For The Record

Fresh starts. New beginnings. A new year brings with it an injection of excitement, resolve, and energy.

That’s particularly true this year at Richmond Law as we continue to emerge from pandemic times and see the return of student gatherings, group study sessions, and casual lunches on the patio with faculty. Our community is reengaging — and that’s a sight for sore eyes.

We have all learned a lot in the past two years. One lesson in particular that stands out to me is that being in physical proximity improves the quality of our interactions. Being together gives us better opportunities to learn from one another, to build new connections, and to shape our identity as a community of engaged learners.

And now that we have the opportunity to be back in proximity, we have been reassessing the quality and functionality of our law school spaces with an eye toward making them even more welcoming and conducive to community engagement.

As it happens, we have a unique opportunity to rethink and redesign portions of our building as we undertake a major renovation prompted by the need to upgrade our HVAC systems. Since these renovations entail tearing up much of the building, it is a great opportunity to rethink what we want from the space when we put it back together. Our plans call for enhancements to the study spaces for students in the library; bringing our clinics back into our building in a well-equipped suite; and creating a town square space where students, alumni, and community members can gather.

All of that is no small feat, as we’ll continue to use our space for classes and study throughout the anticipated two-and-a-half-year process. Disruptions and logistical challenges are a given when it comes to a renovation. But along with those challenges come opportunities: to build a space that best supports and reflects our vibrant community; to create study areas that are better suited for how our students engage and spend their time; and to make the entire building more accessible and welcoming to all who enter.

I look forward to keeping you updated along this journey — and to plenty of opportunities for alumni, students, faculty, and staff to come together again as a community. I’m excited to turn a new page in an exciting chapter in our law school’s history.