Educating Legal Scholars
Supreme Court course

The Supreme Court, Up Close and Personal

Two former U.S. Supreme Court clerks recently taught a short course at UVA Law that offered students an in-depth study of a case being argued today at the Supreme Court.

The two-week course, Supreme Court Decision-Making: A Case Study, explored all aspects of Bailey v. United States, a case involving the question of whether police officers are allowed to detain someone while searching the person's home, even though the individual has left the premises.

"We thought we could give the students a unique lens into the Supreme Court based on our experience of having clerked there," said co-instructor Katherine Twomey, a 2008 Law School graduate who clerked for Justice Antonin Scalia during the 2009-10 term. Twomey now does appellate work at the law firm Latham and Watkins in Washington, D.C.

Third-year law student Jordan Miller said he took the course because he is interested in clerking, as well as Fourth Amendment law.

"The opportunity to take classes from lawyers currently engaged in legal practice who are passionate about a more-focused topic is something that we all should take advantage of," he said. "This is my fourth semester of taking a short course and so far I have been able to take a class from a JAG officer, two federal judges and now two former Supreme Court clerks."

Educating Legal Scholars

Students at Virginia Law benefit from courses and opportunities that prepare them for academic careers or to practice law at the highest levels of the profession.


Among Virginia's 250 courses each year, several classes help students refine advanced writing and skills that aid in the process of academic legal work or other kinds of advanced practice, such as appellate litigation.

Sample Courses (All Courses)
Advanced Legal Research
Advanced Topics in the First Amendment
Advanced Topics in the Law of War
American Legal Realism
Class Actions and Complex Litigation
Constitutional History I: American Revolution to 1865
Constitutional History II: The 20th Century
Contemporary Political Theory
Corporate Finance
Corporate Strategy
Criminal Law in the Supreme Court
Current Issues in Corporate Law and Governance
Current Issues in International Financial Regulation
Empirical Methods in the Law
Expertise, Science and the Law of Evidence
First Amendment Theory
Law and Game Theory
Habeas Corpus
Issues in Criminal Law Theory
Judicial Decision-Making
Law and Economics Colloquium
Law and Literature
Legal Process: Basic Problems
Monetary Constitution
Plea Bargaining
Property Theory
Quantitative Methods
Religion, Democracy and Law
Rescue, Charity and Justice
Social and Legal History
Social Science in Law
Supreme Court Justices and the Art of Judging
Topics in Corporate Governance
Tort Theory
Trade Secrets: History, Theory and Practice
Urban Law and Policy

Clinics (All Clinics)
Appellate Litigation Clinic
Supreme Court Litigation Clinic


From 2005 to today, Virginia Law is fourth after Harvard, Yale and Stanford in the number of alumni who have clerked on the U.S. Supreme Court, including two clerks during the 2012-13 term. More

Dual-Degree Programs

Virginia promotes interdisciplinary scholarship through the option to earn advanced degrees in a number of fields, including English, government/foreign affairs, history, philosophy, public policy, business, urban and environmental planning, public health and accounting. The Law School also offers several external dual-degree programs in conjunction with other universities. More

Scholarly Workshops

Students in some courses are invited to attend workshops in which faculty from UVA Law and across the country present their works in progress on cutting-edge legal topics. In the workshop series sponsored by the Program on Legal and Consitutional History, students in the dual J.D.-master's in history program can present their own work for feedback from faculty and their peers.

UVA Law Workshop Series