Assistant Dean for Pro Bono and Public Interest
J.D., University of Virginia School of Law, 1991
B.A., Carleton College, 1986
Kimberly Emery has been the Law School's assistant dean for pro bono since 2004. Formerly, she was the assistant dean for public service and founder and director of the Mortimer Caplin Public Service Center. Emery coordinates pro bono programming for law students, counsels students and graduates regarding pro bono and public interest opportunities, develops and fund raises for new service projects, and oversees the Law School's Pro Bono Challenge and volunteer recognition events and awards. Pro bono projects coordinated by Emery include: the Hunton & Williams Pro Bono Partnership that allows law students to volunteer with attorneys from the firm’s Richmond office to represent indigent clients in the areas of domestic violence/family law and immigration law; the Medical Legal Partnership (MLP), which is a collaborative effort among the Law School, the University of Virginia Children’s Hospital, and the Legal Aid Justice Center; and the Systems Change Practicum, a partnership between the Law School and the Legal Aid Justice Center to develop a campaign to improve Virginia’s debt policies in the areas of court debt and zombie debt. Under Emery's direction, the Pro Bono Program administers pro bono opportunities for students while responding to the volunteer needs of community groups and other outside organizations such as prosecutors, public defenders, legal services, nonprofits, government agencies and private law firms providing pro bono services. The program directs several in-house projects, develops a variety of ad-hoc pro bono opportunities, and assists in placing hundreds of students each year into winter and spring break pro bono projects.
Emery also co-directs and teaches the Family ADR Clinic. The course focuses on mediation as an alternative dispute resolution method to resolve conflicts involving families and children. In this clinic, students serve not as attorneys representing clients, but as mediators assisting the parties to develop mutually agreeable resolutions to their disputes. Students learn about the differences between litigation and mediation while enhancing their negotiation skills—skills that are important in many different substantive law areas.In addition, students will gain a solid understanding of mediation ethics, creative problem-solving and the role of neutral facilitator versus that of advocate.
Emery received her B.A. magna cum laude in 1986 from Carleton College. In 1991 she received her law degree from the Law School, where she was elected to the Order of the Coif. Prior to returning to Virginia in 1992 to develop its public service programming, Emery worked as a staff attorney at the Charlottesville law firm of Michie, Hamlett, Lowry, Rasmussen & Tweel. She is a member of the Virginia Bar and the Charlottesville-Albemarle Bar Association and serves as a member of the Firms in Service Committee. Emery was a board member for the Legal Aid Justice Center for over 15 years and was recognized in 2000 as the organization's Volunteer of the Year. She currently serves on the Advisory Committee for the Legal Aid Justice Center and as a family certified mediator at the Mediation Center of Charlottesville.
- “Who Knows What Is Best for Children?: Honoring Agreements and Contracts Between Parents Who Live Apart” (with Robert E. Emery), 77:1 Law & Contemp. Probs. 151 (2014).
“Instilling a Commitment to Service: A Law Firm Pro Bono Seminar” (with Scot H. Fishman), 62 J. Legal Educ. 576 (2013).
“New Directions in ADR and Clinical Legal Education: Assisting Indigent Families in Conflict: A Pro Bono Test Drive for a Family Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Clinic,” 34 Wash. U. J.L. & Pol’y 239 (2010).
- "UVa Law Students Rack Up Record Number of Pro Bono Hours" (Daily Progress, 03/17/2012)
- University Law Clinic Takes on Mediation (Daily Progress, 09/13/2009)