About the Program

The Program in Law and Public Service is designed to provide a select group of students the opportunity to receive a tailored curriculum and intensive training that will prepare them for public service careers. Fellows are required to spend at least one summer working for a public service employer (a government agency or nonprofit organization). Each year, approximately 35 first-year fellows will be admitted to the program. About five slots will be held open for second-year students. Applications for first-year students are typically due in mid-October.

The program is directed by Professor Annie Kim, who formerly led the Law School’s Mortimer Caplin Public Service Center. Kim also worked for years as a litigator and in-house counsel representing Virginia school districts and local governments, and continues to consult on issues relating to local government law.

The Curriculum

Program fellows will be required to take the course Law and Public Service in the spring of their first year of law school or the second year, if they are entering the program as second-year students. This course provides fellows a broad overview of various public interest careers and paths. Fellows may opt to, but are not required to, take a course on advocacy skills for public interest lawyers during their second or third year of law school. In addition, a one-semester capstone seminar focusing on contemporary issues in public service is offered each spring for interested third-year fellows. Additional course requirements include a clinic or externship and at least 10 additional credits in courses that will assist fellows in their future public service careers. Courses are tailored to each fellow’s individual career goals and interests. Fellows will also complete a substantial research paper or final paper on a public interest topic of their choice.

Mentoring

Students in the program will be paired with a faculty mentor who brings legal expertise in one or more fields of public service. The faculty mentors are available to help fellows map out their courses, serve as sounding boards for summer and permanent employment, and provide guidance on academic development. Fellows are also assigned peer mentors within the program.

Community

The fellows participate in many events designed to build the LPS community, nurture individual professional and academic interests in public service, and introduce fellows to public service practitioners. These include “Serving Justice” dinners with practitioners, book clubs, career-focused workshops, social gatherings, faculty and peer mentorship events, new and graduating fellows’ banquets, and the annual Shaping Justice public service conference.

Faculty Director(s)
Annie Kim
Assistant Professor of Law, General Faculty
Director, Program in Law and Public Service