Kim Hopkin '19
On Wednesday evening, Dean Risa Golubuff gathered with the UVa Law Faculty to toast the Class of 2019 class for their past success and future accomplishments during the Midway Toast. After enjoying some light hors d’oerves, the champagne started flowing, and students began to mingle with professors and catch up with old section mates. For many, it was a chance to reconnect with old 1L small-section friends with whom they no longer shared an identical class schedule.
A few minutes into the function, the crowd went quiet as Dean Golubuff started a short speech. She told the crowd that she was delighted by the amount of people that came to celebrate the third annual Midway Toast before remarking on the importance of celebrating how far we’ve come. Since the beginning and end of law school are shrouded in customs and ceremony, she thought it was only fitting that we have a little ceremony celebrating ‘the middle.’ “Just think,” she reminded the class, “the time you’ve spent here is the same amount of time you have left.”
Then, Dean Golubuff observed that 2L year seems to be a year where students were constantly “looking out[side]” the school. Between finding jobs and looking for clerkships, students don’t often get to spend time with their section mates from 1L and can feel isolated. She then reminded the 2L class how much they’ve grown since first arriving at law school barely more than a year and a half ago, recalling a 2L who recently admitted to her that they’d been surprised to find that law students really do learn to “think like a lawyer.”
Dean Golubuff encouraged the 2Ls to take stock of how they feel they’ve developed. If you feel like you want to broaden your legal horizons, deepen your understanding of a specific type of law, or change entirely, then, according to the Dean, now is the time to make the change and to try new things. She thinks two years simply isn’t enough time to become a true lawyer. “This is what the outside world thinks a lawyer is,” she said, holding her hands about six inches apart. Spreading her arms wide she said, “This is what a lawyer actually is.”
Ending with a short but generous charge from the Dean, the Class of 2019 toasted and cheered each other, taking quick sips from their champagne flutes.
Overall, the 2Ls seemed to appreciate the opportunity to gather and take a short break from the brisk start of the new spring semester. Carly Crist, 2L, said, “It was nice to acknowledge the halfway point of our law school career.” Alicia Penn, 2L, agreed, “It’s flown by!” Professors were also buoyant following the mid-week celebration. Professor Kim Ferzan remarked that, “It’s so wonderful to get to celebrate the fact that my little 1Ls are now halfway through their law school career.”
Other students focused on their future. Alison Malkowski, 2L, said, “Dean Goluboff told us to use this time to check out all of the places in Charlottesville that we’ve been meaning to get to for a year and half, and she’s right. Frankly, I would really like to go wherever they got the sauce for the chicken.” No matter what your focus, the future seems bright (and close) for UVa School of Law Class of 2019.