Playing defense: Legal eagles prognosticate on Huguely strategy

cover-laxmurder-franlawrenceDefense attorney Francis McQ. Lawrence, with partner Rhonda Quagliana, faces the media horde after client George Huguely's first court appearance. PHOTO BY LISA PROVENCE

George Wesley Huguely V is not the first UVA student to be charged with murder.

In 2003, Andrew Alston was charged with second degree murder for stabbing local firefighter Walker Sisk to death on the Corner, and many were stunned when a jury sentenced him to three years for voluntary manslaughter.

So what can a shocked community expect when Huguely eventually comes to trial?

The Hook checked with a couple of top gun defense lawyers to see how they'd defend the young man who made a statement to police that he'd had an altercation with victim Yeardley Love, kicked her door in, and shook her so hard that her head repeatedly hit a wall, and then took her laptop when he left.

Rule number one: Hire the best lawyer money can buy.

Many high-profile, well-heeled defendants charged with serious crimes in Charlottesville head to St. John, Bowling, Lawrence & Quagliana, and that's where Huguely–- or, more likely, his family–- turned. Attorney Fran Lawrence showed up in Charlottesville General District Court with partner Rhonda Quagliana at Huguely's May 4 bond hearing. Lawrence did not ask for bond and instead got a June 10 preliminary hearing date.

"Fran is a fabulous lawyer," says John Zwerling, the Alexandria attorney who defended Alston and more recently, got an acquittal for Raelyn Balfour, the woman charged with involuntary manslaughter when she forgot to remove her nine-month-old baby from his carseat when she went to work at the JAG School.

After the hearing, Lawrence read a statement that Love's death was a tragic accident. Says Zwerling, "I won't second guess him. I would think he has information that the intent of the client was not to kill her, and that it was accidental.

Despite delivering at least 18 stab wounds, Andrew Alston got a three-year manslaughter sentence. FILE PHOTO BY CAVALIER DAILY

"What is accidental?" muses Zwerling. "If you slap someone and they fall and are killed, the intent was not to kill. It could be manslaughter. The slap or punch might not be accidental, but the death was not intentional."

"Fran is an excellent lawyer," agrees David Heilberg, who successfully defended a 13-year-old in the notorious 2006 smoke-bomb plot in which four teens, some of whom didn't know each other, were charged with planning to blow up local high schools.

However, Heilberg wouldn't have gone with the accidental death statement. "I don't like to comment on pending cases," he says. "If you lay it out there, that sometimes limits your options."

One problem, says Heilberg, is that it lets the commonwealth's attorney concentrate on refuting that theory. "If you throw that out there, and the evidence doesn't add up, it affects credibility," he explains.

Heilberg notes Lawrence's use of the word "confident" in the statement he made after Huguely's brief court appearance by video May 4: "However, we are confident that Ms. Love's death was not intended, but an accident with a tragic outcome," said Lawrence.

"I assume that may have been at the request of the client," says Heilberg. "I would have tried to talk them out of that."

While it may seem counter-intuitive, Heilberg doesn't want to hear a client's side of the story right away, and he says there's good reason for that. "I don't want them lying to me," he explains. "I want to hear the Commonwealth's evidence. I tell them not to talk to anyone, and when they do talk to me, to tell me the truth."

According to the affidavit for a search warrant, Huguely was advised of his rights and waived them before he spoke to police. How problematic is that for a defense attorney?

Heilberg says that both Charlottesville and Albemarle police routinely videotape interviews with suspects, and suggests there may be context for seemingly damning statements like Huguely's admission that he kicked through the door to Love's bedroom. "Maybe he fell," offers Heilberg.

It's typical for clients to say that the police officer didn't tell them their rights under Miranda, says Heilberg.  "The only requirement for that is if they're in custody and want to make a statement," he says.

Heilberg, whose 13-year-old smoke-bomb client was interviewed without his parents and repeatedly told by police pre-arrest that he was not in trouble, has some insights on how the interview with George Huguely might have gone.

"They'll say you're free to go and are not under arrest," says Heilberg. The interview room at the Charlottesville police station is long and narrow, and the suspect is seated at a long table, with the police officer sitting between the suspect and the door. To exit, the cop has to move out of the way. "That's routinely held to be noncustodial," says Heilberg, which means the officer doesn't need to offer up Miranda.

