospered at UVA—neglected but, much like the dial-up modems and flip phones of its former owners’ childhood homes, curiously not yet discarded. There was a mailbox, but no Parliament.[1]

My disappointment passed quickly enough. I had landed in Section J, which included not only several students in their late twenties, but a fellow tricenarian. Even better, I quickly realized that, all the way down to the “K-JDs,” my section mates were exceptionally mature. That initial thrill and gratitude I had felt for the chance to attend UVA sustained easily throughout 1L year, undampened by the fact that I stuck out a bit. But a twinge of dissatisfaction persisted. In many ways, a uniquely young character is a great trait for a law school to have. It is humbling to learn alongside some of the brightest young people in the country—people in their early twenties who are thinking, speaking, and writing at a level higher than most mature professionals in any field. But on the other hand, there is a type of perspective that can only be gained through life experience and only appreciated by others who have likewise ventured beyond the walls of academia for some years. I wondered, “With the OWLS retired, what else does our Law School’s community do for older students seeking the type of solidarity I sought—beyond hoping those students are lucky enough to find it in their (randomly assigned)[2] sectionmates? 

I learned that, in some narrower respects, the community was already doing a great job. I connected with UVA Law families and Virginia Law Veterans—thriving organizations whose mailboxes were dust-free. Both groups commonly, though of course not necessarily, draw older students. But given the more niche missions of Families and Vets, there seemed room for an organization that could serve as more of a ‘big tent’ able deliver social events, academic resources, and career guidance for older students from any walk of life. To that end, along with the hard work of several other founding board members, I headed up the official resurrection of the OWLS at UVA Law. 

Energized by some low-key but high-energy self-funded events last spring, including a self-funded SuperbOWL party, the OWLS are soaring in their first official year. We kicked off with a September happy hour at Kardinal Hall, and look forward to hosting several more around town. We’ve also established a mentorship program, which budgets for 1Ls to grab coffee and lunch throughout the year with one of our 2L or 3L members. In October, we hosted a special Career Services event called “Working Your Work Experience,” where Kevin Donovan and Annie Kim generously gave their time to dish specific advice on how to effectively present a prior career in resumes, cover letters, and interviews. And, since some puns are just irresistible, we’ve already cemented the SuperbOWLS party as our annual flagship event. 

We are often asked if there is an “age cutoff.” The answer is a resounding, “No!” Student organizations celebrating various aspects of diversity have a proud tradition of inviting students to join their communities as allies, regardless of whether every student shares that identity. In that tradition, the OWLS welcome all students, of any age, who believe that a law school’s environment and the field of law itself is enhanced by students that bring distinct personal and professional experiences to the law school classroom. 

First and foremost, the OWLS celebrate diversity of experience itself. After all, as Oliver Wendell Holmes put it, “The life of the law has not been logic; it has been experience.” The common law has always looked backward before daring to forge incrementally forward—so, of course, it must have something to look at in the first place. Lawyers, judges, and legislators do not lock themselves away in libraries or chambers to consult wholly logical or theoretical axioms from which to infer some abstract notion of “the law.” Rather, they move through the world itself—personally navigating successes and failures, logging wins and losses, reckoning with war and peace, finding love, and enduring loss—before they purport to advocate, adjudicate, or legislate that world into (fingers-crossed) a better position than the one in which they found it. The OWLS strive to embody Holmes’s reflection. We have merely, perhaps, frontloaded our experiential chapters more than most. We’d like the UVA Law community to know that we are your colleagues and students who, before even realizing that we envisioned a future in the law, went out into the world and learned trades, founded businesses, taught, became parents, studied great art and literature, or served their country, to name only a few of the endeavors proudly populating the resumes of our very own OWLS here at UVA. And most of all, this time, we’re here to stay!

If you’re interested in joining the OWLS list serve, GroupMe, softball team, or any of our great events, President Peter Cirka can be reached at pcc3hq@virginia.edu.


[1] A ‘Parliament’ is the scientific term for a flock of owls.

[2] Ed.’s note: Don’t lie to us, Cordel. There’s no way the same section can have four people who went to the same middle school (see Section A class of 2020) and it be random.

Hot Bench: Jameil Brown '21

Jameil Brown ‘21

Hot Bench - Jameil Brown.png

2L Education Chair for BLSA, Career Development Chair for Lambda, and a member of VLR’s editorial board.

Hi Jameil and welcome to Hot Bench! Let’s get the ball rolling with some fun questions. What’s something most people don’t know about you? 

Most people don’t know that I am a horrible cook. I’ve never sent myself to the hospital or burned anything down, but it’s not great. 


If you could cook one thing really well, what would it be? 

If I could make one thing, I would love to be able to make a Filet Oscar, which is a fantastically seared filet with crab meat and bearnaise sauce on top. 


Do you have a pet peeve?

Candy wrappers on the floor. I don’t know why it bothers me, but if I see one in class, I will shift my books to block my vision. Maybe it’s because I don’t eat candy. 


You don’t eat any candy? 

I literally don’t eat sweets. I don’t have the taste for it. I never ate my own birthday cake growing up. 


What about semi-sweet pastries or pies? 

Nope, not even muffins or donuts. Pancakes are right at the border. 


Do you drink your coffee black? 

I don’t drink coffee, but drinking is different from eating sweets. I like sodas and sweet teas. 


A “sweet tea” man! Any strong opinions about brewing it?

You can’t put sugar in iced tea. If a restaurant has iced tea, it does not have sweet tea. Give me sweet tea or give me death. 


How much sweet tea do you drink?

That doesn’t need to be public information. It’s an abundance. 


Alright, keep your secrets. Can you tell us where you’re from? 

Near Austin, Texas—Leander to be specific. 


Tell us something about Leander!

It’s one of the fastest growing cities in the nation. A new subdivision pops up every time I go back. In 1990, the welcome sign said population is 3,300. As of 2017, we have over 50,000 people. 


Was it an adjustment going from Texas to New Jersey for college?

In some ways, yes. I got to meet so many more people from a variety of cultures and backgrounds than you do in your typical southern suburb. And I definitely had to get used to the cold and snow. But my high school had a great balance of academics, arts, and sports—I found Princeton to be a similar and comfortable environment in that regard. 


I hear you’re headed back there this weekend. Are you attending an event?

I’m going back to Princeton for THRIVE, a semi-regular Black alumni conference. The last one was held when I was a junior in college. It’s exciting to go back as an alumni. There will be a lot of talks and networking receptions, panels about student life and careers, and conversations about being an alum in this context. 


