The School of Law includes several internationally known special programs directed by faculty members who are respected in their fields and often called upon by private and governmental organizations worldwide for their expertise.
Institute of Law, Psychiatry and Public Policy
The Institute of Law, Psychiatry and Public Policy offers training, educational, research and service programs in the areas of forensic psychiatry, forensic psychology and mental health law. Affiliated with the School of Law, the University’s School of Medicine, and the College of Arts & Sciences, and led by Professor Richard Bonnie, the institute has an interdisciplinary faculty of attorneys, psychiatrists, psychologists and social workers. Its Forensic Psychiatry Clinic performs clinical evaluations in a wide variety of civil and criminal cases. The institute conducts training programs for the Virginia Department of Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Substance Abuse Services, and provides continuing education for attorneys and judges. The institute also conducts extensive empirical and theoretical research in clinical criminology, forensic psychiatry/psychology, and mental health law and policy.
John M. Olin Program in Law and Economics
The Olin Program at the University of Virginia School of Law supports faculty and student interests and research relating to the economic analysis of legal issues. The program provides for discussions and debate through conferences, workshops and lectures. It encourages student research through scholarships, summer fellowships and colloquia.
Karsh Center for Law and Democracy
The Karsh Center's mission is to promote understanding and appreciation of the principles and practices necessary for a well-functioning, pluralistic democracy. These include civil discourse and democratic dialogue, civic engagement and citizenship, ethics and integrity in public office, and respect for the rule of law. The center supports these essential features of our democratic life through rigorous and cutting-edge legal and interdisciplinary scholarship.
Center for National Security Law
The Center for National Security Law was established in 1981 to promote nonpartisan interdisciplinary scholarship and education about legal issues affecting U.S. national security. Topics of special interest include legal constraints on the use of armed force and the separation of constitutional powers concerning war and treaties, the proper role of an intelligence service in a free society, terrorism, and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. In addition to teaching courses and seminars, center scholars conduct research, publish and lecture. The center also sponsors professional conferences and publishes scholarly studies.
Center for Oceans Law and Policy
The Center for Oceans Law and Policy promotes rational management of the world’s oceans, coastal and polar areas through teaching, research and the dissemination of information. The center offers research and publications; conferences, seminars, and speakers; associateships and fellowships; curricular and teaching programs in oceans law and policy; and maintains the Newlin Collection of Oceans Law and Policy in the Morris Law Library.
Center for the Study of Race and Law
The Law School founded the Center for the Study of Race and Law in 2003 to provide opportunities for students, scholars, practitioners and community members to examine and exchange ideas related to race and law through lectures, symposia and scholarship. The center also coordinates with the Law School to offer a concentration of courses on race and law, and serves as a resource for faculty whose teaching or scholarship addresses subjects related to race.
Law School faculty also are actively involved with other multidisciplinary endeavors at the University, including the Center for Children, Families, and the Law.
An Academic Adventure Abroad
This past semester I took Oceans Law and Policy with Professor John Norton Moore. In one of the lectures he mentioned the Rhodes Academy, an intensive three-week course designed for practitioners of oceans law and policy, offered by UVA Law's Center for Oceans Law and Policy. The prospect of spending part of my summer on a Greek island learning about oceans law sounded great, so I spoke to Professor Moore about the course and ended up applying.
Right now I am a week and a half into the academy and it has lived up to my high expectations. Every day we have some of the top scientists, lawyers and international judges in the world speaking to us about a variety of legal and policy issues related to governing the oceans, from climate change research in the Arctic to the legal status to jurisdictional claims of the continental shelf for exploitation of marine resources.