In October 1971, a small group of law students at the University of Virginia founded Virginia Law Women (VLW) to build community and advocate for women law students. To mark the organization's 50th anniversary, the current VLW executive board and the UVA Law Special Collections department teamed up to create this digital archive and exhibit. The site features archival photographs and articles from Law Special Collections, as well as oral history interviews with a group of former VLW presidents conducted by current VLW members.
VLW Executive Board, 2021-2022
Front row, left to right: Camille Boler, Heream Yang, Sabrina Palazzolo, Sujaya Rajguru, Aspen Ono, Sujata Bajracharya, Megan Phansalkar, Emily Bucholtz.
Back row, left to right: Chanel Holmes, Biruktawit "Birdy" Assefa, Sabrina Mato, Crystal Zeng, Mita Ramani, Ashley Reed, Erin Magoffie, Cydney Swain, Ashley Campfield, Brecken Petty.
Not pictured: Daniella Roselló, Madison Lazarek, Raelissa Glennon-Zukoff
Oral History Legacies
VLW50 is part of a law library initiative to revive the Law School’s oral history program. In its prior incarnation, shepherded by Law Librarian Frances Farmer from 1980-1984, the oral history program recorded valuable interviews with Law School deans and faculty for what Farmer called the “Law School’s Second Century History Series.” Now that the law library has revived the oral history program, new oral history interviews with faculty, staff, and alumnae/i will become a central element of our institutional archive and preserve diverse voices within the UVA Law community.
Above: Frances Farmer (second from right) interviews members of Virginia Law Women in 1981. Left to right: Suzanne Spaulding '81, Barby Rest '83, Sally Nan Barber '81, and Kathleen Miles '82.
Left: Oral history interview with Celeste-Redmond Smith '85, February 2, 2022. Clockwise from top left: Addie Patrick, Celeste Redmond-Smith, Daniella Roselló, and Randi Flaherty.
VLW President 2021-2022
Message from Sujaya Rajguru
It has been an honor and a privilege to serve as President of Virginia Law Women in its fiftieth year, standing on the shoulders of the women who served in this role before me. It has been a joy to experience VLW’s growth these past three years, and enlightening to learn about how the organization has grown and changed over the past fifty through the VLW50 project. I am beyond grateful to UVA Law Special Collections and the 2021-2022 VLW Executive Board for their tireless efforts to present a comprehensive, accurate history of VLW. My hope is that future members and leaders of the organization look to this site to understand the legacy that they are a part of, and that former members and leaders look at this site and understand the significance of the legacy they left behind. I look forward to watching this organization grow over the next fifty years.