Was the black student community a big part of your life as an undergrad? 

No, actually. I was a member, but I wasn’t an active member. I spent more time exploring my LGBTQ identity. My black identity was important to me, though, and I explored it in other ways. I took a number of African-American Studies courses and I worked with the Carl A. Fields Center for Equality + Understanding on different programming initiatives, especially on issues regarding race.  


How have your experiences here at UVA differed from your experiences at Princeton? 

I will say that there is more of a critical mass at Princeton, where there were still a few hundred people to meet and become friends with. The Law School is much smaller and the percentages still aren’t perfect. It is nice, though, because we all really love each other and we spend a lot of time with each other. We support each other and I like that a lot. But still, there’s not the same breadth of ways to engage. 


When did you start thinking about law school? 

I started thinking about it around my sophomore year of college. I was a computer science engineer for two hot seconds and I found I didn’t have a strong intellectual passion for it. I began taking classes with the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. I started gearing my internships in that way too. I interned for a federal judge and for the headquarters for Legal Aid in New Jersey.


Why computer science? 

I wanted to comfortably make money, haha. 


Let’s do a lightning round! 


Favorite food? 

French fries. I love a good steak fry—the body can scoop up a good amount of ketchup. 


What is your favorite place for steak fries in C’ville? 

Red Robin has steak fries, but it feels cheap to use a chain. The fries are bottomless though. 


Favorite place in Charlottesville? 

The BLSA office. We have a lot of fun in there. 


Anti-Stress Hobby? 

I find sleeping fun. I have nerdier answer—I’m actually a huge fan of the marching arts—Drum Corps, Winter Guard, and any Corps style marching bands. In the fall and winter, I’m usually live-streaming it as I study. 


Interesting! How did you get into the “marching arts” as it were? 

I was a big marching band nerd in high school and I never shook it. I played the trumpet. 


Do you have a favorite Drum Corps? 

It’s hard, probably the Boston Crusaders. 


Favorite word? 

Intersectionality—I think it’s important and not taken seriously enough.


If you could live anywhere, where would it be? 

I would love to live in a warmer version of Chicago or a less rainy version of Amsterdam. 

Chicago is my favorite city in the country. Great food, great nightlife, and fun neighborhoods. 


What is your least favorite sound? 

Crickets are an awful sound. 


What’s one movie that left an impression on you?



If you won the lottery, what would you do with it? 

I would definitely buy a number of houses in different locations I would like to be in. 


If you could pick one song to play in the background of your life, what would it be? 

Lust for Life by Drake from his early mixtapes. It’s a good song about balancing reaching your vision of success and your roots that helped propel you there. 


If you could make one rule that everyone had to follow, what would it be? 

Consider other perspectives. 


If you could change anything about the Law School, what would it be?

I wish the average experience of someone who doesn’t fit the typical UVA mold were a little stronger. 


What do you hope to do with your law degree? 

I have dreams and goals about diversifying the legal profession and those goals are better accomplished in certain positions like law firm partnerships. I met a number of black female attorneys who are on the executive committees of their firms and to see how much they put into their work and their goals has been inspiring to me. I think we should ask ourselves: Why are Black people not in the pipeline and not making it to the partner levels? 


What’s your favorite thing about the Law School?

The fantastic Career Services Offices and I’m really happy I came here for that. 



Court of Petty Appeals: Students Involved v. Sarah Davies

Students Involved v. Sarah Davies (in her official capacity)
323 U.Va 125 (2019)

Calamaro, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Shmazzle, C.J., Ranzini, Elicegui, Luk, and Schmid, JJ. join.

Justice Calamaro delivered the opinion of the Court

There are times when a case comes across the docket that defines a generation. These generation defining moments, such as Students v. Eight Cartons of “Firehouse” Submarine Sandwiches, More or Less (68 COPA 976 (2018)) or Students v. Simpson Thatcher Hats (67 COPA 553 (2017)), shaped our Law School society for better or for worse. This is one of those cases. The opportunity and ability of a person, without regard to race, creed, orientation of any kind, gender, religion, or ability, to answer the holiest call of nature in the privacy of a bathroom stall is a right without equal in the American, indeed even the human, experience. The case before us addresses that issue head on, and our great Court of Petty Appeals must rule on it fairly and without prejudice, a monumental task attempted only by a handful of courts in the past.

              Before the Court is a class-action suit brought by student plaintiffs against the administration of the Law School, stating that they have “failed to provide adequate privacy protections in every bathroom on the School premises.” Specifically, the bathroom stall doors have giant cracks around the frame, otherwise known as “sight lines.” These sight lines, the plaintiffs argue, infringe on their privacy, and make for extremely awkward interactions when one student is trying to deposit their “natural packages” while another student walks in and makes eye contact with the first student. Although the administration has not responded to these charges, we can assume their two arguments in failing to secure privacy for the students involve monetary hardship as well as the “benefit” of using stall door sight lines to determine which stalls are occupied and which are empty.

              Despite the School’s defenses, we as a Court unanimously hold that the School administration has committed a gross violation of privacy, as well as a gross violation of privacy, by not utilizing readily available sight line covers, and uphold the trial court’s remedy of installing them by the end of the semester. It is well known that everyone poops,[1] and the Court today holds that this great institution of humanity be honored by completion of this remedy in a swift and timely manner.

Infringement of privacy

              Since the dawn of humanity, the need for privacy has separated us from the wild animals of nature.[2] Privacy in the privy has long been an especially treasured right, and was heightened at the invention of the toilet and floating ballcock by Thomas Crapper.[3] Who among us hasn’t sought out a private space to cry after a particularly tough cold call and found the bathroom stalls to be inadequate due to the massive sight lines in the doors?[4] Our Founding Fathers knew this was a struggle worth protecting and sought to immortalize that protection in the Fourth Amendment, which states “the right of the people… to sit in their outhouses in peace.”[5]

              Although the term “outhouses” has been constant cause for concern and strife in the lower courts, the Court of Petty Appeals affirms today that the term rightfully refers to all forms of bathrooms, including the stalls within. Indeed, outhouses were the first stalls, and even during our founding, cracks in the outhouse doors were avoided at all costs. It wasn’t until the beginning of the twentieth century when stall doors were manufactured en masse that sight lines were widened. This, of course, was meant to cut costs by literally cutting corners. To this the Court says no more!