And why would someone who has just committed a heinous crime willingly talk to police? "They come in voluntarily and think they can talk their way out of it," says Heilberg. "They don't know they're being recorded."

Although Huguely seemingly confessed to serious behavior when he told police that he had a fight with Love, shook her, and "her head repeatedly hit the wall," his attorney, Fran Lawrence, said, "Those affidavits aren't always right."

"You're not dealing with what [the defendant] said, but what the police said he said," concurs Zwerling, who illustrates with a scene from My Cousin Vinny in which the cousin, after robbing a store, is stopped by police and accused of shooting the clerk. The perplexed perp replies, "I shot the clerk at the store?" and that becomes an admission of guilt.

According to the police affidavit, after his encounter with Love, Huguely took her laptop. "That's not a good fact," says Zwerling, because it could appear to be an attempt to cover his culpability. "I'm assuming he did not call 911," adds Zwerling. "That's a bad fact. It indicates he didn't care whether she dies or that she's already dead."

In November 2007, 26-year-old Jayne McGowan was fatally shot by two men who picked her St. Clair residence for a robbery and absconded with a laptop and her car. When arrested, William Douglas Gentry Jr. and his cousin, Michael Stuart Pritchett, were both charged with capital murder for killing McGowan in the commission of a robbery.

Although he allegedly took Love's computer, Huguely has not been similarly charged with capital murder, which carries the death penalty in Virginia, and prosecutor Dave Chapman did not return a phone call from the Hook asking why.

"They could always amend the charge," says Heilberg. "In the city, they may not want to do it. It's hard to get a death penalty in the city. Charlottesville is not death penalty-friendly."

Some even consider Charlottesville a town where one can get away with murder, especially in the case of Andrew Alston, the last UVA student to be charged with murder. Not only did Alston have a well-known defense attorney–- Zwerling–- but he had the assistance of another attorney before charges were filed: his father, Robert Alston, who practices in West Chester, Pennsylvania.

When Andrew Alston was arrested for assaulting his girlfriend, his father drove down the next day and had the girlfriend sign a statement saying that she'd punched herself in the face. And the night Walker Sisk was stabbed to death, Robert Alston was on the way down to Charlottesville–- before police arrested his son.

Like Huguely's parents, Robert Alston has gotten a phone call in which he learns his child is accused of killing someone, but says he has no insights to offer Huguely's family. "I don't know why you're calling," Alston tells a Hook reporter.

And although the murder of Yeardley Love has made national news, Alston says he hadn't heard of what's been dubbed the UVA Lacrosse Killing. Nor does he have any legal advice for a family involved in a fatal tragedy.

"I don't practice in Virginia," says Alston. "Why would I offer legal advice in Virginia?"

Zwerling, who's had success for his clients here, not surprisingly, loves Charlottesville juries. "They're bright, they're well educated," he extols. "People always say they can be fair. I think there's a better chance of that in Charlottesville than in other areas."

"A jury is a roll of the dice anywhere," says Heilberg. "If you get a perfect storm, it's Andrew Alston. Everything came together for that jury."

Heilberg was in Massachusetts the week following Love's death and watched the news on CNN. He notes that the time approaching college graduation is a rite of passage, an age at which young people are testing their ability to bond and to find a mate. "My sense is the relationship broke up, and the guy can't believe it," says Heilberg. "It's a worst-case scenario."

While Heilberg and Zwerling express high regard for defense attorney Lawrence, barber shop owner Robert Lee Bishop doesn't buy the tragic-accident gambit.

"I was at my barbershop when I heard him make the statement on TV," says Bishop of Lawrence. "I couldn't believe it. That's the most absurd thing I've ever heard from any lawyer. Is he telling the other UVA kids that if you beat your girlfriend upside the head and kill her that it's okay? They ought to disbar him for the statement. He should have said nothing."

This story is a part of the Huguely trial coverage special.


Did the author of this article forget about the case of Jens Soering and Elizabeth Haysom, the Echols scholars who decided to slaughter her parents in their Bedford home while constructing an elaborate alibi?

They fled to Europe and were extradited back to face trial only when the death penalty was taken off the table.

The Huguely-Love case is not capital murder. The victim was not killed during a rape, robbery or abduction. I think there is a fair shot of Huguely copping a plea to manslaughter rather than being convicted of first degree murder.

