Spotlight: UVA Law Rod & Gun Club

W. Agustus “Gus” Todd ‘19
Guest Columnist

If the name didn’t give it away, the Rod & Gun Club at UVA Law brings together students interested in fishing and shooting or interested in learning how to do either. While most people might not immediately associate lawyers wearing suits with tramping through the woods to go fishing or hunting, the members of the Rod & Gun Club beg to differ. In fact, time spent at the pond or at the range can be extraordinarily helpful in helping law students stay grounded and relaxed as the stress of day-to-day life builds.

Few things in life are more effective at helping one relax than finding a quiet pond and casting a few lures in the solitude of the outdoors. Or, if that nagging voice is reminding you of all the things you forgot to say during your last cold call, there is no better way to drown it out than by going to the range and blowing off a few dozen rounds. Either way, fishing and shooting easily go hand-in-hand with keeping your mind and body healthy in the high-stress environment that we law students tend to create for ourselves.

To be honest, I didn’t even look at the list of student organizations at UVA before I came for orientation as a 1L. I found out about the Rod & Gun Club through the Student Activities Fair and was actually shocked to see that such a club existed. I expected to see a litany of organizations relating to specific causes, political affiliations, and affinities, but I did not expect to see that fishing and shooting had enough of an interest among the students who attend a top law school to warrant having its own organization. Having grown up fishing and shooting, I was anxious to find places to do both during my time here. In that regard, the Rod & Gun Club seemed like a gift to me and has introduced me to an entire community both inside the Law School and out that love fresh air and making things go boom.

The elephant in the room for the Rod & Gun Club comes with the “Gun” part of the club. I recognize that the issue of firearm ownership in this country can invoke intense political passions. More than that, firearms are dangerous when used improperly and can be very intimidating to those who do not have much experience around them. I am sure that in and of itself is a turn-off for many here at the law school. I would urge those people to come to an event and give it a shot. We are not a political organization, so you don’t have to worry about us trying to get you to change your political beliefs. We just really enjoy these activities and love sharing them with anybody who is interested. We also are really good at teaching people how to safely handle firearms and become proficient shooters. If you have ever been curious about how to shoot a gun but never knew how to go about learning, we are more than happy to show you how!

In fact, many of our members came to their first event with absolutely no background in either shooting or fishing; most of them also come without equipment. So if you have an interest but are afraid of looking like you have no idea what you are doing, you probably won’t be the only one. Thankfully, our members are generous with their skills as well as their stuff and are more than willing to give individual lessons on how to use their things. The club also will rent equipment at our group outings for members to use. Keeping watch over everybody is our Safety Chair Michael Haden, who knows how to keep all of us safe through his years of experience running shooting ranges as an officer in the Army.

We host monthly group shooting events, usually at the Flying Rabbit Sporting Clays course in Mt. Crawford as well as numerous other informal shooting events at local gun ranges. We also plan on hosting a “New Shooter’s Day” in the spring for anybody in the UVA Law family interested in getting hands-on instruction behind an assortment of rifles, pistols, and shotguns. For the anglers, we are planning to set up a fly-fishing tutorial in the spring as well. And as always, we have members going to ranges and fishing holes all the time to unwind.

If you are interested in anything the Rod & Gun Club has to offer, feel free to reach out to any of the members of the board. I serve as the President (, but you can also contact Jansen VanderMeulen, Vice President (, Scott Myers, Treasurer (, Jacob Roth, Shooting Chair (, our FChairs James Lockerby ( and Justin Aimonetti (, or last but not least, Michael Haden our Safety Chair (

President Ryan Dishes Goals, Bagels with Law Weekly

M. Eleanor Schmalzl ‘20
Executive Editor

1.      Among the myriad options you had, what led you to become a law professor and then a university administrator?

I know from experience that education transforms lives, and working to expand educational opportunities for others has been the guiding principle and aim of my professional life.  

It’s why I taught and studied law and education and the different ways that law structures educational opportunity, it’s why I went to Harvard to become the dean of their education school, and it’s why I returned to become president of the University of Virginia.  Simply put, I care about making a difference in the world, and I believe law and education offer some of the best ways to do that.

President James E. Ryan ‘92. Photo courtesy Harvard Magazine.

President James E. Ryan ‘92. Photo courtesy Harvard Magazine.

2.      You clerked for Chief Justice Rehnquist after graduating. What advice do you have for students thinking about clerking? Did you enjoy the experience?

For students thinking about clerking, I would strong[ly] encourage them to pursue the opportunity.  They are terrific jobs and ones that you can really only do shortly after graduation.

3.      One of our editors had an article you wrote with Professor Jeffries assigned for thier Religious Liberties class. Do you have time these days to focus on your legal scholarship? Anything interesting you’re working on?

Sadly, I don’t have much time to pursue serious academic writing, which for me requires sustained periods for research, thinking, and writing.  As for working on something interesting, my day job is actually pretty interesting at the moment!

4.      What’s the biggest challenge facing you as UVA’s ninth president?

I don’t know if there’s a single biggest challenge or a series of them.  UVA has accomplished a great deal already, but we also have the potential to accomplish even more and define what a public university should look like 12 or 15 years from now.  

For example, we should look for ways to become even more accessible to anyone who is qualified to study here, regardless of their economic circumstance.  We should find more ways to work together across schools and disciplines to solve some of our biggest challenges.  And we should focus on building stronger relationships with surrounding communities and being of even greater service to the Commonwealth and beyond. 

The common thread here is the need to live out our values and close the gap between our aspirations for the University and our everyday realities.  I see that as our biggest challenge and greatest opportunity.

5.      What do you see as the role of lawyers in today’s society?

My father never attended college, but he made sure to impress on me from a very early age that the highest calling in life is to serve others.  At its best, law is a form of service—a chance to speak for those without a voice and make the system work a bit better for those who need it. 

6.      Are you ever going to give Professor Jeffries back to us?

Hah!  No.  I’m kidding.  John has agreed to serve for three years, for which I am grateful—and for which I apologize to all of you.  But he is doing very important work for the entire university.

7.      When can the students of the Law School expect to see you on North Grounds for a public event?

I was at the Law School for an event with the Ron Brown Scholars not too long ago, and I’m sure I’ll be back up there again soon.  It still feels like home to me.

8.      Bobby or Teddy? Scalia or Ginsburg?


9.      How has UVA changed since you were a student?

The University is a very different place than it was when I was here in the early 1990s, but I think one of the most profound changes—and the one that makes me the most hopeful—is just how much more diverse we are.  The current first-year class is the most diverse in UVA history, and I truly believe we are stronger because of it.

10.  How did the events of August 11th and 12th affect you in Cambridge? How has what you’ve seen since coming back to Charlottesville affected your view of those events?

I was horrified watching the events of last year unfold in real time online.  I love this University and I love Charlottesville, and the events of August 11 and 12 convinced me that coming back was the right thing to do.

Since coming back, I’ve been both humbled and incredibly impressed by the people who have endured so much pain and yet have also found the strength to move forward.

11.  Students and community members have criticized the University and Charlottesville for the heavy police presence on the one-year anniversary of the 2017 rallies that seemingly targeted counter-protesters. What led to the University’s actions on the one-year anniversary?

Uncertainty.  Leading up to the anniversary, we didn’t know how many people would come to Charlottesville, whether they intended to do harm, and even where they planned to show up.  As a result, we had to prepare for every possible situation.  While I realize some people thought the police presence was excessive or at least worrisome, in a situation with that many unknowns I would make the same choice again. 

12.  What led you to come back to UVA after your time other places?

UVA is home for me.  I met my wife when we were both student at the Law School, and this is where our four children spent the bulk of their childhoods during my 15 years on the law faculty.  I see this very much as an opportunity to serve and to give back to the University and a community that have given so much to me and my family.

13.  What was your favorite thing about the Law School during your time as a student? As a professor?

It was the same for both:  the people and the sense of community.  The law school attracts remarkably talented people who are not only smart, hard-working, and ambitious, but who are also humane, grounded, and decent.  

14.  Is there something you wish you’d known as a law student or advice you have for the current UVA law students as they go through law school and enter the workforce upon graduation?

Instead of thinking about what you want to be, think about what you want to do and the difference you want to make in the world.  If you focus on the work, the rest will take care of itself.

15.  Favorite restaurant in Charlottesville?

Totally depends on the occasion, so I can’t say I have a single favorite.

16.  Word on the street is you’re a big Bodo’s fan, so I have to ask: What’s your Bodo’s order?

Chicken salad on an everything bagel with horseradish.  Trust me, it’s a lot better than it sounds.


Hot Bench: Shivani Patel '19

Shivani Patel ‘19

Shivani Patel.jpg

Have you ever had a nickname? 
Yup! Shiv, Shivu, Shivvy . 

Where did you grow up?  
All over Georgia, but mostly Atlanta and Albany. 

What are you most excited for during your first year in Wilmington, Delaware?  
Being close to the beach. 

What is your favorite word?  

What’s the best meal you’ve ever had?  
A friend’s mom makes the best pizza I’ve ever tasted because there are chilis baked into the crust. That would be the best meal I’ve ever had. 

If you could meet one celebrity, who would it be and why?  
Priyanka Chopra cause she’s living my childhood dream of marrying Nick Jonas. 

What’s your favorite hobby to avoid the stress of law school?   

What’s something you wish you’d known about law school before coming to UVA Law?  
Plenty of people take gap years. 

What did you have for breakfast this morning?  

If you were a superhero, what would your superpower be? 
Time-control—the ability to slow down, stop, or speed up time.  

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?  
Vienna, Austria. 

What’s your least favorite sound?  
Anything remotely similar to nails scratching on a chalkboard. 