It is this Court’s view that, although sight lines in the doors help others determine which stalls are open as the defense argues, this is not enough of a benefit to offset the harm caused to those inside. Instead, we see sight lines as a blatant attempt to cut costs for the School by providing doors that only minimally protect the privacy of those doing their duty inside. The Founding Fathers knew that these rights were not equal, and that the rights of the one inside the stall far outweighed the rights of the bathroom newcomer. Indeed, we see this in the Federalist Papers when Paul Revere famously wrote in response to Hamilton’s suggestion of building outhouse doors with larger sight lines, “One goes on land, two out to sea,[6] and all should be done in privacy.”[7]

It is clear to the Court that the University of Virginia School of Law, founded by our nation’s Founding Father, an avid user of outhouses, has lost its way. These stalls would have been unacceptable then and remain unacceptable now. The Constitution could not be clearer on this topic, and the Justices are all in agreement on the prohibition of sight lines in bathroom stalls.



              The defense states that procuring sight line covers would come at great expense and hardship. However, a cursory look at Amazon shows that a single set of sight line covers is only $34.99. Although this Court is not privy to the number of privies in the School, a quick back-of-the-envelope math shows that, even if there are 100 stalls, the cost would only be $3499 to procure these covers. The Court will not rule on whether to include installation costs, but it can safely state that this is a reasonable cost for the School to incur in order to save students from the awkward experience of making eye contact with an interviewer while sitting on a porcelain throne.

              Thus, the Court upholds the lower court’s ruling against the School, and order them to order sight line covers. It is our duty to preserve the last truly private space in this cold world that the Constitution sought to protect, so that we may do our duty in peace. This is what the Founding Fathers would have wanted, and is now what the American people demand.


[1] See generally Tarō Gomi, Everyone Poops (1993).

[2] See Adam and Eve

[3] See, Wikipedia

[4] This is simply conjecture—the majority has never done this

[5] The Constitution, somewhere

[6] Referring to plumbing which, in that day, deposited waste out to sea

[7] See Federalist Papers No. 2

Hot Bench: Katherine O'Neal '22

Katherine O’Neal ‘22

Hot Bench Katherine O'Neal.jpg

1L First Year Council President and Disabilities Rights Advocate 


Hi Katherine, and thanks for joining us on the Hot Bench! Where are you from? 

I moved around a lot. The longest place I stayed in is Asheville, North Carolina. That’s where I feel most comfortable. 


Can you tell us something about Asheville? 

It’s kind of a hippie town. There was a guy who would dress up in a nun costume and ride a ten foot tall pink bicycle. 


Please you tell me you have a picture of this. 


[see Pictures File in Dropbox] 


Where did you go for undergrad? 

University of Alabama, it was great. I’m a big football fan. I definitely needed to get out of Tuscaloosa after three and a half years though. 


That’s an early graduation isn’t it?

Yes, I studied at Oxford for a summer through my undergrad, and I had credits going into college, so I graduated early. I studied English and African American Studies. 


What did you do between graduation and law school? 

I graduated in December 2018, so I spent about eight months napping. 


When did you start thinking about law school? 

When I was little, I wanted to be a politician before I saw the error of my ways. But anyway, you need to be a lawyer to be a good politician, so I became interested in the law. For a while though, I wanted to be a doctor, but it’s hard to pass chemistry when you’re colorblind. In the end, I was deciding between a PhD and law school, and, when I was writing my thesis, I thought to myself, “I would die if I had to do this forever.”  


Now that you’re here, what are some of your plans?! 

Short term? Don’t fail out. Obviously. Long term, my idea dream job is working in entertainment law for the NFL or Disney. I would love to do transactional work for those companies. 


Let’s switch tracks a little and talk about the First Year Council (FYC). What motivated you to run? 

I ran on a platform of unity. As FYC President, I want to crowdsource and step out of the Law School bubble to see what other graduate programs are doing to support their first years. It’s a lot easier to accomplish things when you have a wider perspective. My big platform was that , to help ourselves, we need to step outside of ourselves. 


What’s one initiative from other graduate programs that you’re looking to implement?

The SilverCloud app. It’s basically a self-guided therapy app and there are specific programs for  treating anxiety or depression. A lot of people tell me they don’t have time to see someone, so this will be really useful in the Law School environment, because we’re always going and going.[1] People can use it at their own pace, and there are resources to connect people with real life providers here or at Main Grounds. A five minute mental break can really make a difference. 


I hear that you and Jill Quigley (’22) are starting a club for students with disabilities. Can you tell us more?

We want to create a student group to support disabled and chronically ill students and to educate allies. Disabilities can vary from learning disabilities to physical disabilities. Sometimes, the Law School is good about giving support, but sometimes there’s a gap in terms of what’s offered and what’s needed. We hope this group will help the administration and our peers to understand our experiences and needs. At this point, we’re trying to write our constitution. 


What inspired you to advocate for students with disabilities? 

I became disabled and chronically ill my first semester of college. I never had any health issues the first eighteen years of my life and, to be hit with that suddenly, I gained a unique perspective. I can see the gaps and I’m comfortable advocating to fill those gaps and needs. Since I have this voice, why wouldn’t I use it? 


What is your unique perspective?

I have really clear notions of the biases that disabled people face because I have to face them. At the same time, I remember my life from before I was chronically ill. I can use my prior experiences of health to have conversations with people. It’s more of a skill than a perspective. 


Are you comfortable talking about your disabilities?

Yes, I would rather be open than have people be concerned or assume things. It’s much easier to give a five-minute explanation than to have to re-inform people later on. I have six autoimmune and autonomic diseases. Basically, my white blood cells attack my tissues, joints, and organs, and my nerves don’t work, and I have an undiagnosed neurological issue. 


What’s one thing people might not know about your disabilities?

It’s hard to communicate the amount of pain I’m in, because I may look okay on the outside. The medicines that I have to take can also make me feel bad. For example, I take a drug that was typically used in chemotherapy and it makes me really sick once a week. I hurt all the time and I get really tired. I get sick if I eat any food. It’s a hard balance, because the medicines I take harm me to help me. 


Let’s do a lightning round! 


Favorite food? 

Tiramisu, 100%. 


Favorite place in Charlottesville? 

Honestly, I really like my townhouse. Just laying there with my dog, it’s my homebase and I feel really comfy. 


Anti-Stress Hobby? 

