Civil Rights Clinic (YR)

Section 1, Fall 21

Schedule Information

Enrollment: 8/8
Credits: 4
Day Time Room Start Date End Date
  • R
  • 1150-1350
  • LAJC2
08/26/2021 11/18/2021

Course Description

This yearlong clinical course is designed to educate students about the range of strategies used by attorneys to identify, investigate and attack systemic injustices, encouraging holistic and community-partnered approaches to lawyering. The course includes two semesters of supervised student participation in impact advocacy, including: complex litigation in federal court, legal support for community education and organizing, administrative advocacy, and legislative and policy advocacy. Students acquire translatable skills that will be valuable to a wide range of future employers, from private firms with federal litigation practices to fellowships with prestigious civil rights and legal services firms outside of Virginia. The Civil Rights Clinic capitalizes on the work of LAJC's Civil Rights & Racial Justice Program by tapping into the legal and organizing networks already working to address inequities at the local and state levels, and expanding that work in ways that will have a national as well as generational impact. The Legal Aid Justice Center's strong local and national reputation allows it to work collaboratively on major cases and campaigns with private firms as well as organizations like the Southern Poverty Law Center, the NAACP LDF, Equal Justice Under Law, the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law, and legal services and ACLU affiliates across the country. Through the clinic, students will participate in those collaborations, share student work with partners, and introduce students to potential private employers and fellowship host organizations. Most importantly, students enrolled in the clinic come away with a deeper understanding of the relationship between race and poverty in America and the role of lawyers in challenging policies and practices that perpetuate poverty. The experience of lawyering for change will not only be intellectually challenging and personally fulfilling, but also will profoundly influence the way students engage in conversations about the critical issues of the day around dinner tables, boardrooms, courthouses and other public forums long after they graduate from the Law School. Class meetings are held at the Legal Aid Justice Center.

Course Requirements

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

Written Work Product
Written Work Product: Students will engage in casework on multiple campaigns throughout the year and will be responsible for drafting memoranda, correspondence, legal pleadings, and policy materials as assigned projects dictate.

Other Work

Other Course Details
Prerequisites: There are no required course prerequisites, but these are recommended: Constitutional Criminal Procedure; Trial Advocacy; Federal Courts; Civil Rights Litigation. 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
Mutually Exclusive With: None
Laptops Allowed: Yes
First Day Attendance Required: Yes
Course Resources: To be announced.
Course Notes: During the fall and spring semesters, students will meet weekly for two hours at the Legal Aid Justice Center (1000 Preston Ave.) for instruction and case supervision. During the fall semester, the two hour weekly class session will include the clinical seminar, which will provide students with an understanding of the legal obstacles confronting low-income communities, the various legal systems and settings in which the students will work, and generalized instruction regarding civil rights advocacy. It also will include case and project supervision, where students will meet in small groups with their supervising attorneys. During the spring semester, the majority of the two hour weekly class session will be spent on case and project supervision. Students will meet with supervising attorneys outside of weekly supervision as necessary. Because students may participate in frequent visits to correctional centers, a background check may be required. IMPORTANT: All clinic participants must attend an “Orientation to Law Clinics at LAJC” session at the start of the semester (dates to be announced). These sessions will provide clinic participants with necessary information about working with LAJC and its client community. Information about this session will be circulated once available. CREDITS: Of the eight credits awarded for this clinic, four credits will be allocated to the fall semester (Credit/No Credit grading) and four credits to the spring semester (letter-graded).

Graduation Requirements

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

*If “Yes,” then students are required to submit a substantial research paper in this course, which means students do not need to submit any form to SRO for this paper to meet their upper-level writing requirement. If “No,” then students must submit a “special request” e-form to SRO (available via LawWeb) no later than five weeks after the start of the term for a paper in this class to be counted toward the upper-level 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: Tuesday, November 23, 12:01 AM
Evaluation Portal Via LawWeb Closes: Friday, December 03, 11:59 PM