What’s the best gift you’ve ever received?  
A greeting card with a Starbucks gift card at a random time during 1L from a friend who just wanted to send me mail and remind me to chill.  

Blueberries or strawberries?  
I only really like berries baked or in a smoothie. 

What is the best concert you have ever been to?  

What’s your favorite thing to do in Charlottesville?  

If you could make one rule that everyone had to follow, what would it be?  
Restaurants shouldn’t be allowed to just throw away vast amounts of leftover food at the end of each day.  

What’s the longest you’ve gone without sleep and why? 
36 hours because I was cramming for a Physics final. 

If you won the lottery, what would you do with it?  
Well I’d pay off my law school debt and my friends’ law school debt and then create a scholarship so some kids don’t have law school debt. Then I’d buy an awesome vacation home in some remote, unconnected place. 

If you had Matrix-like learning, what would you learn?  
A ton of different languages including Latin, cause why not? 

Where is a place you haven’t been but want to travel to?  

What are the 7 wonders of the law school?  
The study rooms on the first floor of Slaughter, Everything about Student Affairs, Mandy, the PILA office couch, Mylab coffee, the free food table, and Frank. 

If the Law School had yearbook awards, what would you win?  
Most likely to be spotted at the law school as a 3L (the PILA couch is really comfortable guys). 

Court of Petty Appeals: NGSL v. Parr

North Grounds Softball League (NGSL) v. Parr  

892 U.Va. 112 (2018) 


Schmalzl, J., delivered the opinion of a unanimous Court. VanderMeulen, C. J., filed a concurring opinion. 


Justice Schmalzl delivered the opinion of the Court. 

“Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, the law students of UVA played copious amounts of softball in the fall to bond with classmates, find a good reason to crack open a cold one at 11:30 in the morning, and justify wearing bro tanks in the name of getting an even tan.” These facts, as alleged by plaintiffs, depict the scene of UVA Law as it traditionally has been since anyone can remember. After weeks and weeks of rain and mist and the worst weather Charlottesville has seen since any of us can remember, NGSL has brought suit against defendant, Stephen T. Parr aka the UVA Law god of weather, to enjoin Parr from abusing his power over the weather and, as they put it, “let us play some damn softball.” Further, NGSL seeks compensatory damages for all the members’1 bloodied hands from their grueling attempts to revive the fields after every rainfall, as well as punitive damages because, they allege, Parr has waited until the week of Fall Break to bring sunshine back to North Grounds. This Court, having felt its own frustration with the puddle that is Copeley Field, is ready to take action to save the UVA community from any more of this treachery. 

In his defense, Parr raises several points. First, Parr claims that no damage has really been done because it’s “nice out now” and “the rain seems to have cleared out.” This Court, while receptive to this argument (likely due to the Justices’ good mood after the first beautiful weekend in C’ville since the end of August), must ultimately refute the notion that no damage has actually been done. Fall Break is this week and no one will be here to play on Friday. Parr’s response that “students can still play Monday through Thursday” is weak at best––while classes after 1L don’t matter, we all know that Friday is the only day softball captains can actually drag their gunner sectionmates out of the Law School and onto the diamond.2 

Second, Parr claims he’s doing a service to UVA Law by taking down the alleged cult that is NGSL via destroying their only legitimate purpose, softball. While some members of the law community may appreciate Parr’s attempt at destruction, such as the plaintiffs in Non-Athletic 1Ls v. NGSL, 713 U.Va. 12 (2010) and UVA Law Women v. Sexist Men in the “Regular” League Who Think They’re More Athletic Based on the Sheer Fact that They Have a Pair 612 U.Va. 333 (2001), this Court feels NGSL does a good enough job destroying their own reputation without the help of any third party. Between the group’s takeover of the couches in front of ScoCo, the members’ annoyingly loud conversations through the hall about how many fireball shots they had last night, and wearing their jerseys to class, there’s no need for Parr to intervene. His reasonable necessity claim falls short in this Court’s eyes and, as such, is dismissed. 

Third, Parr raises his most ridiculous defense, saying he should not face penalty because he “do[es]n’t actually control the weather” and that he’s “just the Senior Associate Dean for Administration.” This defense is so absurd that this Court refuses to allow any further discussion of it, and is offended that the defendant has engaged in such blatant dishonesty while under penalty of perjury. This Court will not allow such lies in the briefs and, as such, will not consider any other defenses raised by Parr in this action. 

This Court orders the following: Parr is enjoined from allowing further heavy rainfall in Charlottesville this fall and must make Spring 2019 weather the best it’s been since the 3Ls arrived on Grounds. Further, Parr must take full responsibility for the fact that the 1Ls are extra-gunnery since they haven’t been able to use softball as an excuse to leave the library at all this semester. Finally, Parr must attend the 1L softball tournament and throw out the ceremonial first pitch to prove his contrition for attempting to destroy all things softball and NGSL. Refusal to comply with any of these orders will result in further sanctions and uncountable thumbs downs from ANG for the remainder of this school year.  

It is so ordered.  


Chief Justice VanderMeulen, concurring. 

I join my colleague Justice Schmalzl’s judicious opinion in full. I write separately only to note that Stephen T. Parr’s denial that he controls the weather is particularly unbelievable given last year’s blessed snow day. Careful readers of their UVA email will recall that Parr’s email cancelling classes last March 21 came at 5:04 a.m., when the snow had only barely begun to fall. What did Parr know that the rest of us didn’t? Is he just risk-averse, like some kind of college administrator? Of course not. Parr’s control over the weather was manifestly evident that day, as benevolent sheets of snow relieved students, professors, and staff of the need to trudge to the Law School on a dreary Wednesday and enabled a glorious day of hot chocolate, sledding, and snowball fights. This Court merely prays that Parr’s benevolence underlying that act of pure grace would return, that the skies would clear, and that the ring of softball bats would once more sound on Copeley Field. If an act of penance is needed to inspire Parr’s goodwill, I am sure a willing volunteer (*cough* Dugas *cough*) can be found.

1 Or at least those not too hungover from last Thursday at Bilt. 
2 Stop trying to make “SCOTUS Clerk” happen, Gretchen, it’s not going to happen. 

Law Weekly Staff Biography: David W. Ranzini '20

David W. Ranzini ‘20
Production Editor

Law Weekly Position: Production Editor 

Hometown: Waynesboro, VA 

Undergrad: I, sir, am a graduate of the College of William and Mary! Raised at TJ’s alma mater to make fun of the school he merely founded, I couldn’t be gladder to be here at UVA Law.  

Favorite Fish: Mackerel, whether raw, flame-broiled, or pickled.  

Least Favorite Fish: Hagfish. These vile prehistoric slime eels taste like a caramelized inner tube.   

Weeknight Tipples: 1. Negroni 2. Whiskey Sour. 3. Gimlet.  

7-11, Lawson, or FamilyMart? 7-Eleven pasta is superior to either major competitor, but its coffee lags significantly. Its oden is best-of-breed. FamilyMart is a strong contender in the coffee space, and is the only one which offers make-your-own frappes. Lawson’s coffee edges past FamiMa, but its pizza manju are what really satisfy. Circle K, Sunkus, and the independents typically boast better bread selections than any of the majors, but when you want a curry-filled dumpling, it’s 2 a.m., and the last train has left the station, that’s when Lawson comes through clutch.   

What? Take my word for it, this is important.  

Why I Joined the Law WeeklyWas press-ganged into the first meeting by my brother Gregory Ranzini ’18. Love ya, Greg!  

Favorite Law School Activity: The Law Weekly is without a doubt the best community of any in the Law School. The friends I’ve made here have more than made up for the sacrifice of my Monday nights.  

Professor Lunch: Professor Deborah Hellman

Katherine Mann ‘19
Features Editor

Law Weekly staff members went to lunch with Professor Deborah Hellman last week, and while it is our job to dig into professors’ lives and backgrounds, she made the lunch especially enjoyable by getting to know us as well. We covered everything from Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony to healthcare, to education, to housing policy, and we got pretty close to solving the world’s problems. None of your attending staff members has had her as a professor before, and we are devastated as 2Ls and 3Ls that she’s only teaching Constitutional Law in the spring. The moral of the story, 1Ls and 2Ls, is get a class with her while you can. 

Professor Deborah Hellman. Photo Courtesy UVA Law.

Professor Deborah Hellman. Photo Courtesy UVA Law.

 Hellman specializes in equal protection and has written extensively on discrimination, particularly why we accept discrimination in some settings—like setting an age minimum for drivers—but not in others. She explained that her interest in the subject stems from her background in philosophy. Realizing that a PhD in philosophy might not have been the most practical move—she noted that the job market at the time was “abominable”—she followed her Masters in Philosophy from Columbia University with a switch to law school at Harvard. “I was interested in philosophical questions,” she says, “but I wanted to use it for what matters in the world.” She also considered that, with a law degree, she would have a backup skill set if academia didn’t work out.  

Hellman is from New England originally, outside of Boston, and earned her bachelor’s degree at Dartmouth. After obtaining her law degree, she spent several years on the faculty of the University of Maryland School of Law. She and her family lived in Baltimore, which she loves, but they’ve enjoyed living in Charlottesville since she joined the UVA faculty in 2012. “Charlottesville and the university community have been friendly and warm, so it’s been easy to find a life here.” She’s also found Charlottesville a great place to raise her two daughters, now teenagers. 

Hellman was a competitive downhill skier in her high school years, but lost interest during college. She enjoys cross country skiing more now, and spoke highly of White Grass in West Virginia, where she goes to get the occasional skiing fix. Her children have taken an interest in downhill skiing recently, however, so you might catch her speeding down the slopes again with them. 