I watch a lot of Netflix. The Real Housewives in particular. 


Pet peeve?

People not reading their emails and then asking me questions that were answered in the email. 


Favorite word? 



If you could live anywhere, where would it be? 

Oh, it would be back at Oxford, favorite place in the world. 


What is your least favorite sound? 

People gulping water. I don’t know why, there’s just something about that noise, especially in class. 


Where’s a place you’ve never been, but would like to go? 

I really want to go to California. I’m looking at the LA market and I would like to go before I commit to working there. 


What do you like to do for fun? 

I’m a classically trained musician, so that’s my go-to. Oboe and English Horn are my primary instruments, and I’m a trained singer. I was on a music scholarship for a bit before I retired. 


What’s one movie that left an impression on you?

I really like the Birdcage, it’s my favorite movie. I think it says a lot about taking someone as they are. It’s also extremely funny. 


If you won the lottery, what would you do with it? 

Other than pay off loans, I would probably put it in a trust for my family. I don’t like spending money. It stresses me out. 


If you could pick one song to play in the background of your life, what would it be? 

“Diet Soda Society” by The Maine—It’s an all-occasion song that my friends and I listened to all the time. Personally, I think it’s a bop. 


If you could make one rule that everyone had to follow, what would it be? 

There are so many. One, read your email. Honestly, read your email. But, if I were ruler of the universe and I could make one rule, I would say that I get one Diet Coke every day and everyone would take shifts bringing me one. 


What’s your favorite thing about the Law School?

That I don’t feel like I’m competing academically with anyone. We’re all building each other up. We’re all going to pass collectively as a group. It’s nice. 


[1] Eds. Note: if you feel like you’re too busy to talk to a therapist, go visit Dr. Kate Gibson. She’s located right in Slaughter, so you don’t even have to leave the school. She’s wonderful. As a lawyer herself, she understands what law school is like.

Faculty Lunch Series: Professor Lovelace

Taylor Elicegui ‘20
Features Editor

“Live purposefully and be passionate,” advised Professor Timothy Lovelace ‘06. On Tuesday, September 17th, Professor Lovelace joined myself, Leah Deskins ‘21, and Grace Tang ’21 for the first Law Weekly faculty staff lunch of the semester. Professor Lovelace, a quadruple ‘Hoo (B.A., J.D., M.A., Ph.D.), is a visiting professor from the Indiana University Maurer School of Law. Professor Lovelace is teaching Critical Race Theory at the Law School. He also teaches a class on Main Grounds.

Professor Timothy Lovelace ‘06 graciously sat down with the  Law Weekly  for the first faculty lunch of the semester. Photo courtesy law.virginia.edu

Professor Timothy Lovelace ‘06 graciously sat down with the Law Weekly for the first faculty lunch of the semester. Photo courtesy law.virginia.edu

Professor Lovelace is originally from Roanoke, VA and is excited to spend the year closer to family there. Professor Lovelace is also excited to be back in Charlottesville because “it feels like home.” He really enjoys his students and colleagues—some of whom were his peers in law school like Professors Charles Barzun ‘05, Leslie Kendrick ‘06 and Micah Schwartman ‘05. Professor Lovelace is also excited to take advantage of some of the local Charlottesville attractions; he particularly enjoys Pippin Hill and Carter Mountain. Because Profess Lovelace lives close to Carter Mountain, he can often be found relaxing and reading a book on the mountaintop. He also noted that the scenery and hills are a nice change of pace from Indiana, which is very flat.

Professor Lovelace is a legal historian. He wasn’t originally interested in academia and entered law school to pursue a career in public service. Professor Lovelace caught the private law firm bug and spent one summer in private practice. During that summer, Professor Lovelace enjoyed his work but realized his heart wasn’t in it. He was spending his evenings printing out law review articles and reading them at home, and a colleague pointed out that didn’t seem like a typical hobby for big law attorneys. He decided to apply to graduate school and pursue a degree in history in one of the country’s best programs—UVA. Professor Lovelace was accepted to the program and wrote his dissertation on how the American Civil Rights’ Movement impacted the International Human Rights Movement. Dean Goluboff sat on Professor Lovelace’s dissertation committee. Professor Lovelace noted that Dean Goluboff is one of the most eminent legal historians and having her sit on his dissertation committee was an honor.

As a dedicated UVA alum, Professor Lovelace is a big Cavaliers sports fan. Professor Lovelace likes all of the teams, but his true passion is basketball. Professor Lovelace is particularly a supporter of the Women’s Basketball Team. During his time in college, Professor Lovelace played on the scout team, which is a group of basketball players who practice against the Women’s team, impersonating specific members of the opponent to help the team prepare. He’s hopeful for another great season for both teams this year.

I was impressed by Professor Lovelace’s passion for legal history and teaching. He told us that when your work is your passion, it makes hard work much easier. Professor Lovelace also told us he appreciates his passionate students and the interesting in-class conversations. He only handed out a syllabus for the first half of the semester in Critical Race Theory, so the second half can be specifically tailored to his students’ interests. Professor Lovelace encourages discussion in class and allows his students to take control of their education. For example, Professor Lovelace decided to dedicate a whole class to Brown v. Board of Education at his students’ request. When I asked Professor Lovelace if he saw any differences between teaching an undergraduate and graduate course, he told me it was pretty much the same, although undergraduates are less career-oriented. I was surprised, and a bit concerned about how the big egos of law students would survive this revelation. However, Professor Lovelace softened the blow a little bit by praising the merits of both the undergraduates and graduate students—some of the finest in the country.

Overall, lunch was great and I appreciated the opportunity to get to know Professor Lovelace. I would highly recommend everyone consider his class in the Spring!


Indispensable Advice for 1Ls: Part II

Drew Calamaro ‘21
Satire Editor

As we start rolling into our fall semester, I want to dish out some more advice before mid-October, when the 1Ls begin to realize that they should’ve been outlining as they go along but it’s too late now and they will just wait until Thanksgiving break because they’ll definitely be productive and get it done then. Some aspects of this article should be discussed by PAs, but given that I know many of the PAs.... let’s just say that there are many stones left unturned in the advice department, despite that department being filled to capacity with warm bodies. So, without further ado, I give you advice for the rest of the semester.


