Public Interest Law and Advocacy Skills
Section 1, Fall 22
|Days*||Time||Room||Start Date||End Date|
Public interest lawyers do far more than represent a single client for a single outcome. Attorneys at nonprofits select their clients and build their cases with the goal of reforming the law. They construct complex legal and policy campaigns to protect vulnerable communities. Their counterparts at government agencies make crucial decisions about whether and how to pursue enforcement actions to protect the public. In this course, we’ll keep these unique characteristics of public interest lawyering in mind as we focus on some of the most essential skills that new public interest attorneys apply on a regular basis. Working frequently in small teams, students will develop their skills in areas such as case evaluation and investigation, client interviews, coalition-building, drafting demand letters and other forms of targeted written advocacy, legislative analysis, and creating legal educational resources/trainings. In lieu of a final paper or exam, students will perform oral and written assignments throughout the semester for which they’ll receive substantial instructor and peer feedback.
Final Type (if any): None
Written Work Product
Written Work Product: Readings for this course will generally be light. Several substantial written and oral advocacy assignments, which will comprise the majority of graded work for this class, will be due at different points throughout the semester. There will be no final exam or paper.
Working frequently in small teams, students will develop their skills in areas such as case evaluation and investigation, client interviews, coalition-building, drafting demand letters and other forms of targeted written advocacy, legislative analysis, and creating legal educational resources/trainings. Students will perform oral and written assignments throughout the semester for which they’ll receive substantial instructor and peer feedback.
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: No
Course Resources: All readings will be provided through Canvas or a coursepak.
*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.
Cross Listed: No
Cross-Listed Course Mnemonic:
Concentrations: Litigation and Procedure, Public Policy and Regulation
Public Syllabus Link: None
Evaluation Portal Via LawWeb Opens: Wednesday, November 30, 12:01 AM
Evaluation Portal Via LawWeb Closes: Friday, December 09, 11:59 PM