Hellman loves teaching 1Ls, and her favorite class to teach is Constitutional Law. She approaches it as a language rather than a history and emphasizes that the way we have conversations about issues is important for law students to understand. “The notion of making law versus following law is an unrealistic dichotomy,” she explained. Referring to legal theorist Ronald Dworkin’s chain-novel analogy, she said that judges have to continue the story they’ve received, but they have freedom in how they continue that story. In addition to her academic pursuits, she serves the Law School by chairing the Faculty Appointments Committee.  

We solicited Hellman’s student and career advice as well, and she did not disappoint. She encouraged students to think of their career “not as the next step,” but over the long term. Whatever your long-term goal may be, “you don’t have to get there immediately,” she said. Younger students who don’t have families yet are particularly able to find positions that allow them to slow down or speed up to get where they want to be. She said it’s important to consider that you will have a long life and a long career, and you don’t have to be in a hurry. “A meandering path is okay,” she said.1 As for general life advice, she emphasized the importance of learning to drive a stick shift, and being able to parallel park.  

While her position on the Faculty Appointment Committee is keeping her course load light this year, Hellman has taught Contracts, Bioethics, Jurisprudence, and Con Law II in past years. We are hopeful that next year she’ll be back to teaching upper-level classes so that you all can enjoy her warm personality and enthusiasm for teaching. And 1Ls who have her in the Spring: take advantage of the SBA professor lunch reimbursement program. You’ll have a lovely time. 

Spotlight: Latin American Law Organization

Ami Egerstrom ‘20
Guest Columnist

LALO, the Latin American Law Organization, is an all-inclusive student group devoted to increasing awareness of legal issues affecting Latinas/os around the nation. LALO is a place of community for Latinas/os and allies in the Law School and is the conduit for Latina/o law student voices here at the law school. Like the National Latino Law Student Association (NLLSA), LALO is fueled by a coalition-building approach to addressing the issues and needs of our Law School and the larger community. LALO participates in NLLSA’s regional and national conferences. One of our current members, Daniel Natal, is Mid-Atlantic Regional Director for NLLSA. LALO is connected to the UVA Latina/o community through the LatinX Graduate Student Alliance at University of Virginia (LGSA at UVA). LALO and LGSA at UVA cooperate to plan events that support the cultural, social, political, and academic interests and development of the University’s Latina/o community.  

I personally decided to join LALO after visiting the Law School. I met with Robbie Pomeroy, our past president, and Diana Swanson, our past secretary, and I expressed my concerns about going to a law school with a small Latino population. Robbie and Diana assured me that although the Latino community at UVA is small, LALO makes it strong. They were right. Through LALO, I have met––and continue to meet––some of the most accomplished and inspiring Latinx law students, and I am proud to call them my friends.  

This year, I am very excited to serve as the Vice President of LALO. Serving with me this year are:  Ledah Geller, President; Luis Fortuño, Secretary; and Rob Paradela, Treasurer; Ana Tobar, 1L Representative; Alani Fraga, 1L Representative; and Maria Lueveno, 1L Representative.  

As we transition into a new school year, LALO continues to strive to be the center for student resources, dialogue, and action for UVA Law’s Latina/o community. Our first priority this year is to increase 1L participation and ensure that these students feel the same sense of community and support I felt through LALO during my 1L year. We are fortunate that this community extends beyond the law school and that our partnerships with the LatinX Graduate Student Alliance are becoming stronger. This year, we will be partnering with the Latino Medical Student Association (LMSA) for AVID Career Day which will expose 7th graders to fields from various professional and graduate programs. We are hoping to give these middle schoolers a better understanding of the legal field with the ultimate goal of inspiring them to become future Latina/o lawyers.   

Our Executive Board will be hosting a variety of academic and social programming designed to address the needs of our community. This year we are very much focused on issues surrounding immigration and we are proud to be cosponsoring a panel related to the Attorney General's decision in Matter A-B in late October. We will also be cosponsoring an immigration panel for the Shaping Justice Conference next semester. 

Looking Back: 70 Years of the Law Weekly

An Unwelcome Reminder of Our Unpreparedness 

“Know anything about local rules? Electronic filing? Chambers procedures? Vendor-neutral citation format? Compiling an appendix to the briefs? If not, you will soon. Clinical experience is probably the best way to become acquainted with the nuts and bolts the law firm will likely assume you already know.” Library News, “Reality Check,” Virginia Law Weekly, Friday, September 30, 2005. I’m confused—you mean to tell me that my law practice will not revolve around assessing Fourteenth Amendment claims and the implied warranty of habitability? 


Which Do You Prefer: #JoeForesBeard or #JoeForesStache?  

“For the gentlemen of the law school, start a mustache growing competition. The men from Section H engaged in such a facial challenge last year with a wide array of results. The proliferation of Inigo Montoyas, musketeers, and Harley Davidson joyriders around the law school will bring welcome smiles to all.” Lauren Kapsky ’10, “Winter Blues: A Preparedness Guide,” Virginia Law Weekly, Friday, November 20, 2009. This is a plea to Professor Fore and the Law School community at-large: please bring back the Inigo Montoya inspired moustaches. 

Pictured: Professor Fore in hirsute sakad days (2009)

Pictured: Professor Fore in hirsute sakad days (2009)


Some Things Never Change 

“In general, the Administration has taken a much more active role in both selecting and scheduling the activities for the [Admitted Students] weekend… The Administration has justified this shift in control by openly stating that they are concerned with improving the school’s prime recruiting experience, despite all objective criteria indicating the overwhelming success of U.Va.’s Admitted Students Weekend. In particular, responses by some prospective students who have turned down U.Va. because they were turned off by the ‘fraternity’ or ‘old-boy’ atmosphere of U.Va. Law have prompted the administration to add more balance to what some perceive as a weekend of events heavy with drinking and socialization.” Alex Benjamin ’03, “Admitted Students Weekend: A Case of False Light Defamation?” Virginia Law Weekly, Friday, September 27, 2002. I was amazed to learn that SBA used to plan ASW and wanted to share that little tidbit. I think it’s for the best that we now have to hide our frat-boy tendencies until softball season rolls around, though. 

A Blast from the Political Past 

“VLW will continue its support for the Equal Rights Amendment. Unless there is an extension of the ratification deadline by Congress, ‘our efforts will be redoubled this year in pushing for ratification,’ Hughes says. VLW also intends to recruit top undergraduate women from Virginia colleges for the Law School. The organization is planning a panel discussion by professionals in October on the subject of two-career marriages.” Jon Hauser, “VLW Seeks New Members; Plans Conference for Spring,” Virginia Law Weekly, Friday, September 29, 1978.  


RIP Foxfield 

“To paraphrase the old adage: Some Law School events are born great, some become great over time, and some have greatness thrust upon them. This Sunday is Foxfield, a Law School event which is truly great for all three of those reasons.” Vanguard of Democracy, Virginia Law Weekly, Friday, September 27, 1996. I’m very sorry to the 1Ls, who will not get to experience this great event. I’m even sorrier for my fellow 2Ls, who will not get to benefit from the food and drinks the 1Ls provide. This new Fauxfield event has a lot to live up to, but the name gives me hope—really a great pun and bonus points to whoever came up with it. 

Hot Bench: Dominique Fenton '21

Dominique Fenton ‘21

Dominique Fenton ‘21

Dominique Fenton ‘21

Interviewed by Christina Luk ‘21

Hello, Dominique! Thanks so much for coming to Hot Bench. Let’s start things off easy – What kind of pastry do you prefer, croissants or éclair? I hate to get to be that guy, but a croissant is technically viennoiserie, not pâtisserie (pastry). 

What a fascinating distinction. Are baked goods a passion of yours? Funny you should ask! I spent a few months as a baker’s apprentice in my mom’s hometown in France before moving to Charlottesville.  

Did you grow up in France? I was born and raised in Southern California, but spent my summers in France as a kid. 

Any aspirations to return to California or to France after law school? Maybe to California, though I haven’t lived there in twelve years!  

Where have you wandered these twelve long years?? Four years in Connecticut, four years in New York, three years in South Dakota, and one in Texas/France! 

If you could take a week off right now, which of those places would you revisit? South Dakota, without a doubt.  

Dark horse, South Dakota! What did you do there? I lived and worked on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, home of the Oglala Lakota Nation, first in education but primarily in criminal and family justice. 

Did you bring anything with you from there when you moved to Charlottesville?  A number of things, including my dope dog Mato! 

Now that you’re here, what’s one thing you’re most looking forward to at UVA? Convincing as many people as possible of the immeasurable value of a career in public service! The bonus is paid out in your hearts, people. 

Okay, Lightning Round:  

Favorite food? Mom’s cooking. 

Favorite sound? The sound of #NOGI in late summer.  

Favorite place in Charlottesville? My bedroom in the woods.  

Anti-stress hobby? Long walks. The most I’ve done in a day is 40 miles.   

Motto to live by? Tread lightly and deliberately.  

Pet peeve? Overcooked pasta.  

Deepest, darkest fear? Disappointing my immigrant mother.  

If you could ask yourself a question 10 years in the future, what would you ask? How is America’s experiment with democracy going? 

If you could tell yourself something on the first day of law school that you know now, what would it be? You will meet kind, wonderful people.  

What is your beverage of choice in the morning? Tea or a smoothie.  

What’s something meaningful you want to do with your J.D.? If I can help move the needle in at least a few people’s lives, I’ll be happy.  

If you were reincarnated as an animal, which animal would it be? A leatherback turtle.  

Does your dog snore? No, but I allegedly do.  

What’s one movie that left an impression on you? Wong Kar-wai’s In the Mood for Love

What’s one question you came to law school to answer? What, like it’s hard? 

And lastly, a reader favorite: What are the 7 wonders of the law school? 