Always sound as proper as possible in a cold call, and if they give you dirty looks, it is just because the intimidation tactic is working. Many would say you sound like an idiot when you use the word “one” instead of the colloquial “someone.” Others would say you sound full of yourself and pompous to the point of insufferability[1]. To that, I say nay! ‘Tis the weaker mind that is bothered by the advanced verbiage you are putting on display like a codpiece worn by Henry VIII[2]. Oh, how they will tremble as you say, “What if one were to instead entertain this hypothetical I don’t actually need to add to the conversation?” Surely the professor must give you an A- on this sentence alone! Can they not see how you rise above the rabble, the plebs who use the word “someone” like some uneducated dunce!? They will look upon you and see your magnificence for what it is, an ENTJ personality-type with a couple of ENTP results thrown in[3]. So, speak properly and carry a big stick, and when you are walking make sure it is no longer in the nether regions since you only have ten minutes to waddle to class.


Any sentence starting with “I feel” is the most important sentence you’ll listen to for the rest of your career and/or life. Many say that listening is just as important as talking in law school. I don’t buy it, but the times when it rings true are when you hear a classmate say “I feel” before diving into an unrelated example. You may think that entire conversation is useless, but you couldn’t be further from the truth. The professors are in fact required to take note of these special and rare occurrences, and sprinkle some of them into the final exams. So next time you think those moments are simply for someone to get a thought out to score points with a professor and impress their fellow students, check yourself. In law school, details matter, and sentences starting with “I feel” are the ones that change the world.


Do NOT mess up firm receptions since they will remember your face and full name. I didn’t get this piece of advice as a 1L and I wish I did! First, the number of receptions you get invited to, or attend, should absolutely matter, both to yourself and everyone around you. If you didn’t tell someone not attending a reception that you, in fact, are going to a reception that very night, you might as well have not gone at all. Receptions are a social currency that is unequaled in the school. They mean you are wanted, desired, even admired by the firm. Furthermore, you absolutely can mess up a reception and your chances at a job in general by forgetting a name or not having a factoid you found on their website ready to whip out at a moment’s notice. This is because firms only send their most trusted and put-together lawyers to conduct firm receptions, and they always return with a full report of faces, names, and things you said that their fellow firm-monkeys workers will go through with a fine-toothed comb. Thus, you should always be nervous for firm receptions, and never, EVER make good conversation unrelated to law school or lawyering—that is a trap I have seen many fall for and never recover from.


[1] The editors would say this isn’t a word. But the editors are wrong because I just used it.

[2] Look it up.

[3] Basically a mix of Bill Gates and Margaret Thatcher. Ever heard of them?

Club Spotlight: Amici Signatae Lingaue

Jana Minich ‘20
Guest Writer

Imagine your high school days, if you can remember back that far. But imagine that, instead of hearing the bell between classes, the slam of the lockers, and the ring of your best friend’s laugh, you hear nothing. Fast forward and picture how different law school classes, bar review, or snagging snacks from the snack office would be if you couldn’t chat with friends in the halls or hear the professor in the classroom.

Hearing people inevitably take sound for granted, and when we contemplate life without it, we think of all the music, sounds, or maybe podcasts we would miss. But for Deaf people, it is the communication barrier between them and the hearing world that is significant. Without sign language training and interpreters, this barrier can separate Deaf children from family conversations and Deaf students from educational opportunities and relationships with classmates.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. Awareness of Deaf culture, common courtesy toward the Deaf, and even a basic understanding of sign language can powerfully bridge divides and bring the Deaf more fully into the community both here at the law school and in the workplace. That’s why a small team of UVA Law students is working to grow a sign language organization—Amici Signatae Linguae (“ASL”)—here at the law school. Amici Signatae Linguae means “Friends of Sign Language,” which embodies our vision of fostering sign language use at the law school for the benefit of Deaf students and visitors, children of Deaf adults, and hearing sign language learners.

The inspiration to start ASL began during my 1L year, in a small church fellowship hall, trying desperately to remember enough from high school sign language to be able to communicate with Bobby and Mary. Deeply kind older people that they are, they patiently taught me to sign and understand signs better. I found that sign language tapped a creative linguistic part of my brain unexercised by law school classes or even my failed attempt at Spanish fluency. I was hooked.

When I found out that a Deaf student had started at the law school last year, I knew it was time to spread sign language fever at the law school. I put out a small plug on the SBA Events email to gauge interest, and the organization took off from there. We started with a sign language training kickoff in the spring semester, and a band of faithful students stuck with the weekly meetings through the end of the school year.

Because sign language doesn’t require complicated verb conjugations like spoken language (go, am going, went, have gone), it’s less confusing to pick up. Intuitive signs also help the learning process go more smoothly—can you guess what the sign for “time” is? And of course, you can always fall back on fingerspelling in sign language, so nothing stops you from diving into simple conversations using the signs you know even if you’re just beginning. That’s not say that sign language is simple or easy. It’s a complex and beautifully expressive language with nuances just like spoken language. But its unique attributes make it easier to begin using sign language than a new spoken language.

This year, ASL started strong with “An Introduction to the Deaf World,” an event featuring sign language faculty from Main Grounds who shared their personal stories of hearing loss or living with Deaf family members. They also shared pointers on working with interpreters to maintain maximal clarity with legal clients. Our guests finished by teaching a few basic signs. (We will preserve the anonymity for the members of the crowd who confused certain similar signs, saying “forbidden” instead of “law,” “nice to date you” instead of “nice to meet you,” and “naked” instead of “what’s up.”) We look forward to hosting another event on Deaf culture and concerns next semester!

In the meantime, join us for a training session on every Monday at 5:45 p.m. in WB 105. There’s always food to eat, signs to learn, and laughs to be had at someone’s signing mistake (often mine). We also have informal signing lunches at noon every Thursday in ScoCo. Bring your own lunch, but prepare to enjoy fantastic baked goods brought by our own Lena Welch.

A big thanks to the board members who make ASL possible: Michael Gibbons as VP, Bill Re as Treasurer, Lena Welch as Signing Lunches Chair, Joe LoPresti as Membership Chair, and Kolleen Gladden as Overlord of Social Media and Advertising.


Court of Petty Appeals: Andrews v. UVA Law School

Andrews et al. v. University of Virginia School of Law
323 U.Va. 115 (2019)


DESKINS, J., announced the unanimous opinion of the Court.