@well now...

Attorneys that go into the private sector don't have trial experience. I'll take a career prosecutor who goes to court ona daily basis over a private attorney whose used to pleading or settling civil suits any day of the week.

Also, your comment about public service attorneys isn't founded.

If taking someone by the throat and repeatedly hitting her head against the wall does not indicate "intent to kill or seriously maim", I don't know what does. Throat + Head + Wall + Repetition = Intent to Kill.

Let's hope the defense costs millions and that they lose. That way, his parents can pay (in dollars) for their lack of parenting skills, and get zero return on the investment.

I agree with you, Boo Radley. The problem is a good defense attorney and a bad jury might change everything.

Sorry, I meant Mr. Heilberg. I am not familiar with Zwerling's resume.

Name me one person in US History from an affluent family who has been executed as the result of a death sentence!

You get as much justice as you can afford sometimes!

Jenkins- it's reality. Not a fascination. Women and kid killers are big attractions in prison, but only because they are considered pathetic and weak, for preying on the weak.

So like it or not, his days and nights, regardless of how many, will be filled with either solitary confinement or in defence of himself- it will not be a pleasant time.

But, his family can rest assured that they will know where he is, and will be happy that they will not have to coddle, protect and defend him for quite a while.

Jenkins.. the reason people are "facinated" with him getting raped in prison is because...get this now...


And it should be on youtube for all the other bullys to see so that maybe they will think twice before hitting a girl half their size.

The Alston case resulted from a street fight. Even though Alston "automatically" stabbed Sisk 18 times the result of manslaughter was not wholly unexpected. The sentence though was. Any local guy would have been sent away for that one for at least 15 years. George though has a problem, several problems. Broke her door down, beat her, and took her computer I suspect knowing she was very seriously injured or even dead at that point. In this City, even with the liberal juries we have, that boy had better plan to plead to 2nd with about 25 years. I think they have enough for 1st degree because even lily livered jurists don't like domestic violence, particularly this kind.

After a few sips of coffee this morning, and skimming the comments between Well Now and Jake, I feel as if I am overhearing a conversation between two school kids trying to decide which dad can beat up the other.

The jury is generally the most unpredictable element of the judicial system.

fred post - thank you for remembering the Haysom Soering case. It suprises me that few have recounted this UVA case!! Soering was only this year granted expidatation to Germany by the former gov but was denied. He will rot away in jail. He knows this. Unfortunalty, he made a tactical error when he confessed and later recanted. he thought his diplomatic immunity would keep him from being prosectuted. Every one too young to remember should read about this case. Jens Soering and Elizabeth Haysom murders.

I agree with HarryD, Jenkins, prison rape is a reality. And each group basically has their own code of conduct. For lacrosse players drinking, drugs, promiscuity, and for some reason, the feeling of superiority is the norm. In prison those that have done tough crimes are superior to the child molesters and inmates that kill women. In a twisted sick Darwinian way, the inmates generally kill child molesters because they feel that someone must be pretty weak to prey on a child. Sick natural selection at work. George, if allowed into the general population will probably be lucky to escape prison with his life. And if he gets out and takes up parachuting, his backside will probably whistle in the wind.

"Another head-scratcher, there, Jake. That may be true for those who go into corporate law, but there are many, many, many private sector attorneys who are quite familiar with the inside of a courtroom"

Sorry you're so confused, let me help: there's no money in a practice that is limited to criminal defense, and civil cases rarely see juries. This is a basic fact. Therefore private attorneys are spending only a fraction of their time ever gaining actual trial experience, while prosecutors on the other hand are taking considerable more cases to trial on a weekly basis.

@well now,

No. You're definitely confused, despite your best (lacking) effort to claim otherwise. If you want to claim that prosecutors in this circuit aren't skilled, back it up. You haven't done that in the least.

I know many, many private practice attorneys that are quite adept at winning their cases as well. That has nothing to do with your conclusion. The defense bar in this circuit is very good. So are the prosecutors--that was my point. Do you not think prosecutors aren't laughing at your heroes in the defense bar? Seriously?

Well now..., you sound like someone that simply has no idea what you're talking about beyond a few beers with your token lawyer friends. Thanks for playing though.

Jake, I'm not "playing" and this isn't some game. I appreciate your imitation of my comments, that is quite flattering.