Court of Petty Appeals: CATS v. Law Weekly

Coalition Against Tacky Spelling (CATS) v. Law Weekly  

892 U.Va. 150 (2018) 


VanderMeulen, C. J., delivered the opinion of the en banc Court, in which Mann, Zablocki, Malkowski, Schmalzl, Elicegui, and Ranzini, JJ., joined. Hopkin, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which Lamberth, J., joined and Jani, J., joined in part. 

Chief Justice VanderMeulen delivered the opinion of the Court. 

You wrote “UVA” wrong, they tell us. Since the Justices of this Petty Court took our oaths of office atop old, derelict boxes of Domino’s Pizza in the Law Weekly offices, the good members of this Law School community have badgered and annoyed us with claims that we have incorrectly rendered the initials of this fine institution, which we write as “UVa.” What’s more, the Members of this Court moonlight as copy editors assigned the mind-numbing task of editing everyone’s submissions from “UVA” to “UVa.” The madness ends today. 

This case comes to us on appeal from the Court of Petty Griping, where Judge Grace Tang, a spirited 1L just getting her petty training wheels, ordered judgment for appellee Coalition Against Tacky Spelling (CATS) after a three-day bench trial. Judge Tang found that CATS had standing despite the fact that the dispute is not really about spelling and issued an injunction ordering the Law Weekly (i.e., me) to change henceforth its rendering of this University’s name from “UVa” to “UVA.” 

CATS is a coalition of groups that oppose silly spellings and abominable acronyms. The cases it has fought include CATS v. SAB, 415 U.Va. 212 (1985) (“‘Student Association of Bars’ makes no sense, idiots. Make it SBA.”); CATS v. KDon, 715 U.Va. 300 (2010) (“‘Fried,’ ‘Meagher,’ ‘Debevoise,’ and—we can’t believe we have to even try to spell this—‘Cadwalader’ are all hereby officially ordered to figure out their shit.”) Don’t even get us started on CATS v. Exclusive Elitist Bros Who Occasionally Play Softball, 630 U.Va. 719 (1998). It brought this case on the theory that the Law Weekly’s traditional rendering of this University’s abbreviated name is “antiquated,” “vestigial,” and “really confusing.” It contends in its brief before this Court that “no one else spells UVA like this” and “the Law Weekly should really catch up with the times and spell out the University’s initials like everyone else in the world.” Dean Kendrick is the head of CATS, and we really like her, so we’re going to try our best to handle this one professionally. 

First, a brief note on standing. It is of course a cardinal rule of petty law that complainants must be able to demonstrate “actual outrage” caused by the defendant’s action and redressable by this Court. Of course, Petty Rule of Civil Procedure 1 pretty much sums up our feelings about standing. “We do what we want.” Implicit in this statement is the power to do whatever we want. See GOOGLLE v. Dugas, 9 U.Va. 1 (2017) (opinion of Haden, C. J.). Therefore, we affirm Judge Tang’s ruling below and hold that CATS’ outrage at “UVa” suffices to grant them grounds to sue this paper. 

It would be informative here to conduct a broad survey of the history of abbreviations of the University of Virginia, but we’re running up against a deadline here and tbh it’s probs not that interesting. We do know this: For many years, the Virginia Law Weekly and other prominent sources (including local and national newspapers) referred to our University for short as “U.Va.” When Professor John C. Jeffries, Jr. ’73 (may he live forever) announced his plans for the Law School upon his selection as Dean, the Law Weekly ran the story under the headline “Jeffries Reveals Vision for U.Va. Law.”1 As far as we can tell, this was the tradition right up until about 2014 or so—except, weirdly, the 2009 edition I recently found with a picture of a young, mustachioed Joe Fore,2 which used “UVA.” At that point, we switched over to “UVa” which looks odd and unbalanced and which no one uses. 

As the times change, so too must spellings. We hearken to the opinion of our Brother Warren in Trop v. Dulles, 356 U.S. 86 (1958), where he noted with his customary magnanimity that spellings must be subject to “the evolving standards of orthographical decency that mark the progress of a maturing newspaper.” We take seriously the Supreme Court’s mandate3 and note that being asked to go to the theater is annoying enough without your pretentious friend spelling it “theatre.” Where would we be if we still had to put the annoying “u” in “armor” and “favor”? Who would console us if we still had to render “old” as “olde”? And, most importantly, I defy my dissenting colleagues to defend the use of that stupid symbol in the Constitution that looks like an “f” but is actually an “s.” Changing how we spell words and abbreviate is as natural as the progression of society itself. Try looking at the abbreviations in the Blu*book4 and telling the Court they’re intuitive. “Ry.” for “railway”? Rly? Come on! 

Similarly, the standards of spelling for the University of Virginia have changed. It would require only a cursory look at University marketing materials and emails to know that the University calls itself “UVA.” Our shirts say it, our emails say it. It’s time for our newspaper to say it. A decision this grave and widely felt should not, of course, be taken lightly. We spent a whole hour-and-a-half on this opinion and looked at, like, six past editions. We daresay an examination this thorough is more than sufficient to grant us an understanding of the emanations and penumbra of the Founding Spirit of the Law Weekly. In those emanations can clearly be seen the justification for keeping up with the times. As Justice Douglas might say, “Out with the old, in with whatever we think makes sense at this precise moment in time!” 

My colleague Justice Hopkin notes that the Cavalier Daily, our sister paper on Main Grounds, uses “UVa.” That’s all fine and dandy and may be true. The Court wouldn’t know; none of us has ever picked up a copy of the Cavalier Daily. But we don’t really like the undergrads. See, e.g.McGuire v. Annoying Vaping Sorority Women Back By The JAG School Windows, 887 U.Va. 13 (2018) (“GET. THEM. OUT OF HERE.”) In fact, the undergrad newspaper’s continuing use of “UVa” persuades us that the change to “UVA” is even more overdue. 

We hold that the standards of orthographical decency have evolved: This newspaper shall henceforth render the University of Virginia’s nickname as “UVA.” 

It is so ordered

Justice Hopkin, with whom Justice Lamberth joins and Justice Jani joins in part, dissenting. 

When the Court received this complaint, there was some initial confusion. After all, people that I work with, love, cherish, my family away from home, suddenly wanted to capitalize the “a”? I didn’t know so much of the Court could live with being so blatantly wrong.   

Since I consider this Court to be the only people in a position of power, I dissent with full consideration of the importance of the outcome. The question is should the Virginia Law Weekly pander to unlearned masses who do not understand that “UVa” is the correct abbreviation for publications to use when referencing the University of Virginia? The answer is: “Never give up. Never surrender.”   

Before the Court answers the question on the merits, the Court recognizes the typical expectation is to review all that business about mootness and injury and “stuff.” But as Rule 1 of the Petty Rules of Civil Procedure clearly states, “We do what we want,” the Court will be skipping this part of the opinion no one wanted to read anyway. The Court assumes the Blu*book follows the full format with the periods. The Court is unable to check to confirm, because we all shredded our texts upon receiving that fabled “S-” in Professor Fore’s class after not laughing at his PowerPoint jokes. The Court did task its clerks with researching the issue, but as it turns out we do not have clerks.  

In response to Judge Tang, we are not the only ones who spell it “UVa.” The Roanoke Times and Daily Progress refer to the University as “UVa.” Although The Washington Post and Richmond Times both use the more complete abbreviation (“U.Va.”), the sentiment is the same.  UVA looks like an acronym in which the “a” should stand for something when it stands for nothing.  

Yes, it is true that the University of Georgia, University of Maryland, and University of Vermont also use the full postal state designation in their abbreviation, resulting in non-acronym results. The Court is not against the use of the full postal code. The Court is only against mixing an abbreviation into an acronym and capitalizing all the letters—that most egregious abomination of hybrid language. For instance, the Court is fine with UNC as an abbreviation for the University of North Carolina. But where is the “A” here? VirginiA?   

“But we’re not those other universities!” says Tang. I agree with her sentiment and, therefore, did some research on what is happening on Main Grounds. The Cavalier Daily, the University of Virginia’s undergraduate daily newspaper, does not capitalized the “a,” either! The Court knows how important Thomas Jefferson’s Original University (“TJOU,” if you will) was to him. Therefore, the Court can only assume Thomas Jefferson wanted the “a” to be lowercase.  

Ruling as I would rule does not mean every person wearing a sweatshirt in the hallway emblazoned with “UVA” would be ostracized. It simply means that serious publications with hard-hitting journalism containing the voice of the people would continue to use the abbreviation that former Chief Justice of this Court Alex Haden ’17 so artfully left us. That’s right, this Justice texted Haden, and he’s very disappointed (that this dispute was the “hot gossip” he was promised). 

I am technically correct: the best kind of correct, and the only kind of correct for a publication of our repute. I recommend Tang and her fellow “CATS” go bother Law Review.  

I respectfully dissent. 

Justice Jani, dissenting. 

I join my colleague Justice Hopkin’s dissent except as it pertains to my beloved University of Georgia (Go Dawgs). I write separately only to note the Court’s impotence in this tumultuous age. The Court should know, in the din of this School, the Law Weekly is a whimper in an infirmary. Like all of us and everyone who ever lived, this misguided decision will soon be forgotten, merged into the endless mists of forgotten history. Good riddance. 

1 Jonathan Riehl ’02, “Jeffries Reveals Vision for U.Va. Law.” Virginia Law Weekly, April 20, 2001. 

2 See a future edition because you better believe we’re runnin’ that baby front and center.

3 When we feel like it. See Petty R. Civ. P. 1, supra.

4 Like He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named from that popular series of children’s books, the name of the Most Hated Book should never be spelled out in its entirety.