Today’s opinion seeks to resolve an increasingly frustrating issue continuously presented before the Court: the daily temperature of the Law School’s classrooms. A class of plaintiffs representing the Law School’s entire student body (especially people who seek to wear warm-weather clothes during the warm-weather months—not Canada Goose parkas, sweatshirts, gloves, or L.L. Bean’s flannel-lined jeans) alleges that the classrooms in the Law School “are too darn cold.” (Compl. ¶ 1.) Plaintiffs aver that the sub-room temperature[1] temperatures constitute a violation of their fundamental right to be free of physical distractions in class.[2]




Generations of UVA Law students have complained about the extremely cold temperatures in the classrooms.[3] Their suffering has manifested itself in many physical symptoms: shivering, cold and clammy fingers that lead to a diminished ability to type efficiently and quickly on their laptops,[4] feeling so cold that they become unable to concentrate on the lecture, anxiety stemming from the status of their exposed toes[5] due to their decision to wear Chacos instead of insulated boots, and increased sensations of hopelessness beyond that experienced by a typical law student. Plaintiffs state that they have been forced to endure these practically-arctic conditions not only during normal class meetings but also during exams. They also note that some individuals among the various defendants seem more prone to creating these environments than others. Defendants insist that the “cool”[6] temperatures serve several goals: (1) they help keep students alert in class, (2) high air-conditioning bills help keep tuition high, and (3) the unpleasant temperatures give otherwise-socially-incompetent law students something to discuss with their peers.[7] After feeble attempts to convince seemingly supportive professors of their plight, but to no avail, Plaintiffs filed suit with this Court. They seek an order requiring that Defendants set all classroom air conditioning systems to room temperature (71 degrees Fahrenheit).




The Court of Petty Claims previously dismissed this case, asserting that Plaintiffs did not have standing to bring their claim.[8] We disagree. Plaintiffs have CLEARLY[9] demonstrated standing. They could easily avoid their classroom shivers by keeping a sweatshirt, sweatpants, socks, mink coats,[10] and towel warmers + warm towels in their lockers to don upon entering the Law School. However, doing so would at least slightly inconvenience Plaintiffs, and because they want to “have it [their] way”[11] without actually doing anything to deserve such an outcome, their claim thus qualifies as petty.

            Additionally, Defendants’ supposed justifications for “temperature situation” (as it has come to be known) all fail. As for the “alertness” justification, multiple members of this Court have very unpleasant memories of being both very sleepy and very cold in the Law School’s classrooms. Cold calls are bad enough when you’re sleepy! Why add cold classrooms to the mix? As the second justification, Lee v. The Law School, 323 U.Va 99 (2019),[12] makes clear that the Law School needs no real justification for tuition increases. It does whatever it wants. Thus, we call bullshit on this one. Plaintiffs should not have to suffer from both cold temperatures and unjustified, unannounced tuition increases. As for Defendants’ final proffered justification, we can assure them that nothing will save UVA Law students from their own inability to discuss anything other than what they learned (or did not learn) in a particular class, their irrelevant undergraduate accomplishments, how much they grew professionally at their summer job,[13] and their plans to clerk on the DC Circuit after graduation. KDon, there’s really no hope.

            Plaintiffs have presented a truly sad state of affairs to the Court. Finding that Defendants have proffered no valid justifications for their actions, we hereby REVERSE the finding of the lower court, and we ORDER that Defendants operate the Law School’s HVAC system as to maintain a “room temperature”[14] temperature.


It is so ordered.


[1] The Court defines “room temperature” using the Porridge standard first articulated in Goldilocks v. Bear Family, 436 F. Tal. 311-12 (Sty. Cir. 1918) (Declaring that an appropriate bowl of porridge is “not too hot, and not too cold”), which, according to the Justices, when applied to classroom temperatures, is exactly 71 degrees Fahrenheit.


[2] See David A. Harrison III Law Grounds Unofficial Bill of Rights. The fundamental right to be free from physical distractions enables students to spend more time and energy focusing on their cyber-based distractions, namely, Amazon and their iMessage conversation with that friend across the room.


[3] And by “generations,” we mean as far back as Fall 2017, but there might be earlier instances of which the Court has not yet been made aware.


[4] This Court looks favorably upon those professors who allow the use of laptops in class.


[5] While no instances of classroom-induced frostbite have been introduced before the Court thus far, in the Court’s view, it is only a matter of time.


[6] Their term, not ours.


[7] The Office of Private Practice has emphasized this point in particular, claiming that it helps prepare students for OGI.

[8] As a reminder, in this jurisdiction, Plaintiffs do not need to (1) have suffered an “injury in fact,” (2) show that the injury is fairly traceable to the challenged action of the defendant, or (3) show that it is likely, as opposed to merely speculative, that the injury will be redressed by a favorable decision. Plaintiffs need only demonstrate a petty claim.


[9] LRW professors will tell you not to use words like this in your memos and briefs. They assert that you need to show, not tell, your audience that you have a strong claim. They’re CLEARLY wrong.


[10] We know at least some students from the 1% here at UVA Law can actually afford these.


[11] The Court was recently made aware that Burger King ditched its famous slogan in 2014 for the overly-supportive “Be Your Way.” Yuck. We belatedly mourn this loss, and more importantly, we want to let Professor Collins know that this means his Burger King v. Rudzewicz joke about the slogan is going to start falling flat very soon.


[12] See Va. Law Weekly No. 2, p. 4 (2019).


[13] This makes the Court cringe.


[14] Just a reminder, this is 71 degrees Fahrenheit.

Hot Bench: Chance Maginness ’22

Chance Maginness ‘22

Chance Maginness.jpeg

Hi Chance, welcome to the Hot Bench! Please tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from? 

I’m from a small town in Kansas called Westmoreland, but I went to the University of Kansas in Lawrence, so sometimes I feel like I’m more from there. 


How many people live in Westmoreland? 

Oh god, I would say less than 500. It’s tiny. 


What else can you tell us about this tiny town?

Back in the 18th century, there was a law that whoever held the county records held the county seat. So a group of people from Westmoreland snuck out in the dead of night and stole the records from Wamego and drove them back in a covered wagon. Westmoreland has been the county seat ever since, and it was the most interesting thing to happen to the town...until I got there, of course.


How did you learn that? 

It’s a town story that’s been passed down. I feel like I googled it once. 


When did you start thinking about law school? 

When I was in high school. I did a lot of debate and forensics. Other schools might call it something else, but forensics covered speeches, acting, and extemporaneous speaking, which is when you have thirty minutes to prepare a speech on a current events topic. I read a lot to keep up with the news, and once you become informed you can’t be uninformed anymore. Plus, I wanted to have an impact. It was going to be either law school or art school. 