My comment was and is that public service attorneys are not top drawer and went into public service after less than stellar private sector careers (I'm being diplomatic as you seem to be getting your knickers in a twist).

The best attorneys simply do not sign up for the prosecutor's (or public defender's) offices. I'm sorry, Jake.

You've asserted that the prosecutor's offices are filled with career prosecutors. Ok. I admit to not having read the CVs of every local attorney on the public dime, nor do I have any interest in doing so. I know of a few anecdotes upon which I've based my opinion, but it is unfair to paint with such a broad brush. So I'll grant you that one.

But I'm still saying they aren't the best attorneys money can buy ("attorneys that go into public service simply aren’t top drawer"). You are disagreeing with me and then asking me to prove a negative, that they aren't top drawer.

Logic dictates that you should prove that they ARE the best attorneys money can buy. Good luck with that one.

Most defense attorneys in this circuit who aren't with the PD, including Mr. Zwerling, are former prosecutors. There's a reason for that. If you'd like a rundown on the CVs of most of the prosecutors here, only 2 that I can think of were in the private practice before joining the office. People, like Mr. Zwerling, go into prosecution to learn how to be a great trial lawyer. They leave for the money. Those that stay do it because they love the job and are okay with the low-pay.

You can't buy prosecutors as defense attorneys, so I'm not sure what your point is with that, but when you're buying the best defense attorneys in town, 9 times out of 10 you're buying a former prosecutor.

We'll just have to agree to disagree if you continue to think otherwise.

The continued bashing of the head against the wall is equivalent to shooting someone multiple times. If you shoot someone once, it could be construed as an accident, but if you keep pulling the trigger...

@well now:

Go look up the career histories of every prosecutor in Charlottesville and Albemarle. Check out which ones have been career prosecutors from the very start of their careers and try again on your "career trajectory in private law to be a flatline"

Bottom line, your comments about public service attorneys is unfounded and offensive. Nothing in the article provides any support to your conclusion. The truth of the matter is the lawyers mentioned above are more accustomed to losing in criminal juries, and therefore can only mention one or two anecdotes of winning that you conveniently use to support your presumptions. Here's some anecdotes of your own: Roderick McDowell. Check it out and let's hear some more about how inept the Albemarle & Charlottesville CAs are at their jobs.

But please, I welcome you to provide some more factual/quantitative data to your argument beyond "Did you read the article?"


The problem is you're presumed to intend the natural and probable consequences of your actions. Shooting someone the intent is clearly to kill or seriously maim; banging someone's head against the wall, unfortunately, isn't as clear cut. The intent might be only to injure but not to the degree of death.

I'm not confused at all and you aren't "proving your case", despite your best (but lacking) efforts.

I know many, many, many private practice attorneys that are quite adept at winning in the courtroom. They laugh at your heroes in the prosecutors' office. I'm sorry, but it's true.

Jake, you sound like a legal neophyte. I don't know what or where or by whom you've been taught, but you clearly don't have real world experience.

re:"your comment about public service attorneys isn’t founded."

Right, Jake..... Maybe you didn't read the article?

The local public service attorneys' ranks are filled with those that saw their career trajectory in the private sector to be a flat line. The attorneys hired for the defense in these high profile cases are quite practiced at beating them.

Again, you might have skipped reading the article at the top of this page. Recommended reading for those that are commenting on the article.

Fortunately, in the Love murder it appears to be an open and shut case. If these prosecutors can't bring this one home, there should be a severe house cleaning....

re:"Attorneys that go into the private sector don’t have trial experience. "

Another head-scratcher, there, Jake. That may be true for those who go into corporate law, but there are many, many, many private sector attorneys who are quite familiar with the inside of a courtroom.

Maybe someday you'll meet some of them.

This a national high profile murder.

Betting a cold six pack of Pepsi that
Dave Chapman will handle it himself. :)

How about the commonwealth attorney hire a contractor on this one? I'm serious. Outsource it. Anything in the law say they can't do that?

Nowadays, attorneys that go into public service simply aren't top drawer.

This is never going to trial. GH will plead. There's no way a jury could get seated here or in the tri-state area. The lawyers know this.

Good excuse to call up all the playahs, though, and remind everybody of the recent miscarriage(s) of justice.

"Add it all up and he could wind up spending more time in jail for all of the other offenses...."

