Video Tour of the University of Virginia School of Law (2012)
Hello and welcome to Virginia Law.
My name is Jane Lee. And I’m Nathan Hittle.
We’re going to take you on a tour of the
Law School. The University of Virginia was founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819, who believed that every student needed to be grounded in principles of American law. Originally, the law school was located on the University Central Grounds by the Rotunda but we moved to where we are today —
the North Grounds — in 1974.
Now, over 1,100 students attend the Law School. Let’s continue the tour inside.
We’re now standing just inside the front entrance to the Law School. Part of what makes the Law School so special is the dedication of our alumni. For the past several years, UVA Law has had the highest annual giving participation rate among top-ranked law schools.
Behind me is a list of benefactors from recent years. Our alumni remember their years here
fondly and want to help current and future students. Caplin Pavilion is the focal point for receptions, lectures and student events. Everyone from noted author John Grisham to Chief Justice John Roberts has given a talk right here in recent years. Now Jane will continue your tour in the
We’re standing in the first floor of the library, one of the most popular places to study.
There are two additional floors upstairs including more study space, meeting rooms and a coffee bar. As we walk down Withers-Brown Hall.
There are classrooms on both sides: smaller classrooms for seminars on the left and larger classes for lectures on the right. In their first year,
students are divided into groups of about thirty, so students immediately have a mix of small and larger classes. Because these small sections take classes together, they form a tight bond. Many Law School students take clinical
courses or do volunteer pro bono work off-campus at the Legal Aid Justice Center.
The Law School has a number of partnerships with law firms and local legal organizations to help community members in need. Activities through some of the school’s 20 clinics allow students to work on behalf of clients or attorneys across the country. This is the Student-Faculty Center, the
newest addition to the law school. This central area, Scott Commons,
is a popular gathering place for students, faculty and staff. To the right is the cafe,
which is open for breakfast and lunch. Students can eat in the dining room or,
if the weather’s nice, they can eat outside on the terrace.
To the left is the more formal dining room where professors and students often eat lunch together. Next to that is the Caplin reading room, another popular study area for students. Down the hall from Scott Commons,
Slaughter Hall is home to the offices of
many student organizations, which number about 70 and include anything from singing groups to pro bono service organizations. Nathan is going to continue the tour upstairs. On the second floor of Slaughter Hall, you’ll find the public service and career services offices. These doors behind me lead to interview rooms where employers from across the nation come to interview our students every year for summer jobs. In a week before school starts in the fall,
this place is packed. The graduating classes of 2008 to 2010 had at least five graduates in each of 37 cities. Top job locations included New York,
California, Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia and Texas.
In 2010, UVA Law ranked 5th in the number of graduates hired by top law firms and we rank among the top law schools supplying clerks to the Supreme Court. Down this hallway,
we have more classrooms as well as moot courtrooms where classes like trial advocacy are held.
UVA has a strong tradition in moot court, from the Jessup International Moot Court Competition to the Lile Moot Court Competition, which is the most popular among law students.
Last year, over 150 students competed. The competition begins in students’ second year and finishes in their third year. At the center of the law school is Spies
Garden where we hold outdoor gatherings like the Student Bar Association’s fall
and spring picnics. Well we hope you enjoyed seeing the school.
But the tour wouldn’t be complete without checking out Charlottesville. The law school’s home town has been ranked by many as one of the best places to live in the country. Located in central Virginia,
Charlottesville is a little over two hours from Washington, D.C. We also have an airport about 20 minutes from the law school. Apartments are available for students within walking distance of the school and one of the area’s premier shopping spots —
Barracks Road — is just a few blocks away.
That wraps up our tour, and we invite you to visit the law school soon.
We’ve enjoyed our time here and we hope you will too.