State and Local Government Policy Clinic (YR-Fall)

Information Introduction

Section 1, Fall 23

Schedule Information

Enrollment: 12/12
Credits: 4
Days Time Room Start Date End Date


1300-1500 WB129

Course Description

This course is the first half of a year-long clinic. The State and Local Government Policy Clinic will provide students the opportunity to be directly involved in the practice of actual law and policy making. Specifically, students will provide research and analytical assistance to members of the Virginia General Assembly, officials in state executive branch agencies, and/or local government officials, as they develop legislative or policy proposals and, when appropriate, assist their government clients in advocating for the proposals or legislative ideas they develop. While each student will have more than one project, and projects will vary depending on assignments, during the academic year all clinic students will have the opportunity to work with individual legislators in the Virginia General Assembly to craft legislation and work to secure passage of their proposed bills. The clinic is open - and all clinic activities are available - to both 2L and 3L students. During the fall semester there will be a weekly, two-hour, seminar, in addition to weekly small-group supervision sessions. During the spring there will be weekly small group supervision sessions, and a sixty-minute discussion session that meets every other week. Due to the need to work over winter break, class work during the spring semester will reflect the need to start before most other spring semester classes. While executive branch and local government issues may vary, the Clinic’s potential legislative work will likely be “limited” to the following areas: criminal justice, juvenile justice, mental health, court procedure, education, children’s services, healthcare, and/or housing.

Course Requirements

Exam Information

Final Type (if any): None

Description: None

Written Work Product

This clinic will not have paper or exam requirements. Students will be expected to responsibly and diligently handle their clinic projects, and engage in all activities necessary to fulfill their responsibilities to their client partners, including conducting client meetings, legal and policy research, writing decision briefs, meeting with stakeholders, and experts, to inform various policy proposals, negotiating final policy or legislative approaches, drafting legislation, crafting communication materials regarding legislative or policy proposals, participating in direct legislative advocacy during the General Assembly session including crafting summary materials of their proposals, meeting with individual legislators to advocate for their proposals, and/or offering testimony to legislative or other policy bodies. While the workload will vary by week, students should expect to work between 10-15 hours per week. In the fall that work will include class preparation and class time.

Other Work

It is important to note that due to the timing of the Virginia General Assembly session in 2023 in early January, students may have substantial work on their legislative projects over winter break (but not the exam period at the end of the fall semester) including finalizing drafts of legislation, preparing talking points and media materials, and even testifying. Clinic students should plan their schedules around the potential need to be in Richmond (if General Assembly is allowing in-person testimony at that time), typically around Jan. 10th or so.

Other Course Details

Prerequisites: Because the credits in this course count toward the JD Program Professional Skills requirement, JD candidates will be given enrollment priority for this class Concurrencies: None

Exclusive With: None

Laptops Allowed: Yes

First Day Attendance Required: Yes

Course Resources: Materials will be provided for the classroom portion of the clinic which may include required textbooks.

Course Notes: NOTE REGARDING CREDITS AND GRADING BASIS: Of the eight credits awarded for this clinic, four will receive a Satisfactory (S) or Unsatisfactory (U) grade at the conclusion of the fall semester, and four will receive a grade of Honors (H), Pass (P) or Fail (F) at the conclusion of the spring semester. In accordance with Academic Policy, S, U, H and P grades do not earn grading points, so they do not contribute to a student's grade point average (GPA). APPLICATION: students enroll in this clinic via an application process announced by the Director of Clinics, Prof. Shalf, and administered by the clinic instructors.

Graduation Requirements

Satisfies Understanding Bias/Racism/Cross-Cultural Competency requirement: No

Satisfies Writing Requirement: No

Credits For Prof. Skills Requirement: Yes

Satisfies Professional Ethics: No

Additional Course Information

Schedule No.: 123820672

Modified Type: Clinical (Excl.)

Cross Listed: No

Concentrations: Litigation and Procedure

Evaluation Portal Via LawWeb Opens: Friday, November 24, 12:01 AM

Evaluation Portal Via LawWeb Closes: Friday, December 08, 11:59 PM

Information reflected on this page was last refreshed at: Wednesday, June 12, 2024 - 7:17 AM *

*During open enrollment periods, live enrollment data may be found in SIS.