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!