Questions for UVA Students

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Dignan
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Questions for UVA Students

Postby Dignan » Wed Feb 10, 2010 4:56 pm

Back in November, I applied to UVA. The application was, to be honest, something of an afterthought at the time. I knew that UVA was a top law school and, when they offered me a fee waiver, I submitted an application. When I applied, I couldn't imagine picking UVA over Georgetown, let alone over schools like Berkeley and Columbia.

In recent weeks, however, I have become more interested in UVA. I'd like to take a shot at a career in appellate litigation in DC, and I've noticed that UVA places as well in that market as pretty much any school outside of HY. Furthermore, UVA's clerkship placement and judge/lawyer ratings are stronger than most schools in the lower T10. I am now giving the school some serious consideration. (And if, I want to be accepted, I know I should send in a UVA-themed LOCI; with my stats and my out-of-state status, I am likely headed towards a waitlist.)

I am a non-traditional applicant, and I have a couple of questions about the learning environment at UVA:

1. I am in my mid-30s. Whether deserved or not, UVA has a reputation as a fratty school environment. Do older students feel out of place there?

2. Although I have the occasional conservative or libertarian instinct, I am basically a West Coast liberal: I'm a vegetarian and an anti-war Democrat. I have heard--and this might not be actually true--that UVA is the most conservative school in the T14. Are there any libs out there who care to comment on the political culture at UVA?

showNprove
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Re: Questions for UVA Students

Postby showNprove » Wed Feb 10, 2010 6:53 pm

Dignan wrote:1. I am in my mid-30s. Whether deserved or not, UVA has a reputation as a fratty school environment. Do older students feel out of place there?

I have a friend who is in his mid to late thirties, and he loves the school. The older crowd still socializes plenty with the younger students, even if they don't go to the Feb Club parties or similar events. They attend the section parties, lunches, etc. No one is excluded because of their age, regardless of the event or who is throwing it. Plus, we're all adults with similar interests: it's not like there will be an impenetrable gender gap that obstructs your ability to connect with your classmates.

Dignan wrote:2. Although I have the occasional conservative or libertarian instinct, I am basically a West Coast liberal: I'm a vegetarian and an anti-war Democrat. I have heard--and this might not be actually true--that UVA is the most conservative school in the T14. Are there any libs out there who care to comment on the political culture at UVA?

This is like asking which judge on the 9th Circuit is the most conservative. Almost all academic institutions lean to the left, just some more than others. I consider myself to be a liberal, and I love having conservative professors. Almost all (I can think of a certain exception) do a good job of hiding their political feelings, so the only noticeable effect is that you're exposed to more perspectives on the legal issues. I find that learning from people who may have different outlooks is more rewarding, personally. That being said, most professors here do lean to the left, I believe.

FWIW, I think that Chicago is the most conservative school in the T14. Virginia might be second.

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Dignan
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Re: Questions for UVA Students

Postby Dignan » Thu Feb 11, 2010 2:15 pm

showNprove wrote:This is like asking which judge on the 9th Circuit is the most conservative. Almost all academic institutions lean to the left, just some more than others. I consider myself to be a liberal, and I love having conservative professors. Almost all (I can think of a certain exception) do a good job of hiding their political feelings, so the only noticeable effect is that you're exposed to more perspectives on the legal issues. I find that learning from people who may have different outlooks is more rewarding, personally. That being said, most professors here do lean to the left, I believe.

FWIW, I think that Chicago is the most conservative school in the T14. Virginia might be second.

Thanks for your response. I, too, had the impression that Chicago is the most conservative school in the T14. But when I've mentioned that impression in the past, I've been corrected and told that UVA is more conservative overall.

I am a little surprised that I didn't get more responses. Apparently, I should have titled this thread "Cornell should be ranked ahead of UVA," which probably would have generated 30 posts in less than an hour.




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