Law Weekly Staff Biography: Kimberly N. Hopkin '19

Kimberly N. Hopkin ‘19
Development Editor

Kim Hopkin (4 of 6).jpg

Name: Kimberly N. Hopkin 

Law Weekly Position:  Development Editor 

Hometown: Orlando, Fla. (Although I have lived in Phoenix, Ariz., Fairbanks, Alaska, Honolulu, Haw., Colorado Springs, Colo., and Anchorage, Alaska as well) 

Undergrad: United States Air Force Academy (so some would say this is my first “college experience”) 

Favorite Law School Activity:  LIBEL! It’s so much fun to be a little silly and make fun of ourselves  

Favorite Wine: It goes by the season: Summer: rosé, Fall: red blends, Winter: champagne, Spring: dry Riesling 

Spirit Animal: Sometimes I’m a Raccoon, sometimes I’m a Golden Retriever; there is no in-between.  

Greatest Achievement: I have spent years and hundreds of dollars to create and maintain the perfect bed. Reasons I don’t go out late at night: Goose down comforter, 800 thread count sheets, six pillows of differing firmness, and a linen duvet comforter. 

Favorite Movie: It’s a tie between Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and While You Were Sleeping.  

Why I Joined the Law Weekly: A section-mate invited me to a student org that gave me free pizza in exchange for building a social media presence. Alex Haden ‘17 was one of my favorite PAs, so I kept going to gain some magical mentorship from him. 

Court of Petty Appeals: Section A v. Section B (aka In re Wanna-Bs)

 Section B v. Section A (In re: Wanna-Bs) 

883 U. Va. 110 (2018)  

ZABLOCKI, J., announced the opinion of the Court in which VANDERMEULEN, C. J., and RANZINI, J. joined. MALKOWSKI, J., filed a dissenting opinion in which SCHMALZL, J., joined. SCHMALZL, J., filed a dissenting opinion. 

Justice ZABLOCKI delivered the opinion of the Court. 

Before this esteemed Court comes the case of Section B v. Section A, more colloquially known as In re: Wanna-Bs, on appeal from the Petty Court of Petty Complaints, which held as follows: “Huh?”  

The facts are as follows: the twerpy 1Ls of Section A thought they would be super clever and co-opt the University-assigned generic name of another section—namely, Section B—for their section softball team name. Section B protested the purloining of the only name by which they are recognized throughout the University community, the only name which is likely to be appropriate to mention whilst schmoozing still-wet-behind-the-ears, just-minted UVa alums at firm receptions, the name that not one member of the section ever objected to, unlike the seventeen others considered for their own softball team name. In short, Section B claimed trademark infringement on grounds of likelihood of confusion, dilution, and deceptive and/or fraudulent trade practices. In response, Section A moved for declaratory judgment, seeking to establish that no valid trademark could attach to “like, SUCH a dull name” as “Section B.” In the alternative, Section A countered that its desire to be known as “Section B” is intended as the highest compliment, to boot, as that most sincere form of flattery known as imitation, and that Section B’s reaction has provoked feelings of deepest melancholy and rejection among the section’s members, who were hoping to befriend their classmates adjoining them in the alphabet and instead are suffering deepest emotional distress. 

This Court shall set aside any horror at the lack of creativity apparently engendered by the thirty or so, um, humans[1] of Section A. This Court recognizes this would be a form of personal judgment rather than legal. Similarly, this Court shall not comment on the related allegations that Dean Faulk and his office have breached their duty to the existing student body not to admit only utter and absolute bores, except to say that allegations alone don’t make for a lawsuit—in this school, we don’t conduct trials in the media, but rather in court, as is proper. Instead, this Court shall focus on the instant claims relating to the putative trademark “Section B.” 

Trademark infringement describes the scenario when some genius who can’t think of his own trademark or trade name starts using a trademark or name belonging to someone else, who did not give permission for such use, in commerce. As a threshold matter, a valid trademark needs to exist for infringement to occur, so we’ll deal with that first. It is not contested that Section B has first use, as assigned by prior years’ Section Bs from one Section B to the next since 1819. Similarly, it is acknowledged that Section B has been using the putative mark as an identifier of its section in commerce, with goods in the form of section T-shirts and services ranging from “team-building” (i.e., forcing non-athletes to relive the painful experience of middle school gym and forcing non-theaterish people everyone to suffer through Dandelion) to procurement of sponsorship from area retailers generous enough to support the aforementioned albeit somewhat lackluster softball team. Rather, Section A bases its motion on what it alleges to be the generic nature of the putative mark, proffering that the word “section” followed by a single letter is a common schema, particularly in the Law School community. In fact, this Court would agree with Section A if not for the context of the Law School community. You see, each section has acquired distinctiveness through years of use in commerce, be it providing recreational activities or donating the winningest PILA auction items.[2] In the case of Section B, previous years’ Section Bs have earned the reputation of being the most gossipy section, which is quite an achievement at a Law School that itself has more drama than 82% of high schools in the U.S. Notwithstanding the dubious nature of the acquired distinctiveness, this Court is unable to deny that it exists and, with it, a valid trademark for “Section B.” 

This Court now directs its attention to the claims of infringement levied by Section B against Section A. Likelihood of confusion exists when marks are “confusingly similar,” as tends to be the case when they are identical, and “the goods and/or services of the parties are related such that consumers would mistakenly believe they come from the same source.” This is a fairly universal standard, having been adopted even by the United States Patent & Trademark Office, from which these quotes were taken.[3] While it is unclear that Section A would be able to match the traditional Section B reputation for drama at the end of the school year, at this point in time we find that a likelihood of confusion does exist. After all, none of us can tell the 1Ls apart and honestly probably won’t be able to until they emerge from their 1L bubbles, and if any of said 1Ls don’t suck at softball, it’s probably on an individual basis, not by section. 

Because all 1Ls are kind of interchangeable to the world at large, in which they don’t even fully exist, see above, we find that dilution at this point in time is impossible without some evidence of intent to act in such a manner that “Section B” acquires a reputation worse than that of the average 1L section, namely, being kind of gossipy and kind of a mix of gunners and complacent individuals who think they have Made It because they are here rather than at Georgetown[4] and, in sum, just a stressed-out bunch of people who really aren’t cool.[5]

With regard to Section B’s allegations of deceptive and/or fraudulent trade practices, we think that’s going too far. Much as a rose is a rose is a rose by any other name, with that signature floral fragrance, Section A is Section A is Section A by any other name, and there ain’t no escaping that stink.6 In other words, if you feel compelled to pretend to be a whole different section because you’re so bad at softball, the situation is probably dire enough no one will be fooled by the ruse, and attempted deception that is so far from succeeding is what passes for humor here on North Grounds. 

Section A’s counterclaim of IIED provoked by Section B’s reaction to their so-called flattery is dismissed. Stop being such smarmy little shits, guys. 

The Court orders as follows. Section A is liable for trademark infringement and is hereby enjoined from any further use of the mark. Further, in lieu of paying damages to Section B, Section A is hereby assigned the team name “Wanna-Bs.” Being merely descriptive of Section A, it is unlikely that Section A will be able to acquire trademark protection for itself; however, this Court has never seen a section exhibit such behavior and feels Section A should wear, if not a scarlet letter, at least a highly descriptive one which, bonus, will also incorporate what is apparently the section’s favorite letter. Also, court costs and fees are awarded; Section A owes this Court donuts for services rendered in consideration of this case—and this being the great Commonwealth of Virginia, all y’all’s driver’s licenses will be suspended if you don’t pay up. We convene in SL 279 at 5:30 PM on Mondays, we prefer Duck Donuts, and we will be expecting you. 

It is so ordered


Justice MALKOWSKI, dissenting. 

“Letting” 1L sections vote amongst themselves for clever nicknames is one of this law school’s most blatant methods of lying to itself about what 1L year entails. 1L sections can hardly be either trusted or burdened with the task. They are busy, people. They’ve just found out they are in seventh grade again. They all have to purchase gym shorts, sneakers, lunchboxes, and acne medication, start pretending they enjoy team sports with strangers, and organize various GroupMe cliques. I propose that instead, all 1L section names be submitted to the authority of the Committee for Naming Truthfulness, to be henceforth organized and manned by this justice. Some initial suggestions: Section A for Anxiety Athletes, Section B for Battered Nerves, Section C for Curve? Balls, Section D for Distressed on the Diamond, Section E for Ego Bruise Bears, Section F for Fatigue of Their Own, Section G for Griever Pitch, Section H for Healed of Dreams, Section I for Ipso Cracked-o, and Section J for Just Chills in the Outfield. 

Justice SCHMALZL, dissenting. 

After a heated conference debate, I dissent. 

First, Justice ZABLOCKI’s statement that there is no contention regarding whether a trademark exists or not is, in fact, false. A trademark, as I have recently learned in Law and Economics from the wonderful Professor Gilbert (who I’m hoping will read this and give me an A on our upcoming exam for applying what I’ve learned in class to hard-hitting legal issues), is a distinctive logo to be used for consumers to identify brand and quality of products/services to decide which to purchase. To my knowledge, Section B has put forward no logo on shirts, nor put anything (except maybe drama) into the commerce of the law school. Therefore, the only thing to trademark is not a logo, but the words “Section B” used in connection with each other. The irony here is that “Section B” is used every year by a different group of people, proving on its own that it is not a distinctive logo that identifies a certain group. In fact, Section B changes annually and their reputation changes with it, making Justice ZABLOCKI’s argument factually incorrect. If we allow them to trademark the English language, we are stifling the limited creativity that law students have, and I can’t condone such a precedent to be set by this Court. 

Further, Section A is not using the name in any legal capacity—it is not their team name—and seem to be following the rules set out by the Court of Petty Appeals in “doing whatever they want.” Chanting Section B at the announcement of their second-place finish at Dandelion can only build the Section B reputation after their pitiful attempt at gymnastics, so IDK what they’re even complaining about TBH. Section B should be thanking Section A for building a better reputation for them instead of going against UVa Law’s core value of collegiality and refusing to share. As the famous and well-respected High School Musical cast once said, “We’re all in this together,” so let’s stop the madness and get over ourselves for a hot sec. 

