UVA Law Expands Public Service Center, Program for Greater Impact
Changes to the University of Virginia School of Law’s public service programming will better prepare students for careers in the public interest while strengthening the school’s career counseling services.
The school’s Mortimer Caplin Public Service Center and Program in Law and Public Service will join forces under one leader, Assistant Dean for Public Service Annie Kim ’99, while adding a new, full-time director of public service to assist in counseling students. The school will also offer more skills-based courses to prepare students for careers in public service.
“Supporting students interested in pursuing careers in public service is central to our mission,” Dean Risa Goluboff said. “Every law school has an obligation to train their students for public service. That is triply true for us, as a public law school, and one long committed to nurturing citizen-lawyers and leaders. These changes will enable us to identify what resources students need and to deploy the many resources we have devoted and will continue to devote to students who seek careers in public service.”
Kim, who has led the center since 2011, said her new role will offer the chance to build upon all facets of the school’s programming.
“Bringing the Program in Law and Public Service and Public Service Center together under one roof means we can work with each student as a whole person,” Kim said. “Rather than saying, ‘This is a career issue’ or ‘This is an academic issue,’ we can now focus on finding the ways in which our curricular and career programs might complement each other. We can think more strategically about our relationships with leading public interest organizations so that our students will have the best possible opportunities to learn from them and work with them.”
The Program in Law and Public Service, which launched under then-Vice Dean Jim Ryan ’92, recently celebrated a decade since it formed. The program is designed to provide a select group of students the opportunity to receive a tailored curriculum and intensive training that will prepare them for public service careers. The program’s inaugural director, Crystal Shin ’10, is stepping down to launch a juvenile justice clinic in the spring.
Kim will now teach the Law and Public Service and Public Interest Law and Advocacy courses that are offered through the program but are open to students outside of the program. She also anticipates teaching a January term course that will help students research and write postgraduate fellowship proposals, a critical component of earning an elite public service fellowship, such as the Skadden or Equal Justice Works fellowships.
“Creating a fellowship project proposal is one of the most daunting tasks an aspiring public interest attorney could face,” Kim said. “This class will ground students in the foundations of public interest fellowships and provide a framework for analyzing the legal problems and client issues they most want to tackle, as well as the legal solutions they hope to pursue.”
Kim said one of her continued goals is for students to explore the wide variety of public interest lawyering careers, from legal aid and civil rights advocacy to prosecution, government service and beyond.
“Hiring a new director of public service to join our counselor team will strengthen our ability to support students on their increasingly diverse and complex career goals,” Kim said. “While the new director will work primarily on public service career advising, she or he will also provide judicial clerkship counseling.”
The Public Service Center team currently includes Lawton Tufts, director of public service and alumni advising; Amanda Yale, director of public service; and Andrew Broaddus, assistant director of public service.
As leader of the Public Service Center, Kim played a critical role in launching full-tuition scholarships for students in public service careers, recommending the establishment of the school’s Externships Program and creating a system for guaranteed funding for summer jobs in public service.
“We’ve been able to move forward with all these initiatives thanks to our deans’ leadership and with generous support from alumni,” Kim said.
This new administrative structure builds upon a series up expansions in the school’s public service programming in recent years, including:
- Establishing the Virginia Public Service Scholarships, with flagship endowment funds established by Tim ’83 and Lynne Palmer, Dave Burke ’93, and Ted ’92 and Keryn Mathas in honor of former professor Bill Stuntz ’84.
- Expanding who qualifies for the Virginia Loan Forgiveness Program; participants who earn less than $65,000 annually receive benefits covering 100 percent of their qualifying law school loans, and the ceiling on benefits is now $85,000, up from $75,000.
- Ensuring summer funding for any student who wants to work in public service, leading to an increase of nearly $200,000 in the past four years, and reaching a new record this year with $710,351 in funding going to 168 students.
- Offering stipends to students traveling to interview for public service jobs through the Virginia Public Interest Interviewing Program (firms typically reimburse students for private-sector interviews).
- Increasing the variety of summer fellowships, such as the new Justice John Paul Stevens Public Interest Fellowship and the Katherine and David deWilde ’67 Public Interest Summer Fellowship.
- Expanding clinical programs, such as re-launching the First Amendment Clinic, and adding clinics in juvenile justice and state and local government law.
- Establishing the Shaping Justice conference and awards to honor the work of alumni serving in public interest careers and offering networking opportunities to students interested in public service.
Kim said the new structural changes will enable her to talk directly with alumni about what they think are the most essential public interest skills and better integrate them into the curriculum.
“I want to create a network that adds both to the center’s counseling mission and to our curricular programs,” she said. “Our students have so many diverse needs. Expanding our employer network will help us to ensure that students find the mentors and opportunities they want.”
Kim will bring her own experiences to bear on her expanded role. After graduating from the Law School, she worked in commercial and school litigation at the McLean office of Hunton & Williams and at a small firm in downtown Alexandria, then worked as in-house counsel for Virginia local governments. In those roles, she often taught a range of clients, school officials and police officers about legal topics. She has also taught Graduate Legal Research and Writing to LL.M. students at the Law School, and courses at UVA and Virginia Commonwealth University.
“In some ways I’ve been teaching all my career, and I’m so excited to be adding teaching to my regular work,” she said.
Kim has served in several leadership positions with the Virginia State Bar and the Local Government Attorneys of Virginia, and she is also an award-winning poet.
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.