Practitioners Lay TRACKS Toward Public Service Careers at Inaugural UVA Law Institute

Brandon Buskey, staff attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union's Criminal Law Reform Project in New York, makes a point during Friday's TRACKS institute.

August 26, 2014

Second- and third-year law students interested in public service careers learned from four experienced attorneys on Friday during the inaugural TRACKS institute held at the University of Virginia School of Law.

The attorneys, who are experts in a variety of public service fields and included three UVA Law alumni, were:

  • Mary Bauer '90, executive director of the Legal Aid Justice Center in Charlottesville and former legal director of the Southern Poverty Law Center.
  • Brandon Buskey, staff attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union's Criminal Law Reform Project in New York.
  • Chinh Le '00, legal director for The Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia.
  • And Rebecca Vallas '09, associate director of the Poverty to Prosperity Program for the national think tank Center for American Progress.

"We created TRACKS as a unique in-house opportunity for public interest students to receive mentorship and training from elite attorneys in the field," said Assistant Dean for Public Service Annie Kim, director of the Mortimer Caplin Public Service Center. "TRACKS opens the way for us to work more closely with some fantastic public service alumni. We have attorneys at the top of their fields who have done everything from representing death row inmates and migrant farmworkers to leading major reforms in civil rights, criminal justice and Social Security benefits."

The agenda included panels on becoming a "change maker" and career paths in public service, as well as small-group sessions and a reception. Professors Anne Coughlin and Josh Bowers also led a workshop on how to use independent study, research and publication opportunities to build expertise and recognition within specialized areas of public service.


Founded in 1819, the University of Virginia School of Law is the second-oldest continuously operating law school in the nation. Consistently ranked among the top law schools, Virginia is a world-renowned training ground for distinguished lawyers and public servants, instilling in them a commitment to leadership, integrity and community service.

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