Friday, May 17, 2013

A Look Back: UVA Law 1L Year 2005-2006

Last weekend was my five-year law school reunion, and while I had some small desire to go, I just  wasn't ready to face all the people with whom I don't already keep in touch. Probably, maybe, the ten-year. Maybe I'll even have paid off my debt by then, and can actually feel good about the whole thing.

I do feel good about my choice to go to UVA in particular. I feel lucky that I was admitted to this historic university that really values learning. They took pains to nurture good relationships between the students, and between the students and faculty. Everyone in the administration from the Recruitment Director to the Director of Financial Aid got to know us personally over the three years we lived there. Reports from other law schools don't live up to the lovefest that was UVA Law.

UVA School of Law 
UVA Law!

And of course, this lovefest often led to some wonderful memories, especially in the month of February, when students   hosted a costume party every night. Costume parties! Unless Hogwarts has a law school, you really can't do any better than to get your JD here. And talking about how wonderful a place Charlottesville is to live might actually make me cry, so I'm going to skip it.

In honor of the reunion last weekend and the five year anniversary of our graduation this Sunday, let's relive my 3 years at law school.

August 2005
My dad ended up helping me pack almost everything and helping me move from Arlington, VA to Charlottesville, VA.  I would have been lost without him. I started law school, and I met everyone in my section by way of the "name game." I was already 26 years old and this felt unbelievably juvenile, but I still remember what most of my section brought to the fictional island. Our "sections" were groups of 30 students who took all their 1L classes together. Some classes we took with other sections as well, but there was no avoiding each other. In my section, I met some people who would become some of my closest friends: Audra, Brian, Donald, Jane, Josh, Katy, Roger, Sarah.

First Day of Law School
First day of law school! I'm a dork.

September 2005
We were all studying Civil Procedure, Contacts, Criminal Law, Legal Research and Writing, and Torts. Septemberkicked off with the Dandelion Parade, an embarrasing tradition to make the 1Ls bond and give the rest of the school an opportunity to get to know them. My section's theme was the Big Lebowski, and our section professor, Professor Leslie, generously participated in it as well.

Dandelion Section B: The Big Lebowski
Professor Leslie as The Dude

My law school classmates Justin and Aaron had two parties- a house warming and a couple weeks later an "underwear party" which is a fairly self-explanatory concept. The same weekend there was a section mixer for sections B, E, and D, with a pajama theme. It was going to be that kind of law school.  My classmates spent a lot of their free time playing softball in a section-against-section league.  I attended my first Fall Foxfield horse race and fell in love. I was going to fit right in here at law school.

Fall Foxfield 2005
Some sectionmates at Fall Foxfield 2005

October 2005
We were still pretty new to law school and to Charlottesville. We had a softball tournament where the sections played each other. I didn't play since I'm not even coordinated enough for kickball, but I went watched lots of the games and took pictures.

1L Softball Tournament- Section B
Section B in our softball shirts

There was a Rolling Stones concert at Scotts Stadium, that was evacuated in the middle because of a bomb threat. (Kevin, his uncle George, and cousin Mike were there too, but I wouldn't meet Kevin for another 9-plus months.) I threw a super fun Halloween party, but I also learned never to throw another party for law students as they are the worst behaved people in the world.

Halloween Party 2005
Halloween with law school friends 2005 (mostly the good ones pictured)

I went to my first law school dance, PILA, the Public Interest auction and semi-formal dance. Afterwards, one of our sectionmates had rented a stretch limo for us to take to us to Richmond, but due to circumstances out of his control, we never made it. We would like to forget about that ride, but we can't. The next day we had dinner at Professor Leslie's house.  None of us were in good shape.

PILA Semiformal 2005
I think you can see how my friendship with Brian is developing in this one.

November 2005
Aside from one keg race party at the beginning of the month and applying to 80 summer jobs in New York (none of which I would get), I didn't do much this month.

Bar Review 2005
At a Keg Race, November 2005

December 2005
We studied for our law school finals ever. There were crazy study groups. We had some blackouts in town during the study time, and persisted in studying by candle and fireplace light. We had no idea what to expect grade-wise, and everyone told us our entire future hinged on the first year of law school. Everyone went out on the last day of finals to celebrate before going home for the holidays.

Last Day 1L First Semester 2005
Out with Sarah and Audra on the last night of 1L Fall Finals

I came home from my first semester to spend Christmas with my family in Ramsey.

Christmas 2005
Christmas Eve 2005 with my parents

January 2006
Some of my law school friends came to my college friends' New Years Party. When we returned to classes for the Spring everyone was in a pretty festive mood. Wewere all studying Constitutional Law, Legal Reasearch and Writing, and Property.  We could also choose two electives. January 31st signaled Feb Club's Eve, the pre-party to the month of costume parties in February.

New Years Eve 2005 --> 2006
Me, Roger, and Akure at Janice's New Year's party

Karaoke at Tokyo Rose 2006
Karaoke at Tokyo Rose with some friends in Section L

February 2006
My first ever Feb Club! At UVA Law, there's a theme costume party every single night of February.  Only the brave attend all of them. I went to a few: Feb Club's Eve, Grey's Anatomy, Hawaii 5-0, Coyote Ugly, and Barrister's Ball, which is actually the school's formal spring dance. As a part of a student group fundraiser, I started playing a super intense live-action game of Assassin with law students in every year. I made it to 3rd place.

Feb Club 2006: Grey's Anatomy
Grey's Anatomy theme party

Barristers Ball 2006
Barrister's Ball 2006, Section B

March 2006
I spent three long sleepless days, including a Friday with classes I wasn't allowed to skip, applying to law journals. I got on the Virginia Tax Review. After turning in my application, I took a big long nap before heading off to Spring Break at Katy's beach house in South Carolina with Katy and Sarah. We had a relaxing break, and we celebrated my 27th birthday in Charleston. That was the year that Sarah taught me that you're supposed to do as many fun things as the age that you're turning. The idea appealed to me because that meant that getting older would mean more fun each year.

Edisto Island 2006 
Sarah and I in Charleston. I am enjoying one of my
"fun things": a birthday peanut butter mudslide.

April 2006
For Audra's first birthday on the East Coast, a few of her friends came over from California, and we all went to DC to celebrate in style.

Audra's 23rd Birthday 2006
In DC for Audra's 23rd birthday  

We finished our first year of law school, and had a little party in Legal Research and Writing to commemorate our only year-long class with just our section. We buckled down to take finals.

Legal Research and Writing 2006
Section B photo at our last Legal Research and Writing class

May 2006
After finals, we all went out to celebrate being done with our first "and most important" year of law school! , Many people departed for their summer associate jobs around the country. Some stayed in Charlottesville to work mostly as professors' assistants. I stayed and started my job at Legal Justice Center and another legal position at Albemarle Department of Social Services in Charlottesville. I spent a lot of time that summer with Sarah, Donald, Josh, and Jon.

Last Day of 1L Year 2006
Last day of 1L year: Brian, Donald, Brooks, Selina, and Elizabeth

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