State and Local Government Policy Clinic (YR-Fall)

Section 1, Fall 21

Schedule Information

Enrollment: 10/10
Credits: 4
Day Time Room Start Date End Date
  • T
  • 1130-1255
  • WB114
08/31/2021 11/30/2021

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

Written Work Product
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 2022 (start date on January 12, 2022), 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) starting on January 12th.

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
Mutually 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: CREDITS/GRADING: 4 credits awarded toward the degree at the conclusion of the fall semester on a Credit/No Credit grading basis. At the conclusion of the spring semester, 4 credits awarded toward the degree on a letter-grade grading basis. The letter grade at the conclusion of the spring term takes into account the work during both fall and spring terms. However, the spring letter grade will only attach to the 4 credits awarded in the spring semester. APPLICATION: Applications will be required to guarantee a clinic slot, although if there are more applications that slots the faculty supervisor will select the final group of students. In addition to gauging student interest in particular policy areas, and how clinic participation will further a student’s educational or professional goals, the primary purposes of the application are to create a class with students holding diverse political and policy interests, and, ideally, match student issue interests with appropriate legislative and policy projects. However, if there are still slots available after the application process, students can fill those during the normal course enrollment procedure.

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