Kate Duvall '06 to Help Guide Law Students as Director of Student Affairs
Former legal aid attorney Kate Duvall, a 2006 graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law who has worked closely in recent years with law students, is the new director of student affairs.
In her previous role with the JustChildren program at the Legal Aid Justice Center in Charlottesville, Duvall mentored law students who worked on pro bono cases involving juvenile clients, a job which included managing student interns and co-teaching the Child Advocacy Clinic.
"I've always just really enjoyed working with students," Duvall said. "So the prospect of being able to focus all my time on that work was exciting."
Duvall was a successful advocate for children seeking a second chance during her eight years at Legal Aid, and was part of a team that pushed state reforms to the juvenile justice and foster care systems. She is the 2013 recipient of the Carol S. Fox Making Kids Count Award from Voices for Virginia’s Children.
"I think my most proud moments are the victories I had in the courtroom," she said. "The young people I represented were often very young when they committed very serious crimes, were tried and convicted as adults, and given very long sentences. So the work I did was representing them in these sentence-review hearings that Virginia law calls for. We were working with children who were doing the best in our juvenile justice system in Virginia, and asking the judges to let them go home."
Duvall joined JustChildren in 2008, after serving as the Hunton & Williams Pro Bono Fellow in Richmond for two years.
Among the duties of her new job, Duvall will work closely with representatives of the Law School's more than 60 student organizations as they set goals for the year and utilize their resources. She reports to Sarah Davies, assistant dean for student affairs.
"Kate is a terrific addition to the student affairs office," Davies said. "She has the ability to draw on her experiences in her legal career and her law school career in advising our students and student organizations. I know they will find her assistance invaluable."
In addition to her J.D., Duvall holds an undergraduate degree from the University in sociology, with a minor in government.
Duvall said she is enthusiastic about giving back to the UVA Law community in such a supportive role. During her time in law school, the administration, faculty and her fellow students not only supported her as a fledgling attorney, but also her family's fledgling business. Her husband Dan Epstein co-founded Eppie's, the popular restaurant on the Downtown Mall that only recently closed.
"We had pre-opening try-out-our-recipes dinners with classmates," she said. "Faculty and staff were some of our first customers there, as well as other students. The Law School community really lifted us up and supported us."
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.