Are you an artist? 

No. That’s what’s really ironic about it. At the time, though, I thought I could be. 


Let’s say law school does work out, what then? 

At some point in time I want to move back into politics. I was a field organizer for the Democrats in Nevada during the 2018 cycle. I really liked organizing and I would go back—assuming that the republic still exists. If I stick with the law, I would probably like to move into academia at some point, probably in some field related to constitutional law.


Why constitutional law? 

I really like the theory of it. I really enjoy the idea that it’s a written document that we can read so much into. Yuval Noah Harari talked about it in his book, Sapiens. He talks about how the law and everything we believe in are collective myths that we agree to. I think the Constitution really embodies that and I like the nuance and challenge of interpreting it. 


Are you looking forward to Con Law next semester? 

I’m so excited. 


What else do you do around the Law School? 

Well, all I have time for right now is reading, more reading, and additional reading on the side. I’m involved in Law Dems, LAMBDA, SBA, and FYC. When law school settles down a little, I’d like to watch a movie now and then. Maybe rewatch an episode of Scream Queens. Eat. Breathe. 


Why did you run for First Year Council?

I didn’t run, they just sort of told me I would do it. I had done student government before though, so I felt up to the task. At KU, I ran for Freshman Senate, and when I got it, I kept going. I had this idea that I wanted to be Student Body President, but at a certain point, it stopped being about that goal. I realized we had the opportunity to make an impact in everyone’s lives. It became about doing what public service is ultimately about—doing public good. I grew up a lot in college, in that regard. 


Why run for 1L Senator? 

Well, I ran for Senator and FYC President. I’m a big believer that if you’re in an elected position, you should do all you can do. I have a pretty expansive background in student government—at my undergrad, I was in charge of allocating over twenty-one million dollars to various student services, groups, and clubs.  


As a 1L Senator, what are your plans? 

Community is very important to me. People should feel that they can rely on one another and I want to make sure everything we do is geared towards involving the 1Ls as much as possible. 


Let’s do a lightning round! 


Favorite food? 



Favorite place in Charlottesville? 

Shenandoah Joe on Preston. 


Anti-Stress Hobby? 

Watching reruns of American Horror Story. 


Pet peeve?



Favorite word? 



If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

Estes Park, Colorado, because I love it. The mountains are so beautiful and it never gets above 70 degrees in the summer. If I had all the money in the world, I would open a bookstore in Estes Park and never have a concern in the world. 


What is your least favorite sound?

The sound of people popping their joints. I once broke my ankle and it made the same sound. I can’t hear people pop their joints without getting a twinge. 


Where’s a place you’ve never been, but would like to go?

Probably anywhere in Asia. I’ve been to a lot of places in Europe and traveled a lot of the United States. Thailand. I’ll say that. 


What do you like to do for fun? 

I like to go to the movies. I used to go 2-3 times a week. I also like watching TV to think about the production of it and I critique it in real time. People hate watching TV with me. 


What’s one movie that left an impression on you?

Heathers, I also love the musical. 


If you won the lottery, what would you do with it?

I would probably open my own media company that would be a progressive answer to Fox News. If I won a lot of money, I would use it to produce movies. 


You win enough money to produce one movie. What’s your movie about? 

It’s about a student government election that takes over two days. And it’s about three people vying for the student body presidency, and it’d be based on my own experiences about how truly vicious that can become.  


Working title? 

“Student Government,” but that feels really basic. Maybe, “SBP” for Student Body President. Genuinely unsure. That’s a post-production problem.


If you could pick one song to play in the background of your life, what would it be?

Proud Mary by Tina Turner & Ike. Tina always goes first.  


If you could make one rule that everyone had to follow, what would it be?

I would require everyone to have a three-day driving-course from me, in which I instruct them on how to put their foot down on the gas and go. “Efficiency and Driving with Chance Maginness.” 


What’s your favorite thing about the Law School?

The availability of cold brew every day and getting to say hi to Mandy. I literally survive on cold brew. It runs through my blood. I come to ScoCo every morning without fail. Sometimes I come back mid-day. 


Hoos Pets are These? Pt. II

Taylor Elicegui ‘20
Features Editor

            Last week, I began my deep-dive investigation into why my peers generally seemed so happy and found the reason: Pets. There were so many wonderful furry friends to be profiled that the article had to be split into two parts. This week, I got to put the finishing touches on this article while my new kitten, Lucy, ran around my room like a crazed monster.[1] I’ve had Lucy for a little less than a week, but I can now officially confirm my hypothesis was correct. My life is immeasurably more fun with the addition of a three-pound little fluff ball. I don’t even mind cleaning the cat-box. For anyone contemplating joining the ranks of pet ownership and who’s ready for the financial and time commitment, read up for some advice from the experts and hit up the CASPCA.[2]


Ellie Riegel and Stevie

Stevie wonders why nobody will throw the ball for him.

Stevie wonders why nobody will throw the ball for him.

            Ellie Riegel got her puppy, Stevie, on Thursday, September 5. According to Ellie, “I had been hoping to get a dog for over a year, but when I met Stevie I knew I had to adopt him! He has an adorable personality and loves to play. We hit it off the first day I went to look at dogs at the SPCA.” Since getting Stevie, Ellie’s schedule now revolves around him, but she enjoys it. Ellie has to get up early with him, take him for walks and trips to the park, and, of course, nap time. Ellie particularly enjoys the puppy cuddles and seeing Stevie happy and comfortable in his new home after having a tough start to life. Stevie loves to play with his toys, particularly his Kong, which Ellie fills with peanut butter. Stevie also really likes his bones, which he hides in the couch cushions for safekeeping. Ellie advises anyone who’s contemplating getting a dog to go to SPCA, because they have a lot of wonderful dogs in need of good homes.


Lydia Parker and Harvey

Harvey may not have mastered ‘fetch’ yet, but he has this up-dog thing down.

Harvey may not have mastered ‘fetch’ yet, but he has this up-dog thing down.

