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 40 first-year fellows will be admitted to the program. Several 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 coming in as first-year students are required to take the course Law and Public Service in the spring of their first year. This seminar provides fellows a broad overview of public interest lawyering and career paths, exposure to practitioners, and a chance to build community within their cohort. Fellows use their second year to explore public service advocacy- and skills-based courses, clinics, and doctrinal courses related to their own practice interests. Finally, in their third year, fellows may opt to take a one-semester capstone seminar focusing on contemporary issues in public service offered in the spring. Additional course requirements include a clinic or externship (full-time or part-time) 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.


Students in the program build mentoring relationships with public service faculty at UVA Law School through a semi-annual LPS Faculty Dinner Series, other small events hosted by faculty, and access to faculty office hours. All fellows are also encouraged to meet with the program director and core LPS faculty teaching the 1L and 3L courses to help them develop their academic and professional plans for public service work. Fellows are also assigned peer mentors within the program.


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” meals 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