Problem-Solving in the Public Interest

Section 1, Spring 23

Schedule Information

Enrollment: 7/16
Credits: 2
Days* Time Room Start Date End Date
  • R
  • 1540-1740
  • WB114
01/26/2023 04/27/2023
*“R” means Thursday

Course Description

How do lawyers ignite or contribute to social justice movements without overshadowing clients, partners, and stakeholders? How do lawyers utilize strategies outside of or in conjunction with litigation to positively impact marginalized, vulnerable, or underrepresented clients? How should lawyers utilize their privilege and legal expertise to empower their clients and communities? In this course, we will explore these questions and more. We will scrutinize public interest lawyering as an interconnected field of practice that encompasses traditional legal techniques (such as litigation), as well as other social change tactics, including community organizing, media outreach, and policy advocacy. We will also reflect on and analyze the ideal role of the public interest lawyer in social justice cases and movements. In addition, we will grapple with some of the difficult questions and conflicts public interest lawyers are likely to confront in their careers. The overarching goal for this class is for students to learn effective strategies in community organizing, legislative advocacy, and media work in order to lead or contribute to legal campaigns or movements.

Course Requirements

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

Written Work Product
Written Work Product: There will be several written assignments and presentations throughout the semester, as well as a final project. All work will be due directly to instructors, not via EXPO.

Other Work

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: To be announced.
Course Notes:

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: Thursday, April 20, 12:01 AM
Evaluation Portal Via LawWeb Closes: Sunday, April 30, 11:59 PM