Depends on Concurrent Vs. Consecutive sentences.

This guy better hopes he gets to sit in jail. That's the safest place for him...on the outside, someone should take him and treat him like he treated her and leave him to die.

Oh yes, this case will go to trial. Dave Chapman will go for the gold in this case. And a jury can be selected. It might involves calling in 250 prospective jurors, and it might take a week just to select a jury. They will simply be asked if they have formed an opinion on guilt or innocence.

ps - and when this case does go to a jury, I would be totally surprised if John Zwerling isn't sitting at the defense table as lead counsel for the defense team.

I can understand why capital murder isn't being pursued, though perhaps it might lend pressure to cut a deal? I would, however charge this punk with every infraction he might have committed that night from home invasion to assault and battery, robbery, destruction of evidence, right down to trespassing and drunk in public. Add it all up and he could wind up spending more time in jail for all of the other offenses if the Commonwealths Attorney screws the pooch on the murder case.
And lets just hope this one doesn't fall into Claude Worrell's lap,... please?

Tim Brown is requesting a no disqualification cage match against Alston with his father as his manager on the next WWE pay per view. Can the Hook and Vince McMahon make that a reailty? I have zero ties to Walker Sisk and the mention of that injustice still incites me. Glad to hear his father is still the gentleman we all knew he was. Either say no comment or don't answer the phone the next time the Hook calls you, clown.

The only way this would not go to trail would be if for some reason the perp pleads guilty. But that is generally to a lesser offense when the commonwealth has made a deal, and in this case, it would seem at this point that the commonwealth has the equivalent of a royal straight flush and zero reason to deal.

However it plays out, considering the scope of the attention the case has received, it will be a media circus.

Bobby Bishop is the voice of reason and has his clippers on the pulse of Charlottesville in my opinion. I recommend him for all forms of advise and a great haircut at a great price during the process.

I like "The Red Bull Defense". Like its predecessor ââ?¬Å?The Twinkie Defense”, his attorney will plow new ground and argue that he was so jacked up on Red Bulls that he saw red and went berserk. Diminished capacity, or something-or-other.

What about some real questions?

Who is the judge and what impact will he/she have on the case?
Will cameras be allowed in the courtroom?

What's with people's fascination with criminals being raped in prison? A few have commented in most threads attached to these stories. Harry's comment above makes it sound like he enjoys thinking about it very much. Is that the end result of our justice system? "oh, well even if he gets little jail time he'll still get cornholed against his will, so its worth it." I dont get it.


The Prosecuters in this case will try and strike a deal that saves their reputation with the public while getting as much punishment as possible. Period. They don't have the stones to go for broke because they cannot afford to lose it all.

The defense attornies know this and will set the stage. This kid will get manslaughter with a long probation.

Hopefully he will get his comuppance in prison.

Anybody who has dealt with Chapman knows he has the stones to go for broke. There won't be a plea deal here.

I forgot that Mr. Alston made his sons girlfriend sign a statement saying she punched herself in the face. Now I can halfway understand why Andrew Alston turned out the way he did.

I think Mr. Bishop is on the money. Everywhere I go people's first response is --how could this lawyer call this an accident ? Mr. Lawrence was quoted in the Daliy Progress:

ââ?¬Å?Because this case involves an active ongoing investigation, any comment on the specific facts would be inappropriate at this time,” Lawrence said. ââ?¬Å?Until more information becomes available, it is our hope that no conclusions will be drawn or judgments made about George or his case.”

In my book calling this an accident is coming to a conclusion and making a judgment, exactly what he said we should not do --big mistake !

He may be a hot shot lawyer, but this statement may come back to haunt him, and negatively bias many against his client and the case.

I think where GWH is toast is his failure to call 911.

He had the presence of mind to take her laptop and the awareness to tell police where it was. By the admission of his own attorney he was aware that he shook her hard enough that her head hit the wall repeatedly. Yet, he didn't bother to stay to help her or to call 911?!?!

His awareness about the laptop will torpedo any attempted "blackout drunk" defense. Her facial injuries will be proof that there was more than shaking which led to an "accident" where she hit her head on the wall. The kicked-in door also renders the "accident" excuse as an absurdity.

I pity the prosecutor who can't put this guy away for anything less than 40 years.

What are the odds Huguely was riding the white horse when this took place?

