Yes, Virginia, I really want to attend your law school

October 24, 2007

… a lot more than I want Santa to be real. Come next August, this is where I want to be: the University of Virginia School of Law. It’s the only law school to which I would even consider applying early decision, and now, the school to which I have actually applied early decision. Yup, yesterday I mailed them my early decision agreement and in-state residency application, and my file will be complete later this week once my last recommendation arrives. UVA was already my top choice, and I had every intention of applying under their binding admissions program. Much to my surprise and glee, their admissions office sent me a fee waiver by email yesterday morning, letting me know that they wanted me to submit an application. This was the ultimate cattle prod to getting the ball rolling. Now it’s official – I’ll know by early-to-mid December whether I’m accepted. If I am, I’m going. Hooray!

The school is a perfect fit for me. It features one of the nation’s top legal programs (whether it’s “Top 10” or “Top 14” or whatever such nonsense doesn’t matter because it’s just a damn fine school). Job prospects for graduates are top notch, whether they want to work for a major firm or even take on a Supreme Court clerkship (UVA ranks high atop the list of law schools producing them). The professors are well-reputed but also capable teachers. The facilities are outstanding. The JAG school where all incoming military lawyers train is right next door, and UVA students can even take classes there. And it goes without saying that there are moot court teams, law journals, community service opportunities, and student interest groups galore.

The real kicker is the student body. When I visited a few weekends ago, all of the twenty or so people to whom I put the question “Should I go here?” responded with an enthusiastic (and sometimes drunken) “YES!” Students love being there, and graduates love having gone there. UVA is reputed to have the best quality of life among almost all law schools. Gunners are few and far between, and the tight B+ curve contributes to a sense of camraderie instead of cutthroat competition. Students know they’re bright and don’t feel a need to flaunt. On top of all that, two of my best friends from college will both still be there during my 1L year, along with scores of former undergrad mock trialers. This is where I belong.

My one initial reservation was the prospect of attending school in a “college town” again. Not that living in Northfield, Minnesota was a bad idea; just that I’ve already spent four years in the exurbs and that a change of pace would be welcome. New York, for example, would be an awfully exciting place to attend school. Thankfully, Charlottesville is not Northfield. The metro area has 150,000 people, and the University is far larger than Carleton and St. Olaf combined. The law school is also one of several professional institutions, so there’d be no shortage of aspiring professionals my age. Besides, I already intend to practice for at least a year or two in New York – why live there when I’m a penniless student when I can do so as a salaried lawyer? Cost of living in Charlottesville is next to nothing, so everything from groceries to happy hours and restaurants cost about half as much as they do in NYC.

On a nostalgic note, Charlottesville is also home to the Dave Matthews Band. Really now, what would high school have been like without the melodic feast that is DMB? Far from what you may have heard on Futurama, they absolutely do rock. At least they used to… ’till Dave got all married and happy. Why can’t musicians wallow in misery for the sake of their fans’ continued enjoyment?

Okay, enough romanticizing. I could just be setting myself up for a huge letdown in December. My chances are good but hardly certain. Won’t stop me from keeping my fingers tightly crossed until the notification letter arrives. I really, really want this. Here’s to hoping!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: