Alumni Corner: Former Law Weekly Editor Curtis Romig '98

As part of our Alumni Corner feature, Law Weekly staff will be periodically interviewing UVa Law graduates. To nominate a graduate, please email editor@lawweekly.org with contact information.

To begin our Alumni Corner feature, we thought we’d show some nepotism and reach out to a former Law Weekly editor-in-chief. Curtis Romig ’98 is currently a partner at Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner[1] in Atlanta. Before joining Bryan Cave, he clerked in the Norfolk Division of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, specifically for Judge Henry Coke Morgan, Jr.

 Curtis Romig '98. Photo courtesy Bryan Cave.

Curtis Romig '98. Photo courtesy Bryan Cave.

Romig was editor-in-chief of the Virginia Law Weekly during a transitional time in the history of the paper. He described how the growth of different academic journals at the Law School caused the paper, which for much of its history had served as a platform for publishing scholarly articles from professors, to change directions. His staff started focusing more on what was happening at the Law School from the eyes of the students. The issues also started to contain more humor about the student body. His favorite issue was the “April Fools” issue where the front page contained Onion-like satirical articles. One article was about UVa Law’s U.S. News and World Report ranking plummeting; Romig remembers people coming up to him saying they couldn’t believe it. “I said, ‘Did you even read the article?’” Romig remembers chuckling.

Romig treasures his time on the Law Weekly, telling members of the editorial board that the editing experience was invaluable. Becoming editor-in-chief also gave him the opportunity to learn about managing people that he didn’t receive elsewhere in law school, an experience he says he’s valued as he has ascended to partner at his firm. Romig still feels pride in his staff and the content they produced when he looks at the issues—he keeps a bound copy in his office of the Law Weekly volume produced during his time as head of the paper. Infusing the issues with fresh humor was his favorite aspect. Where the current Law Weekly issues feature a sudoku and a cartoon, the old issues featured pictures submitted by the student body with humorous captions created by the editorial team. Although Romig always focused the humor on the student body as a whole, he recalls that one student featured in a photo did not appreciate the joke in the caption and called him angrily, threatening to physically harm him. The experience allowed Romig to see the wide reach and potentially damaging effects of his words, a valuable experience for an aspiring lawyer.

Romig was also influential in stepping up the amount of sports and Law School news coverage in the Law Weekly. During his time, he included weekly updates from NGSL as well as UVa athletic team updates. The NGSL column, called Vanguard of Democracy,[2] played the role that Around North Grounds plays today, anonymously and good-naturedly lampooning various aspects of the Law School’s culture.

Today, Romig leads the litigation department at Bryan Cave’s Atlanta office, winning the largest verdict in the history of Brooks County, Ga., in 2016. Romig’s advice to current students is to understand the culture of the firm or office you are entering with an eye towards how they handle their employees’ needs. He also stressed the importance of understanding how the person who gives you assignments gets their assignments. Is there room to advance directly? Being aware of the business aspects and plans of your office is very important when entering. Other than that, he encourages everyone to “network, network, network.”

“You don’t have to network with people you don’t like," he clarified. "Network with the people that you do like.” That’s a smart method to ensure you are maximizing your time networking with those you respect and want to emulate.

When asked about what he’s glad he didn’t know when graduating law school, Romig laughingly replied, “The ongoing and constant weight of time entry." Romig encourages new lawyers to be smart about recording their time so it doesn’t pile up. Reminiscing fondly about his days in Charlottesville, Romig urged current students to treasure the time they spend in law school and at UVa. And of course, he advised all students to pick up copies of the Virginia Law Weekly.

[1] Bryan Cave recently merged with Berwin Leighton Paisner to form Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner. Hooray for the ever-expanding, monstrous behemoths of BigLaw!

[2] Unless something dramatic has changed in NGSL in the last 20 years, this was surely another attempt at satire.