Practical Courses - University of Virginia School of Law
Academics: Professional Training

In “Trade Secrets: History, Theory, and Practice,” students learn the ins and outs of the body of law that protects trade secrets, such as the formula to Coca-Cola and the composition of Zildjian cymbals. Todd Sloan of Hill, Farrer & Burill teaches the course, which is worth two credits and meets four days per week for a month.

“The course deals with unpatented, protected, scientific and proprietary information,” Sloan said. “It exposes the student first to some of the earliest trade secret cases in American jurisprudence, which relate back to some English jurisprudence. It then moves forward to study the statutory framework which has been enacted both by the federal government and states to protect confidential and proprietary information.”

Practical Courses

The Law School prides itself on providing learning experiences that stretch beyond the classroom and give students practical experience and insight into the way the law functions.

Principles and Practice Program

Virginia’s Principles and Practice Program, a major curricular innovation that is the first of its kind in the country, is designed to give students the opportunity to apply legal theory in real-life situations. The program teams law professors with practitioners, judges, and other distinguished professionals for a semester or more. Lauded by students and practitioners alike, the program melds the insights of theory with those of contemporary practice, giving students a more sophisticated and useful understanding of a field than either perspective can yield on its own.

Principles and Practice Courses

Short Courses

In addition its regular semester- or year-long courses, the Law School offers a variety of intensive short courses that allow students to focus on specific subjects ranging from Islamic Law to the finance of small enterprises. Often taught by practicing lawyers, these courses allow students to spend anywhere from a few days to a few weeks studying real-world problems with some of the top practitioners and scholars in the field.

Short Courses, 2012-14:

Advising the Board of Directors in a Mergers and Acquisitions World
Changing Practice of Medicine
Comparative Human Rights Law
Constitutional Issues in Higher Education
Corporate Strategy
Energy and Environmental Products Trading and Commodities Regulation
Energy Businesses and Transactions
Environmental Law, Environmental Ethics
Ethics and Integrity for Law Firm Lawyers and Their Clients
European Union Law
Federal Regulation of Investment Companies
Federal Sentencing
Finance of Small Enterprise
Genetics and the Law
Globalization and International Civil Litigation
Governance and Control of the Multinational Business Enterprise
Innocence Cases: How Much Is Enough?
International Banking Transactions
Islamic Law
Law and Social Movements: Insights From Critical Race Theory
Law of Reproduction
Leadership and Team Management
Legal Theory in Europe and the United States: A Comparative Analysis
Movement Lawyering for Global Justice
Negotiation Institute
New Frontiers in Clinical Ethics and Law
Oral Presentations In and Out of the Courtroom
Practical Overview of Litigation in Federal District CourtsPrivate Equity
Responses to the Financial Crisis
Right to Education in U.S.: Real or Hollow?
Start-Up of a Medtech Company
Supreme Court Decisionmaking
Taxation and Economic Development
Trade Secrets: History, Theory and Practice
U.S. Bill of Rights in Comparative Common Law Perspective
Varieties of Financial Distress
White Collar Topic: Cover-up Crimes

Elective Courses

Professors also find ways to bring in practical experiences into regular courses that don't include a particular focus on real-world lawyering. Professor Margo Bagley takes her patent law classes to Washington, D.C., to observe oral arguments before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, which has nationwide jurisdiction over appeals in cases involving patent laws and those decided by the Court of International Trade and the Court of Federal Claims. They meet with Chief Judge Randall R. Rader, who offers insight into the federal appellate process and tips to remember when arguing a federal appeals case. (More)