I join Justice MALKOWSKI’s dissent in full, and am glad to see that the redhead representation on the Court understands the harm inflicted by the majority. I worry about what this means for the future health and wellbeing of an innocent section just trying to make friends, but don’t let it get ya down. The only way to spread collegiality far and near, is practicing it and shouting it for all to hear.  

Also, the majority’s attacks on Section A’s softball skill is unfounded given that they’re undefeated. BOOM. 

I respectfully dissent. 






Hot Bench: Jill Rubinger '19


1. What are you most excited for during your first year in D.C.? Try out new restaurants. 

2. What is your favorite word?  “OH!” 

3. Where did you grow up? I grew up in Atlanta, Georgia. Rise up.  

4. What’s the best meal you’ve ever had? Christian’s Pizza after a night on the corner.  

5. If you could meet one celebrity, who would it be and why? Chrissy Tiegen 

6. What’s your favorite hobby to avoid the stress of law school? Impromptu dance parties.  

7. Where is your favorite place to vacation? Deer Valley, Utah 

8. What’s something you wish you’d known about law school before coming to UVa Law? That I would need to have answers ready for hot bench.  

9. What did you have for breakfast this morning? Breakfast tacos and lots of salsa.  

10. What’s your most interesting two-truths-and-a-lie? (And what’s the lie?) I’m amazing at beer pong, I’ve thrown a (fake) bat-mitzvah and wedding during law school, and my name is misspelled on the UVA internal people search. Lie: I’m dreadful at beer pong.  

11. If you could live anywhere, where would it be? Paris.  

12. What’s your least favorite sound? Forks scratching on a plate.  

13. What’s the best gift you’ve ever received? The block rocker.   

14. Blueberries or strawberries? Both, I am #BerryGang til I die.  

15. What is the best concert you have ever been to? All of Austin City Limits in 2016.  

16. What’s your favorite thing to do in Charlottesville? Villa breakfasts on Sunday mornings.  

17. If you could make one rule that everyone had to follow, what would it be? If I send you a meme, it will be the first time you’ve seen it.  

18. What’s your spirit animal? Becca Chandler.  

19. What’s your favorite food(s)? Tossup between tacos and sushi 

20. If you won the lottery, what would you do with it? Accidentally spend it all online shopping.  

21. If you had Matrix-like learning, what would you learn? Lots of languages.  

22. If you could be in the winter Olympics, which sport would you compete in? Probably alpine skiing. I would prepare while vacationing in Deer Valley.  

23. Where is a place you haven’t been but want to travel to? Tulum.  

24. What are the 7 wonders of the law school? (1) snack office; (2) Gambini Room in the Library; (3) the Kingdom; (4) free food table after ACS and Fed Soc host competing events; (5) what actually goes on in Dean Dugas’s office/head; (6) the folder on Dean Davies computer of everyone saying their names; (7) the portrait of the dean wearing white fur  


Spotlight: Black Law Students Association

Rachel Barnes ’20

The National Black Law Students Association (NBLSA) was founded in 1968 by Algernon Johnson Cooper, the former mayor of Pritchard, Alabama, at the New York University School of Law. Today, NBLSA is one of the largest student-run organizations in the United States, comprising over 130 chapters. NBLSA chapters represent over 6,000 members and are organized into six regions. Through its national reach and local chapters, NBLSA strives to develop lawyers of tomorrow by sponsoring its prestigious competitions such as the Constance Baker Motley Mock Trial Competition, the Nelson Mandela International Negotiations Competition, and the Thurgood Marshall Moot Court Competition at the NBLSA Annual Convention. NBLSA also implements community service and social-action initiatives in furtherance of its mission. 

The Virginia Law Chapter of the Black Law Students Association was founded in 1970 and formally chartered in 1996. Dedicated to the development of talented, engaged, and diverse attorneys, UVa BLSA sponsors various student support programs, community outreach projects, panel discussions, and receptions. The Virginia Law Chapter is a leading BLSA chapter, and in recent years, has been recognized as Regional Chapter of the Year five times and National Chapter of the Year three times. UVa BLSA also regularly sends its members to serve as regional and national officers, boasting three past National Chairs and various other Directors, Coordinators, and Specialists among our alumni. 

I personally decided to join UVA BLSA after visiting for Admitted Students Open House. Meeting so many impressive black law students inspired me and gave me hope. These accomplished and driven students are now my peers. 

This year, I am very excited to serve as the President of BLSA here at UVA Law. Serving with me this year are: Emmaline Rees, Vice President (; Alexis Wallace, Treasurer (; Tomi Olutoye, Secretary (; Lise Guerrier, Firm Relations Chair (; Moussa Ismail, Community Service Chair (; Michele St. Julien, Social Action Chair (; Courtney Davis, Education Chair (; Sarah O’Brien, Social Programming Chair (; and Jasmine Lee, Membership Chair (  

As we move forward into our 49th year, our Executive Board plans to reimagine BLSA’s programming in order to ensure that we not only maintain BLSA’s expected level of excellence, but also address the diverse needs of our members. To that end, our Chairs will be hosting a wide variety of academic, professional, and social programming designed to provide holistic support for our members as they navigate their law school journey.  

Additionally, we plan to host a number of social and service related events as a complement to our annual “Role of Non-Black Allies” event in order to better connect our members with supportive members of the greater Law School community. One such event is the Community Bridges 5K scheduled for Saturday, October 20, 2018. BLSA will be participating and volunteering this year and we welcome allies to join us! Anyone interested joining our team to run or volunteer should email our Community Service Chair, Moussa Ismail, at  

My personal goal as President this year is to do whatever I can to support my fellow board members and ensure that the black law students here at UVA feel safe and supported. Law school can be a challenging and occasionally isolating place by itself, but these obstacles are often compounded when only 6% of the law school looks like you; which is why BLSA and its mission are so important to me. The mission of the Black Law Students Association is to increase the number of culturally responsible black and minority attorneys who excel academically, succeed professionally, and positively impact the community. Both locally and nationally BLSA provides a haven of support and understanding for black students pursuing their legal education, and I hope to share this haven with the Class of 2021. 

Following the events of August 11 and 12, it was members of BLSA who reached out and took care of me when I suddenly was very unsure of my decision to come to Charlottesville. Thanks to their kindness and support I was able to overcome that trying time. UVA BLSA has a very special place in my heart and I am grateful and honored to serve as its President. I look forward to seeing what this year has in store and encourage all who read this to join or support our BLSA chapter because Black Lawyers do Matter. 

If you would like to learn more about BLSA and our events please sign up for our allyship listserv by emailing  




Hot Bench: Nicole Llinares '19

Nicole Llinares ‘19

Nicole Llinares ‘19

Nicole Llinares ‘19

1. What is your favorite word?


2. Where did you grow up?

Hauppauge, N.Y. which is in the middle of Long Island. It’s equally far from the city and the Hamptons as well as the North and South Shores. It’s all the traffic with none of the benefits. (Can’t wait to show this Hot Bench to my parents!)

3. What’s the best meal you’ve ever had?

I’m not very fancy. I went to all the Ohio State football games in college to give the impression I was a loyal fan (which I was), but everyone knows I only stayed for the hotdogs. Recently, however, I went to a restaurant called Damas in Montreal and ate some life-changing Baba Ghanoush salad.

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

Mindy Kaling. I think she is an amazing role model for young women. Also, she’s hilarious.

5. What’s your favorite hobby to avoid the stress of law school?

The stress of law school has really helped me realize I have no hobbies. I am currently trying to learn how to play the guitar. If you hear a sad attempt at Bob Dylan through the walls of Ivy, that’s me! Everyone seems to react negatively to Wonderwall so I’ll probably start on that one next.

6. Where is your favorite place to vacation?

Seaside PARK on the Jersey Shore. Please note the emphasis on Park. I did, however, see D.J. Pauly D working in the Shore Store once.

7. What did you have for breakfast this morning?

Sour gummy bears.

8. What’s your most interesting two-truths-and-a-lie? (And what’s the lie?)

(1) I used to have a lip piercing.

(2) Bachelor in Paradise is bad TV.

(3) I’m a nice person.

Bachelor in Paradise is an extremely entertaining program. #ChrisHarrison2020.

9. If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

I’d get a lake house on Flathead Lake in Montana.

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

Tickets to a Spice Girls concert in the second grade.

11. What is the best concert you have ever been to?

I saw Arcade Fire at the Panorama Music Festival on Randall’s Island in 2017. I was not familiar with their music at the time, but it was still the best and most enjoyable performance I have ever seen.

12. What’s your favorite thing to do in Charlottesville?

Leave. Fine—breweries! I love Devil’s Backbone, but it’s a bit of a hike (something I sometimes also enjoy).

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

Never say “hi” to anyone you pass in the hall or on the street. You know, kind of like in NYC. I’m really trying to decrease the percentage of time in my day in which I feel awkward. This rule would really take the pressure off.

14. What’s your favorite food?

Chicken cutlet with mayo. Doesn’t need to be on bread.

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

Start a production company and make all my own movies.

16. If you had Matrix-like learning, what would you learn?

Videogames. Then I could be the #1 player on Fortnite and make a career out of it and all the celebrities would want to play with me.

17. Where is a place you haven’t been but want to travel to?

Bora Bora ever since my cousin had a poster of it in her room in middle school. And I want everyone to know this was my idea before the Kardashians went and had their big-time family vacation there back when Kim was still married to Chris Humphries.

Law Weekly Staff Biography: M. Eleanor Schmalzl '20

M. Eleanor Schmalzl ‘20
Executive Editor

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Name: M. Eleanor Schmalzl (What does the “M” stand for, you might ask? Come to any of my first days of class to find out.)

