Clinical Training

Clinical Training

Virginia’s 19 clinics, many of which offer contact with clients, build experience with real-world problems. Students also advance their skills through courses in public speaking, trial advocacy and professional responsibility, as well as extracurricular moot court and mock trial competitions.

Clinic Comparison Chart for Current Students


Under the supervision of an attorney, students perform the lawyer functions associated with their cases, including client and witness interviews, factual development, legal research, preparation of pleadings and negotiation. Students with third-year practice certification may also be responsible for courtroom advocacy. The following clinics are offered most years.

Appellate Litigation

Students brief and argue one or more appeals before a federal appeals court.

Child Advocacy

Students represent children involved in legal issues in the areas of education, foster care and social services, mental health and developmental disabilities, and delinquency.

Civil Rights

Students provide relief and legal support to people and communities that have been harmed by the criminalization of poverty and other forms of discrimination or deprivation of rights.

Criminal Defense

Students represent defendants in criminal cases in local courts.

Economic and Consumer Justice Clinic

Students work with clients who have problems that are covered by various consumer protection laws, mainly those governing debt collection and other debt-related issues.

Employment Law

Cases may include wrongful discharge actions, unemployment compensation claims, employment discrimination charges and other claims.

Entrepreneurial Law

Students provide legal counseling and draft basic corporate documentation for startup companies.

Environmental and Regulatory Law

Students represent and counsel environmental nonprofits, citizens’ groups and community organizations seeking to protect and restore the environment.

First Amendment

In conjunction with the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, students undertake projects in First Amendment subject areas.

Health and Disability Law

Students help represent mentally ill and elderly clients in negotiations, administrative hearings and court proceedings.

Immigration Law

Students may work with clients to appeal denials of applications for status and special categorization or procedures.

Innocence Project

Students investigate potential wrongful convictions of Virginia inmates through interviewing potential clients and witnesses, and searching and reviewing pertinent case files and records.

International Human Rights

Students gain experience in human rights advocacy under the supervision of international human rights lawyers.

Litigation and Housing Law

Students handle eviction cases, rent escrow cases, grievance hearings and other enforcement of residents’ rights.


Students advise and work directly with local nonprofit organizations on matters such as initial formation, tax-exempt status, ongoing legal compliance and good corporate governance.

Patent I and II

These clinics train students in patent drafting as well as the negotiation and drafting of patent and software license agreements.


Students undertake a prosecutor’s duties, including exercising discretion in the decision to prosecute, interacting with law enforcement personnel, dealing with victims and witnesses, and establishing relationships with defense counsel.

Supreme Court Litigation

Working in teams, students handle actual U.S. Supreme Court cases, from seeking review to briefing on the merits.


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Innocence Clinic

Freed UVA Innocence Project Client Messiah Johnson Heads Home

The directors of the Innocence Project Clinic were on hand for the release of client Messiah Johnson from the Sussex II State Prison in Waverly, Virginia.