Academics: Professional Training
Seminar in Ethical Values


Rebecca Gantt '11 took a seminar offered by Professors Risa Goluboff and Rich Schragger, who are married. The course included material on being a lawyer and balancing work-life issues.

"It's practical in that we discuss what type of life we hope to have, and think about how to balance all of the different things that we might want to do after law school. But it's also been very interesting on a more theoretical level to read a bit of social science literature that gives some fairly surprising statistics about women in the workplace, including graduates of this law school," Gantt said. "It was also really special being able to have the class at Professors Goluboff and Schragger's home. Not only was dinner provided, but it created a wonderful atmosphere."

reading list

  • “I Don’t Know How She Does It,” by Allison Pearson
  • “Get to Work,” by Linda Hirschman
  • Lawyers at Mid-Career,” by UVA law professor John Monahan
  • Rethinking the New Maternalism,” by Naomi Mezey and Cornelia T.L. Pillard
  • “Manhood for Amateurs,” by Michael Chabon
  • “Reshaping the Work-Family Debate,” by Joan Williams 

Seminars in Ethical Values

Virginia Law's Seminar in Ethical Values courses offer students the opportunity to meet with professors in informal settings to discuss lawyers' ethical and moral responsibilities as citizens and leaders.

In a typical year, the Law School offers more than a dozen one-credit seminars, which often meet at the professors’ homes and resemble a book or film club. Enrollment in the seminars is capped at 12 students. Instructors choose the seminars' focus and reading materials, and the courses cover a broad variety of legal ethical topics.

For example, wrongful conviction scholar Brandon Garrett offers a seminar with his wife and fellow professor, Kerry Abrams, an immigration and family law expert. The course explores the impact of DNA testing on criminal law, family law and private law.

Professors Jonathan Cannon and George Rutherglen teach a seminar exploring environmental values. Anne Coughlin's seminar examines the ethics of lying: Which lies should be punished by the legal system? Which lies should be protected from punishment? Are all lies bad?

The seminar offered by George Geis uses books, films and simulation exercises to explore the theme of teamwork in a variety of contexts, including entertainment, sports and war.