Law Weekly Position: Executive Editor

Hometown: Walton, Kentucky. (I’ve heard there’s a rumor that I am from Ohio. If you are among the mistaken, please reference the tattoo of Kentucky on my foot.)

Undergrad: Ohio Northern University (Go Polar Bears!)

Favorite Horse: Clydesdales, because they are beautiful and represent my favorite cheap beer, Bud heavy.

Favorite Law School Activity: SOFTBALL!!

Least Favorite Type of Bottled Water: Nestle or Ice Mountain. I can tolerate Ice Mountain when cold, but Nestle is all around a garbage brand of water. Stick to cookies, Nestle.

Greatest Achievement: Being able to write legibly with my non-dominant hand. Whoever said doodling during church was a waste of time doesn’t know how to doodle effectively.

Why I Joined the Law Weekly: Free dinner on Monday nights during 1L was a huge draw. Why I became Executive Editor is less clear, but I recall the editor-in-chief telling me it “isn’t that much extra of a time commitment” and that “we don’t stay past 11 on Monday nights.” Oh, how young and naïve I was as a 1L.

Looking Back: 70 Years of the Law Weekly

In celebration of seventy years of publication, Volume 71 of the Law Weekly takes pleasure in publishing excerpts from the past seventy volumes. This week, a special focus on the late ’90s, aka the heyday of Kordana restaurant reviews.

Memories of Hurricanes Past

“The City of Charlottesville awoke Friday morning to find itself without power, as Tropical Storm Fran battered Albermarle County… Even students who did not live on a mountain were affected. ‘A tree fell over our driveway and stayed suspended on an electric power line for three days before Appalachian Power removed it,’ said second-year law student Mark Hornor, who lives in Covesville, about 20 miles south of Charlottesville… Like other Albermarle County residents, many law students went without power or phone service for part of the weekend, including some who remained without power throughout the weekend.” Curtis J. Romig ’98, “Fran Wreaks Havoc on Virginia,” Virginia Law Weekly, Friday, September 13, 1996.

Eds.: This is your friendly reminder to stock up on candles, batteries, and non-perishables, kiddos.

Professor Anne Coughlin in simpler, less fashionable times. From the  Law Weekly’s  issue of 10/31/1997.

Professor Anne Coughlin in simpler, less fashionable times. From the Law Weekly’s issue of 10/31/1997.

An Allegation of Fraud from an Unlikely Source

“The pricing scheme’s initially intriguing structure yields to no apparent logic. (For example, prices are not chosen to come out evenly with the addition of tax; the examples given above include prices set at 17, 12, and 7 cents below $3.) A cynic might suggest that the prices are unusual in order to make monitoring the bill more difficult: on my first visit a $2.93 Blind Pig (a ’96 Great American Beer Festival Gold Medalist) was erroneously charged at over $5.” Professor Kevin Kordana, “Zen and Culinary Art at the Buddhist Biker Bar & Grill,” Virginia Law Weekly, Friday, October 31, 1997.

Eds.: RIP Buddhist Biker Bar & Grill, Professor Kordana’s restaurant reviews, and illogical price schemes.

A Gloomy and Impotent Protest Against Progress

“The Law School has implemented a policy, effective this fall semester, requiring that all first-year students own a notebook computer… While the long-term benefits of this requirement in regard to the Virginia legal education remain to be seen, the immediate financial impact is readily apparent. In addition to paying for tuition, housing, multiple textbooks and study aides, first-years must now absorb another significant cost upwards of several thousand dollars.” Howard Chang ’01, “Laptops a New Requirement,” Virginia Law Weekly, Friday, September 3, 1999.

Eds.: Thank goodness the price of laptops has come down to only a thousand dollars these days. And most importantly, thank goodness laptops ushered in a technological revolution so we never had to learn to Shepardize cases by hand.

Examples of Personal Ads that Remind Us Why We Don’t Run Personal Ads

“Come on Baby Light My Fire: Disgruntled 2L tired of this school stuff seeks dynamic instructor to rekindle my interest in the law. No legal economists need apply. Looking for inspiration and willing to actually do reading provided it is not too boring.”

“In Search of the Fourth Horseman: Three 3Ls job offers in hand, seek a fourth for regular rounds at Birdwood. Our sole goal this year to reduce our handicaps by half. Would prefer someone with a good short game. No duffers need apply.”

Ben Block, “Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places,” Virginia Law Weekly, Friday, September 3, 1999.

Eds.: Glad to know not much has changed since 1999. This is still why the Law Weekly doesn’t run actual personal ads.

Organization Spotlight: The Federalist Society

Jenna Adamson ‘19
Guest Columnist

Questioning presuppositions, engaging with inconsistency, and searching for truth—that’s the essence of debate and what first drew me to the Federalist Society. I heard about the UVa chapter’s events while growing up in Charlottesville and was impressed by the organization’s dedication to testing the value of ideas by hosting public debates. Since entering UVa Law, I’ve learned that the Federalist Society is more than a debate society. It rests on principles that represent the bedrock of our constitutional system, and its members’ shared belief in those principles encourages the formation of enduring professional and personal bonds.

When I arrived at UVa Law, I quickly became involved in the Federalist Society by serving on the 1L Committee and attending as many events as possible. One particularly memorable event was entitled “Where is Feminism Headed?” Karin Agness, founder of the Network of Enlightened Women, a group for conservative college women, appeared on a panel that included Gail Deady, a Legal Fellow at the ACLU of Virginia. Professor Emeritus Lillian BeVier, UVa’s first tenured female law professor, moderated the panel. It might have appeared an unlikely event for an organization whose membership is often stereotyped as exclusively male. And yet, it was precisely the kind of event that has made the Federalist Society successful and influential. During the event, Karin Agness and Gail Deady engaged in an increasingly heated exchange that revealed divergent visions of the policies necessary to empower women—but a shared goal of promoting female economic and political opportunity. Indeed, the panel provided a lesson in the importance of opening the door to dialogue, especially when two sides appear ideologically irreconcilable.

As vice president for speakers during my second year of law school, I strove to carry on FedSoc’s tradition of providing a forum for rigorous debate. I didn’t fully appreciate the significance of the Society’s founding principles, however, until halfway through 2L year. The Federalist Society is founded on the principles that “the state exists to preserve freedom, that the separation of governmental powers is central to our Constitution, and that it is emphatically the province and duty of the judiciary to say what the law is, not what it should be.” My study of American history and political theory during college had already shaped my agreement with the first two propositions, but taking Judge Amul Thapar’s and Professor BeVier’s January term course on Justice Clarence Thomas’ jurisprudence represented my first real opportunity to reflect on the role of judges, originalism, stare decisis, and other jurisprudential topics.

Only by reasoning through Justice Thomas’ opinions and, later, studying administrative law and reading Justice Scalia’s essays in Scalia Speaks, did I come to see the relationship between the Federalist Society’s third founding principle and the first two. James Madison (FedSoc’s mascot) alludes to the first principle in his essay on property: “Government is instituted to protect property of every sort; as well that which lies in the various rights of individuals, as that which the term particularly expresses.” Federalist No. 51, also written by Madison, connects the first and second principles: “In order to lay a due foundation for that separate and distinct exercise of the different powers of government, which to a certain extent is admitted on all hands to be essential to the preservation of liberty, it is evident that each department (branch of government) should have a will of its own . . . .” The separation of powers is essential to preventing the “accumulation” of all legislative, executive, and judicial power “in the same hands,” which constitutes “the very definition of tyranny.” The Federalist No. 47 (Madison). But what’s to prevent such a concentration of power? This is where the third principle comes in. Paraphrasing Justice Thomas’ arguments in his Perez v. Mortgage Bankers Association[1] and Michigan v. EPA[2] concurrences, the judicial power vested in the judiciary by Article III of the Constitution requires a judge to exercise independent judgment, free of personal biases and “human will.” This proper exercise of judicial power—saying what the law is, not what it should be—prevents the judiciary from usurping legislative power by using judicial decrees to make policy. Additionally, when courts exercise this independent judgment, rather than surrendering it through Chevron and Seminole Rock deference to administrative agencies, they act as a bulwark against accumulation of executive, legislative, and judicial power in the executive branch. Thus, the judiciary’s adherence to its constitutional role supports the separation of powers, which in turn protects liberty. I hope that opportunities, such as our Originalism 101 event, will enable the current class of 1Ls to learn much earlier than I did what it means for the judiciary “to say what the law is” and why it matters.

A shared passion for the Federalist Society’s founding principles sustains a strong professional network that promotes mentorship and friendship. UVa FedSoc members and alums want to invest in fellow FedSoc-ers from the moment they step on Grounds, as my own experience demonstrates. One former UVa FedSoc member (class of 2016) helped me navigate course selection for my second 1L semester; another (class of 2012) met for coffee to guide my 1L summer job search; a third (class of 1994) offered crucial advice about my 2L summer job search and clerkship application strategy. All three women have become mentors and friends, who inspire me to share my experience with the UVa FedSoc students who follow me. The exceptional enthusiasm of 2L and 3L members to participate in our chapter Mentorship Program indicates that I am far from the only FedSoc member who, having benefitted from the UVa FedSoc network, wants to reinvest in our new members.

Engagement with the national network provides additional opportunities. The Federalist Society National Lawyers Convention brings together lawyers in government, Big Law, public interest, academia, and the judiciary. Attendance at the convention may provide the occasion to meet someone who could write an important recommendation or sit across an interview table in the not too distant future. The Federalist Society Student Symposium offers the chance to hear exceptional speakers from across the political spectrum debate current legal and constitutional issues, and then to rehearse those debates with fellow law students from across the country. Those law students will become colleagues, collaborators, friends, and supervisors who could one day promote pursuit of a new opportunity at a firm or a move into a new job.

