Law Reform and Impact Litigation (SC)

Section 1, Spring 22

Schedule Information

Enrollment: 6/16
Credits: 1
Day Time Room Start Date End Date
  • MTWR
  • 0820-0950
  • WB129
03/28/2022 04/07/2022

Course Description

Public interest lawyers have long played a critical role supporting and advancing social change in the United States. This course examines the nuts and bolts of engaging in law reform and impact litigation to effectuate systemic change. First, we will establish a foundation for discussion by exploring the role lawyers can and should play in social justice movements, and by looking at the ways litigation can effectively facilitate change and the ways it can be frustratingly inadequate. The bulk of the course will then focus on the practical, real world considerations involved in systemic advocacy. Students will learn how to go about developing a theory of the case, research potential claims and causes of action, and use investigatory tools to test and hash them out; what the ethical questions and challenges are that may come up in representing clients in systemic litigation; how to use narrative and leverage the media to supplement in-court advocacy; what kinds of defenses, defensive strategies, and legal obstacles to anticipate. These and other topics will be explored through readings, case studies, active discussion, and brief written and in-class exercises and simulations.

Course Requirements

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

Written Work Product
Written Work Product: Students will complete short written assignments throughout the course and/or be required to submit a mid-length writing assignment within two weeks of the end of the course.

Other Work

Other Course Details
Prerequisites: Law and Public Service, Federal Courts, and/or Civil Rights Litigation are helpful, but not required. Concurrencies: None
Mutually Exclusive With: None
Laptops Allowed: Yes
First Day Attendance Required: Yes
Course Resources: To be announced.
Course Notes:

Graduation Requirements

*Satisfies Writing Requirement: No
**Credits For Prof. Skills Requirement: No
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:
Concentrations: Litigation and Procedure
Public Syllabus Link: None
Evaluation Portal Via LawWeb Opens: Wednesday, March 30, 12:01 AM
Evaluation Portal Via LawWeb Closes: Saturday, April 09, 11:59 PM