Lawton Tufts Joins UVA Law as Director of Public Service and Alumni Advising

Lawton Tufts

Lawton Tufts was an assistant public defender for the Charlottesville-Albemarle Public Defender’s Office and a trial attorney before joining the Public Service Center.

September 11, 2015

Lawton Tufts has joined the University of Virginia School of Law as the director of public service and alumni advising.

Tufts will counsel both current students who are interested in pursuing careers in public service and alumni who are considering transitioning to positions within the public sector. He began at the Law School's Mortimer Caplin Public Service Center on Aug. 20.

"Lawton brings a tremendous amount of energy and interest in working one-on-one with alumni and students to navigate the public service job search," said Annie Kim, assistant dean for public service and director for the Mortimer Caplin Public Service Center. "His experience in both the public and private sectors will be a strong asset. As a former advocate for indigent clients and trial attorney, Lawton will be a valuable mentor to students interested in social justice careers."

Prior to joining UVA Law, Tufts practiced law in Lexington, Virginia, where he litigated criminal and family law cases at a small firm and served as a guardian ad litem for children. More recently, he worked as an assistant public defender for the Charlottesville-Albemarle Public Defender's Office, a role in which he represented hundreds of indigent defendants in misdemeanor and felony trials, while also assisting in hiring and supervising interns for the office.

In his new position, Tufts will counsel current students to best position themselves for their long-term career goals, including helping them navigate the public service sector, customize their resume, participate in mock interviews or connect with recent UVA Law alumni.

Tufts says he plans to expand the Public Service Center's mentorship program , which links students with alumni working in public interest roles who have similar interests.

"I'm excited to get to know our students and alumni and be able to forge lasting connections between the students, alumni and the Law School," Tufts said. He's also looking forward to "helping people figure out what they want to do, with a plan to make that happen."

Tufts earned his bachelor's degree from James Madison University and his J.D. from the College of William and Mary. As a law student, he was a member of the school's National Trial Team, worked at Student Legal Services, served on the boards of the Public Service Fund and Lawyers Helping Lawyers, and worked as a summer intern at both the Charlottesville and Fredericksburg Public Defender's Offices.

Tufts serves on the board of directors for the OAR-Jefferson Area Community Corrections program and is a member of the Thomas Jefferson Inn of Court and the Charlottesville Albemarle Bar Association.

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