Of course, any explanation of my love for the Federalist Society and our UVa Law chapter must recognize our Law School’s special community. FedSoc chapters at other top law schools do not always experience the willingness of other organizations to cosponsor events and the respect from students and faculty that our chapter enjoys. One of the reasons I ran for FedSoc president was that I believed our chapter could do a better job of strengthening our chapter community and emboldening our members to articulate the importance of the principles of individual liberty, separation of powers, and the rule of law. We hope these are principles upon which all lawyers can agree, but we are grateful for a community eager and willing to debate their significance and how we, as a society and a profession, may achieve or defeat them.

[1] 575 U.S.        (2014)

[2] 576 U.S.        (2015)

Law Weekly Staff Biography: Jansen VanderMeulen '19

Jansen VanderMeulen ‘19

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Burlington, Washington


Washington State University (Go Cougs!)

Favorite Tree:

Sycamore or Red Oak

Favorite Berry:


Least Favorite Harry Potter Movie:

Order of the Phoenix. They seriously messed up the really cool Ministry scene and I’m not over it. I wanted to see the fountain statues move.

Greatest Accomplishment: I shot a buck with no rest at dusk with a muzzleloader when I was 12 in the mountains of Central Washington.

Reason for Joining the Law Weekly:

I needed a positive outlet for my grammar compulsion + pizza.

Court of Petty Appeals: In Re Karsh Money

In re Karsh Money

452 UVa 382

JANI, J., sitting by designation delivered the opinion of the court, in which RANZINI and ELICEGUI, JJ., joined. VANDERMEULEN, C.J., filed an opinion concurring in the judgment in which SCHMALZL, J., joined.

Justice JANI, sitting by designation, for the Court.

Hello, fellow students! Welcome to the 2018-2019 Virginia School of Law academic year. To all the 1Ls, your experience here at UVa Law will be a transformative experience. Your cheerful dispositions and naïve attitudes will soon be challenged and transformed into a deep cynicism which will remain with you for the rest of your life. This Court greets you as you ascend to the distinguished club of jaded alcoholics we call the legal profession. To all of the 2Ls, this Court offers its compliments for surviving the human petting zoo that is OGI. Some of you have undoubtedly accepted offers to your future firms and others of you have not. Be kind to each other, regardless of employment status. This school is already too much of a floating ship filled with barrels of rum for second year law students to start lighting matches. Enjoy your upcoming summer and your daily steak and sushi lunches. Just realize that, like your law school relationship, the affinity you feel for becoming indoctrinated into your law-firm tribe will not last. To the Class of 2019, cheers, you all have made it through the “real” part of law school. Now you get to relax and bathe in the basking glow of top dawg status. Have fun reading for class when you feel like it, delegating all your club/journal work to the 2Ls, and enjoying the previously forgotten concept of a full night sleep. Do not let the fact that you are paying $80,000 for a seemingly meaningless year of school sober you from your drinking and your “hey, we’ll never see each other again” trysts.

Now that salutations are out of the way this Court has decided that it would behoove all to recap the rules and norms that govern behavior before this court and within the institution of this journal at-large. The Court celebrates the Chief Justice’s effort to establish the standards of the rule of this bench. However, the Court believes the Chief Justice’s genteel nature and courteous spirit may have led to confusion among some of our student population. We reiterate the thesis of the Chief Justice’s treatise on the Rules of Petty Procedure: there are no rules. We take no heed of the past or the future, we do as we wish, when we wish to do so. In the past, more generous jurists have solicited the grievances for adjudication before this Court and some have gone even further and given weight to the amicus curiae briefs submitted by students and faculty, and in the future a more judicious arbitrator of pettiness may choose to do so again. This Court, sitting by designation, could care less about the moans and grumbles of the student body or our benevolent overlords. This Court does what it pleases without regard to the desires of the less enlightened public, which provides an almost too effortless segue to the second major precept. DO NOT TAKE OUR PAPERS. As this Court sees it, there are three main reasons the Virginia Law Weekly confines its editors in SL 278 every Monday night until sometimes early Tuesday morning. The first is to provide a journal of the events at the School, which includes the thoughts and emotions of the students which encapsulate it in any given academic year. Our institution’s recordkeeping goes back to 1948, and any member of the Law School that so pleases is invited to visit our office to see Professor Jefferies’ larger-than-life mustache or the volumes from the late 2000s that almost got this paper shut down. The second is to provide a source of levity and humor in the otherwise grueling and soul-grinding slog that can be law school. And the last is to provide a platform through which students, faculty, administrators, and other members of the public can share their opinions and sentiments freely and clearly. One is allowed to be offended or even disgusted by the views of another, but the oppression of that person’s independent views is unacceptable. This Court cares not if members choose to live their lives in a bubble, protected only by the soft cushion that is the bubble wrap they’ve encased themselves in, but when that personal choice is turned and used against the rest of the public, this Court will not stand for such repressive conduct.

With the pleasantries out of the way, the matter before the Court of Petty Appeals today is one that is of great importance to the destitute students of this great institution. On May 10th of this year it was announced that Martha and Bruce Karsh, Virginia Law alumni and deceptive perceptions that law school relationships bring enduring love and wealth, will donate $25 million U.S. to the Law School. The gift, which kicks off the Law School’s bicentennial celebration as well as its Third Century Campaign, will be matched with $18.9 million from the University’s Board of Visitors. This Court notes that word “matching” implies that the size of the Board of Visitor’s donation should be equal in number or amount to that of the Karsh’s. An amicus curiae brief filed with this Court on the back of an envelope by Darden MBA students, who ran the figures during in the small window of time between their debauchery and general drinking, confirms that 18.9 does not, in fact, equal 25. Nevertheless, the gift is quite sizable and generous.

The question remains, what should the Law School do with this money? As of the time of this decision, the Law School and the Karshes have decided that the gift will, fund the Law School’s premier student scholarship program which will be renamed the Karsh-Dillard Scholarship, establish the Karsh Center for Law and Democracy, and create an endowed professorships fund to support faculty affiliated with the Karsh Center. The described uses of this fund have garnered significant grousing within the student population. As one 3L stated, “I mean, I guess it’s cool, but couldn’t they get us another massage chair? Professor Kordana is always stealing it for himself.”

As such, this petition has made its way to this court of second instance after the plaintiffs were denied relief in the lesser courts, most recently by Judge J. Ryan for failing to state a claim. We take up this matter in hopes that our ruling will provide all parties with equity.

We start with gratitude. The Karshes did not have to give so magnanimously to the institution we call home. While the gift undoubtedly provides the family with significant tax breaks and stature, this Court is under the belief that converting the $25 million to gold coins and then diving into the pile would have furnished the Karshes with the same happiness and sense of pride. This Court, nevertheless, is a bit skeptical of the allocation of this gift.

If $25 million dollars doesn’t change the name of the Dillard Scholarship to the Karsh Scholarship, then what is the money really buying? Without deciding whether or not funding more scholarships is a good idea, this Court is under the impression that the Dillard should be dropped from the Karsh-Dillard Scholarship. We understand that Hardy Cross Dillard, former Dean of UVa Law, remains an institution at this establishment, but that’s old money, already gone and spent. The name of Dillard can be honored by remaining with the Legal Writing Fellows forced to read terrible briefs of, and meet with, apathetic 1Ls.

This Court is not sure if it is a mistake or if the Karshes have not heard the news, but democracy is dead. Although some may believe that democracy is still well and alive living on some beach in Europe with Tupac and the Lindbergh Baby, this Court assures the public that democracy is dead and has been for some time. Trying to revive this system of government by establishing a center is a fool’s errand like trying to drain the ocean with a tablespoon or taking M&A with Professor Choi and expecting to do well. With the political climate and the state of affairs as they are today, it would be more apt to establish the Karsh Center for Edgy Memes for T-14s.

Instead this Court suggests that the money be spent towards more productive means. For instance, maybe we can all stop eating Aramark in the Sidley Austin Café. The same company that provides the food for the Law School also services prisons, and while many may feel as if it is apt considering the metaphorical iron bars that encase the library, this Court has taken notice that prisoners around the country have gone on strike due to Aramark’s food. The Karsh money could also be used to fund electric scooters for the entire student population. There is no practical reason for this or any tangible benefit that the Law School will gain, but this Court believes it would be really funny to watch Professor Abraham dodge students on scooters while on his daily walk around school grounds. The Court’s final suggestion, and perhaps its most sensible one, is to reduce the cost of tuition at UVa Law. Fifty million dollars as a perpetuity at a 3% rate, quite a safe and conservative figure, will provide the school with interest payments of $1.5 million dollars per year. This is enough to reduce tuition for each student at the Law School by approximately $5000 per year, or $15,000 over three years. As the current fixed interest rate for a Direct PLUS Loan is 7.6%, the average student can save almost 30,000 dollars over the course of ten years. If the pursuit of legal studies is something that this Law School wants to open up to students of all socio-economic backgrounds, then this Court implores the School to do something about runaway tuition. Multi-million dollar gifts are great and a half-billion dollar endowment is even better, but if the money isn’t put towards the benefit of all students, the gap between the haves and the have-nots will continue to widen, and if it isn’t dead already, democracy soon will be.

Of its suggestions, the Court likes the scooter one best. It is therefore ordered that Stephen T. Parr purchase one scooter for each student and faculty member. See you on grounds, Abe!

It is so ordered.

Chief Justice VANDERMEULEN, concurring in the judgment.

I have no idea what my Brother Jani is prattling on about, but I’d really like a scooter, and I’d like to see Professors Ferzan and Mitchell scooter-racing to the death. Bring on the scooters!