Law and Public Service

Section 1, Spring 20

Schedule Information

Enrollment: 30/10
Credits: 3
Day Time Room Start Date End Date
  • MW
  • 1540-1700
  • SL298
01/20/2020 04/22/2020

Course Description

This course will introduce students to law and public service, broadly defined to include all careers that serve the public interest, from litigating civil rights cases to prosecuting and defending criminal suspects to providing legal services for indigent clients to representing local, state, or federal government agencies to working for an international human rights organization and everything in between. This course will introduce students to the ways in which lawyers committed to public service engage with communities, clients, causes, and legal systems to help effect social change. We will examine the types of public service lawyers and careers, the ways in which lawyers help shape claims in social justice cases, and how lawyers use their skills and training to achieve social justice for the communities, causes, or individual clients they represent. We will study various topics involving definitions, history, different organizational structures, client relationships, ethics, joys, and challenges unique to public interest lawyers and their practices. In addition, we will explore different models of public interest lawyering and the barriers present both in the representation of vulnerable, marginalized, or under-served clients and in pursuing careers in public service. Students will also have an opportunity to explore more deeply how they plan to become a committed and zealous public interest lawyer. To ground our discussions and readings, we will host various guest speakers from a range of different public interest organizations who will discuss the important work they do on a daily basis.

Course Requirements

Exam Info:
Midterm Type (if any): None
Description: None

Final Type (if any): None
Description: None

Written Work Product
Written Work Product: Students will be required to submit a final paper (up to 12 pages) via EXPO. Deadline to be announced.

Other Work
Students will submit a professional development plan due at the midpoint of the semester. Additional details will be provided in the syllabus and in class.

Other Course Details
Prerequisites: None Concurrencies: None
Mutually Exclusive With: None
Laptops Allowed: Yes
First Day Attendance Required: No
Course Notes: The Law and Public Service Program Director will advise SRO of the LPS students who will be taking the course (and SRO will enroll such individuals), so the course capacity reflects the number of seats NOT being held for those LPS student enrollees.

Graduation Requirements

*Satisfies Writing Requirement: No
**Credits For Prof. Skills Requirement: No
Satisfies Professional Ethics: No

*Yes means professor requires everyone in the course to submit a substantial research paper (which is the requirement standard in Academic Policies), so no paperwork required to be submitted to SRO. No means student must timely submit paperwork to SRO if intending to use a paper in this course to satisfy the Writing Requirement.

**Yes indicates course credits count towards UVA Law’s Prof. Skills graduation requirement, not necessarily a skills requirements for any particular state bar.

Schedule No.
Law No.
Modified Type
Cross Listed: No
Cross-Listed Course Mnemonic:
Public Syllabus Link: None
Evaluation Portal Via LawWeb Opens: Saturday, April 11, 12:01 AM
Evaluation Portal Via LawWeb Closes: Sunday, April 26, 11:59 PM