What are the odds Huguely has Phish on his IPOD?

Good question Austro. I would say those odds are probably the same as the odds that Huguely wore a pastel colored collared shirt and croakies on most spring weekends. Enjoy that prison blue jumpsuit playa

If there is documentation in e-mails or letters of "if I can't have you then noone will", how does this play out concerning premeditation? Or will it just be dismissed as childish rhetoric?

He's in jail, right?? NOT out on bond??

He's in jail. Attorney did not request bond.

I think his defense will be that he loved her "too much" and she "provoked" him. He will find jesus in jail and say all the right things to the court ordered pscyh evaluation and a deal will be made. Sad very sad.

He wasn't a child.

simply put..forget the legal eye swollen shut..bruising all over the place and a closed casket., a bit more than just banging a head against the wall and knocking someone unconscious.. if this were an unintentional accident.why not call 911.people do call when there are accidents..not just leave her in a pool of blood on the bed or wherever. Why did he take a computer? Surely he was quite aware of what was in the computer. wait till all the emails and texting come out..the above legalese may just be moot points if he threatened to kill her.

Legal strategy? The parents want him put away- that way he can't be an embarassment any longer.....until he gets out! (ie Robert Chambers)

His parents had him put away in private schools and at a big time university. Didn't work.............Greenville next- that'll work. They just love little Boy George's who beat up womem.....oh yea, BOHICA big boy..........

To the guy above who commented that "the best attorneys simply do not sign up for prosecutor's (or public defender's) offices"... sorry, this statement is flat-out wrong. I'm a UVA law grad, and I know for a fact that many top-notch law students who want a career in criminal law go into public service jobs, and many of the people who have stayed in those jobs for many years are absolutely incredible attorneys. I don't practice criminal law, but I interned at a PD's office while I was in college, and that kind of practice is exciting and a little glamorous in a way that a lot of higher paying legal jobs aren't. Some people would just rather have fun than money, and a lot of them are genuinely driven to work for the public good. This isn't to say that every single prosecutor or PD is a fantastic lawyer, but to say that none of them are is incredibly off-base.

@jenkins-There is some sort of morbid fascination with prison rape on these threads. Rape does happen, but it is no where near as prevalent as people believe. Prisons don't want the prisoners to be raped because then they can be sued. Notorious inmates and those who commit acts like offense to children are typically segeragated. Really, some people have been watching way too much OZ. Also, GH isn't exactly a little guy by any means.

The State Attorney will review everything and may amend with a Capital Murder charge at a later date. This trial may be moved because of all this coverage. No juror in C-ville can say they have not heard about this case....I doubt he pleas - drug/alcohol fueled "temporary insanity" defense perhaps? Depends on the "scene" and witness statements...

George who?? did what now? me, nikki and our eleven friends just got back on oceanic flight 815, kinda got delayed, time travel, other nonsense been away a few years....anyway, something about a jury?

George IS a child with the strength of a 6'2'' man. Add passion, feelings of deep rejection and loss, possiblly a large amount of cocaine with the same amount of alcohol in the mix (cocaine added to alcohol shows enormous increase in violent behavior) with perhaps months of trying to appease the situation to get to a graduation with family and all friends after a relationship of 2 years and work at a top college for 4 years, an "All American" ...and you have a guy who snapped and in a moment of uncontrolled passion, drugs and irrational thoughts of youth (after graduation there is no next year for me to see her and get back with her) and
you have a crime of passion. IF he was so under the influence, he may not have even known she was dead when he left. Maybe she threatened him with police action online and he went to get the computer from her and there was an altercation. It seems he may have grabbed her hair and banged her face into the wall vs. punching her in the face. I think the parents love this boy and will do anything to help him now. I see a 20-25 yr. sentence for manslaughter. This country has to think on this rape as acceptable in our jails. Until that changes, and we try to help in rehabilitation people come out worse than when they enter the system. The Chambers murder was intentional. He was taped mocking the murder and he was out. How much time did he serve and was he over age 21? George did not even have the wherewithall to ask for a phone call or a lawyer. He is a kid and he lost all perspective. Where were the friends and family for this boy? With just alcohol he may have called out for help. With cocaine he would not because it gives a sense of false confidence with a complete change of personality coupled with rage and anger.

i agree with what you say DD. Lets all remember back to our final year in university.