            Lydia got her puppy, Harvey, on August 16. Lydia wanted a dog for a long time, and “figured 3L was a good time to raise a puppy because my schedule isn’t too demanding.” Puppies like Harvey require a lot of time and training, since his current favorite activities include biting, gnawing, and chewing. Since getting Harvey, Lydia has loved meeting new people everywhere she goes. She said, “I love how Harvey brings so much joy to everyone around me.”[3] As part of her new dog-mom lifestyle, Lydia has had to rearrange her schedule. She told me, “I can't spend my days in the library and at the gym like I did 1L and 2L. This is really good for me! Harvey forces me to appreciate the present moment and connect with my community instead of constantly working towards my individualistic goals.” For anyone contemplating getting a puppy, Lydia said, “Make sure it's a well thought out decision. You have to be willing to sacrifice a lot of time, flexibility, and money in exchange for unconditional love. For me, it's 100% worth it!”


Eleanor Schmalzl and Maysie

Maysie, likewise, takes a break from terrorizing toes to pose for the camera.

Maysie, likewise, takes a break from terrorizing toes to pose for the camera.

            Eleanor got her cat, Maysie, during fall 2018. Maysie was born in Eleanor’s aunt’s basement when a stray cat came in through the window and had kittens. Eleanor’s family found homes for the kittens when they were old enough and had received the appropriate vet care. Eleanor loves “waking up to her snuggles! She is so sweet at night and in the morning and it is so nice to have a purring kitten on your chest every morning.” Maysie likes to attack feet and play fetch with hair ties, which Eleanor appreciates as a good way to tire Maysie out. Eleanor said she does feel bad about not being home more, because it’s hard to stay out late knowing you have a little critter waiting for you to come back. Eleanor had some advice for anyone contemplating getting a pet soon: “Don't get a big dog if you're going to live in a tiny apartment in a big city. If you do/already have, become a morning person and a runner to give them some exercise. But really, just get a cool cat––they sleep a lot and don't require half the attention, but are perfect company at the end of a long day.”


Will Tucker and Maple

Maple is purely sweeter than syrup.

Maple is purely sweeter than syrup.

            Will got his dog, Maple, between OGI and the start of fall classes last year. According to Will, “I was lucky that the rescue I got her from let me wait until between OGI and the start of classes, because I could get her up to speed on Bluebooking, basic FRCP principles, and Westlaw terms and connectors before things got busy. She's been an ideal research assistant ever since.” Will decided going into 2L was the ideal time to get a dog. He had wanted one for a while and finally had enough predictability as to his living situation and schedule to add a four-legged roommate. Since getting Maple, Will’s favorite thing about her is “her unrestrained joy. Maple gives me a reminder every day to appreciate simple things and not let this or that external stress get me down for too long. It's one of the best parts of my life having an endlessly enthusiastic running buddy, morning meal companion, and friend who is (presumably) neuro/physiologically incapable of talking about law school. She makes me happy every day, no matter what.” Maple likes making new friends, “be they canine, feline, human, bird, gopher, butterfly, tree branch moving slightly in the wind, or otherwise. Specifically, she's a big fan of climbing onto the back of the couch when you sit there and licking your ears and kinda generally crawling onto your shoulders until she's as close as possible to your face.” Will advised anyone thinking about getting a pet to “consider all of the factors very seriously—it can be a huge amount of work added to your life. It's especially important that you time things well. For example, if you know you want to get a puppy, get her at a time when you'll be able to be vigilant about housetraining and be okay with losing a little sleep here and there (sorry Bev, thanks again, pal). And remember that traveling with a pet can be VERY difficult! Plan ahead for that too. But so long as you're taking the pragmatic side of things into account, do what will make you and your potential pet happy! Maple is excited to meet you both!”


Lena Welch and Draco

Draco Meow-foy does what he does best: sleeps.

Draco Meow-foy does what he does best: sleeps.

            Lena got Draco in August, 2014, right before her senior year of college. Lena said, “I love cats. My friend’s mom is a vet and was volunteering in a shelter when a cat had a litter. She took in the litter to find homes for the kittens. My friend knew I was interested in getting a kitten, and so Draco came into my life.” According to Lena, cats are pretty easy to take care of, but she definitely has more scratches than before she got Draco. Lena likes to snuggle with Draco and bump her forehead against his. Draco also likes to meow until Lena or her mom gives him treats. Lena says that getting a pet has reduced her stress, because she loves him.


Brooke and Christopher Swann and Lucy and Loki

Loki takes a low-key break from the stresses of cat life.

Loki takes a low-key break from the stresses of cat life.

            Brooke and Christopher, Brooke’s husband, have two pets, dog Lucy (a miniature dachshund) and cat Loki, who they got last year. Brooke’s favorite thing about having pets “is that no matter what happens during the day, they're always going to love me and be happy to see me when I get home. They're the best company for late night reading, and they're the best listeners when it comes to life chats.” Lucy likes to hide her treats around the apartment for later while Loki likes to sit in the window and creep on people until he falls asleep. Brooke advises those contemplating getting a pet to “be prepared for planning your days and life around them! They're such blessings, but they're also a lot of responsibility. I can't just stay gone all day or drop everything and leave town for the weekend. With that being said, I wouldn't trade them for anything! Also, your new furry friend may be free to adopt, but vet visits are never free and neither is all of the gear you'll need to get before bringing them home.”

Brooke, we asked for a picture of your dog Lucy, not food.

Brooke, we asked for a picture of your dog Lucy, not food.


Matt Simpson and Lacrosse

Lacrosse, a serious working man, doesn’t have time for your “pets” nonsense.

Lacrosse, a serious working man, doesn’t have time for your “pets” nonsense.

Matt got Lacrosse, his guide dog, during his sophomore year of college about ten years ago. Matt applied to a guide dog school in California. The process was lengthy—it required interviews, mobility assessments, and assessments of Matt’s living environment. After being accepted, Matt went to two weeks of training with Lacrosse. Matt’s favorite thing about Lacrosse is the way he makes his life easier, because he’s a conscientious guide dog. When not working, Lacrosse likes to sleep (as anyone who’s ever been in class with Lacrosse can attest), chew on bones, and lounge in the sun. Matt thinks that Lacrosse particularly likes law school, because class gives him plenty of time to sleep. Matt advises those considering getting a pet to think carefully about the responsibility and time commitment—not all pets get to take their owners to class.


[1] If you want to see pictures of her looking like a dragon or adorable model kitten, hit me up.

[2] They have a ton of cute animals who just arrived from St. Croix. If you’re interested in fostering or adopting, visit the CASPCA today!

[3] Lydia was kind enough to let me play with Harvey as part of my very serious pet investigation, and I can confirm he’s the cutest, fluffiest Golden Retriever I’ve met in years.