Escape to Charlottesville, VA

Weekend of September 4th, 2009. A much needed voyage out of DC to visit friends at the University of Virginia’s Law School.

The weekend included a group hike on a Saturday morning with a diverse (read: brilliant, bizarre, multinational, angry, oblivious, exhausted, etc) group of mostly third year law students.

Observations

More than one encounter helped me to re-learn the counterproductive nature of expectations and assumptions. I assumed that third year law students at a top ten law school, poised to jump into a legal career, would be somehow immune to ideologically charged beliefs that afflict the rest of us. Great intelligence by no means means that a person does not have uncompromising beliefs about the way that people should be, the way government should be, the way the world should be. Indeed, a future corporate lawyer can be as libertarian as anyone (one new friend would like to see the government “protect our shores” and otherwise stay out of the affairs of citizens and the practice of businesses – the forces of the market, and “might makes right,” would provide the services that people need and would maintain peace).

What is also incredible is how impassioned discussions of things like this would leave no residue of ill will amongst the law students. One sentence may sound like fightin’ words, and the next is a jovial passing of pints of beer on the occasion of a UVA touchdown.