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.
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.
Students brief and argue one or more appeals before a federal appeals court.
Students represent children involved in legal issues in the areas of education, foster care and social services, mental health and developmental disabilities, and delinquency.
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.
Students represent defendants in criminal cases in local courts.
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.
Cases may include wrongful discharge actions, unemployment compensation claims, employment discrimination charges and other claims.
Students provide legal counseling and draft basic corporate documentation for startup companies.
Students represent and counsel environmental nonprofits, citizens’ groups and community organizations seeking to protect and restore the environment.
In conjunction with the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, students undertake projects in First Amendment subject areas.
Students help represent mentally ill and elderly clients in negotiations, administrative hearings and court proceedings.
Students may work with clients to appeal denials of applications for status and special categorization or procedures.
Students investigate potential wrongful convictions of Virginia inmates through interviewing potential clients and witnesses, and searching and reviewing pertinent case files and records.
Students gain experience in human rights advocacy under the supervision of international human rights lawyers.
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.
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.
Working in teams, students handle actual U.S. Supreme Court cases, from seeking review to briefing on the merits.
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.