LAWYERS WORKING WITH PUBLIC INSTITUTIONS must understand the complex relationship between law and public policy to be effective at shaping it. Virginia's strength in public policy and regulation law draws from faculty members who have brought their experiences working for the government or other institutions back to the classroom. These connections benefit students in a variety of ways. When professors work for Congress or federal agencies such as the State Department, volunteer for government commissions, consult for state and local governments, or work with advocacy organizations that seek to influence public policy, the experiences enrich their teaching, give students an opportunity to network with practicing attorneys in a variety of fields, and inspire fresh insights in research and scholarship.
THE LAW SCHOOL'S PROXIMITY to Washington, D.C., facilitates a close-up view of how regulations, policies and the government interact. The location also allows top government lawyers and Washington-based practitioners to teach part-time at Virginia, which exposes students to the kinds of concrete issues they may one day face as government officials, practicing lawyers or policy advocates.
VIRGINIA'S ALUMNI ALSO CONNECT the school and students to Washington and other public policy networks. The Law School's graduates work for the White House (Thomas Donilon '85, national security adviser; Cynthia Hogan '84, chief counsel to the vice president; Andrew Wright '00, associate counsel to the president), the Justice Department (five U.S. attorneys), Congress, the military (Legal Counsel to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Richard C. Gross '93), numerous federal agencies, NASA (General Counsel Michael C. Wholley '77), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (Director Robert Mueller '73) and the Department of Homeland Security (Secretary Janet Napolitano '83 and Director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement John Morton '94).
J.D.-M.P.P. (Public Policy) Program
The Law School offers a dual-degree program with the University of Virginia Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy in which a student may obtain both a J.D. and a Master of Public Policy degree (M.P.P.) in four years instead of the five years that would be required if each were taken separately. Students who have been admitted to the program may elect whether they want to start in the Law School or the Batten School.
CONTACT: Professor David A. Martin