Students are NOT competitive at all -- we tell our admitted students and our incoming 1Ls about the collegial atmosphere, and whether it's self-selecting or people really are persuaded, there is no cut-throat behavior here. Sure, classes are graded to a B+ mean, so your exam is compared with your classmates' (like everywhere), but people don't hesitate to share notes, form study groups, or generally be friendly. Most of my classes have been very interesting, and all but a handful of professors would qualify as "very good" to "exceptional". It's a big school, so there are a lot of opportunities to take varied classes, but it's still a community environment where we can really get to know profs if we want to (plus student government pays for us to take profs out to lunch, which is great). Lots of clinics and practical classes but also lots of the theoretical/academic classes that you'd expect from a top school; plenty of popular professors work with both types. Workload is pretty reasonable, because, frankly, if it weren't, people just wouldn't do it. UVA prides itself on balance, whether that means playing softball every day, hitting up the bar scene, going to the gym, or being involved in the community -- there's no one way to do it, but the main thing is that people don't want to spend all day in the library, and professors respect that. (But for those that do, there are now ten journals and professors are always looking for research assistants, which pay decently well.)
Quality of Life
I'm not sure the "10" above really captures it. Cost of living is fairly low, especially given that most of our peer schools are in major cities. Housing is easy to find, with decent apartments near school, really nice apartments further out, and lots of houses for 2Ls and 3Ls that want them. Again, in a smaller city, crime and transportation aren't major issues (though a car is almost a must, and traffic is surprisingly bad). Lots of great restaurants, many of which are written about in national papers, though not all of them fit on a student budget. Then again, it's a college town, so there are a ton of great, cheap places too. And almost everyone at the law school is really friendly and understands the meaning of balance and having fun.