Information for Public Service Employers

Recruiting at Virginia Law

Established in 1996, the Mortimer Caplin Public Service Center is tasked with guiding and supporting the next generation of UVA Law’s public service attorneys. Accordingly, it serves as the main point of contact for all public service employers and strives to effectively connect them with our students and alumni.

To that end, we have compiled relevant information for our public service colleagues about the best way to connect and recruit our student and alumni.

We welcome and encourage any employers interested in recruiting and/or interacting with our law school to review the following options available. Please feel free to reach out to us with any additional question you may have (publicservice@law.virginia.edu/434.924.3883).

  1. Advertising Open or Upcoming Job Opportunities
  2. On-Grounds Interviews/Virtual Recruitment
  3. Public Interest Law Firms
  4. Judicial Clerkship and Internship Opportunities
  5. Events and Presentations
  6. Advertising Volunteer/Pro Bono Opportunities
  7. Financial Support for Public Service Students
  8. Student Outreach
  9. Links to Public Service-Related Curricular Programs

Advertising Open or Upcoming Job Opportunities

The University of Virginia School of Law utilizes Symplicity for the advertisement of job opportunities (as well as participation in on-Grounds Interview sessions and event advertising). We encourage employers to sign up for a free account, here. Once approved, employers can submit, edit, and remove job opportunities. This includes summer internships, academic semester externships, fellowships, as well as permanent positions for attorneys ranging from entry-level to 10+ years of experience.

Alternatively, if your office is unable to post individual positions, you may instead email them (in Word or PDF format) to our main email address (@email) and we will post them on your behalf when time permits. Due to the number of postings we receive, we recommend employers post their positions themselves, if time is limited.

A few notes about this:

  • In order to post positions, participate in on-Grounds interviews, or host events at our law school, employers must agree to abide by our Fair Employment Policy. Positions or employers that do not adhere to this policy will not be approved or allowed to participate in recruitment activities with our law school.
  • It is the policy of the Mortimer Caplin Public Service Center to only post positions that require applicants to be law students, to have a JD or other advanced legal degree, or for which a JD is preferred. We do not post non-legal, paralegal, or legal assistant positions.
  • We encourage you to make your posting as complete as possible, including a robust description of the position and job duties, necessary and preferred qualifications, information about how to apply, relevant deadlines, and compensation information.

On-Grounds Interviews/Virtual Recruitment

Each year, the Public Service Center holds three on-Grounds recruiting sessions for our students:

  • Summer Public Service On-Grounds Interviews (typically held in early August, exclusively for rising 2Ls and 3Ls)
  • Fall Public Service On-Grounds Interviews (typically held in mid-September, exclusively for 2Ls and 3Ls)
  • Winter Public Service On-Grounds Interviews (typically held in early-February, primarily aimed at 1Ls, but 2L and 3L opportunities are also welcome)

While employers are free to participate in multiple sessions, we recommend choosing the one or two sessions that best match your organization’s hiring timeline. For those with flexible timelines or who are unsure about which session makes the most sense for their organization, reach out to us and we can help provide guidance.

A few notes about on-Grounds recruitment:

  • Virginia Law offers the ability to meet with our students in-person (in one of our many interview rooms) or virtually, depending upon the needs of your organization.
  • There is no fee charged to public service employers who register to participate in on-Grounds interviews, and employers decide which candidates they wish to interview.
  • For employers who are unable to participate in one of our larger sessions, we are happy to work with you to arrange an individual session (although we encourage participation in the larger sessions, when practicable). To inquire about this option, please e-mail our office.
  • For any recruiting session, we are unable to guarantee a minimum number of applicants or interviews. While we encourage students to apply for jobs with employers who advertise on Symplicity and participate in on-Grounds Interviewing programs, due to market trends, class composition and interest, and other factors beyond our control, interest in a particular organization may be limited. If you are unsure whether it makes sense to recruit through an on-Grounds Interview session, please reach out to us for guidance.

Public Interest Law Firms

The Public Service Center recognizes the critical role that public interest law firms play in ensuring justice for all, and we work closely with the Office of Private Practice to ensure students are aware of the opportunities you offer. For initial outreach, we ask that all public interest law firms contact our Office of Private Practice at @email.


Judicial Clerkship and Internship Opportunities

The University of Virginia School of Law is proud to feature a dedicated Office of Judicial Clerkships, which provides advice and guidance to students and alumni interested in working for the judiciary.

Members of federal or state courts who are seeking to advertise clerkship or internship opportunities for our students or alumni should sign up for a free account with our Symplicity system and/or reach out to the Office of Judicial Clerkships at @email.


Events and Presentations

Events can be an effective way to connect with students, provided they are carefully coordinated. Each year the Public Service Center sponsors several presentations for our students on a variety of career-related topics, including a five-part Real Deal series in which we introduce them to five major areas of public service practice. These panels frequently feature Virginia Law alumni who currently work in those areas. If you are an alum of the Law School and have an interest in participating on a panel, please reach out to us at publicservice@law.virginia.edu.

One of the largest issues our students contend with each year is an overwhelming schedule, partially due to an overabundance of events at the Law School. While they often have interest in a number of speakers who visit the school, their schedule simply does not allow them to attend every event. To that end, we typically discourage career-related events featuring a single employer. In some rare instances, we will group related organizations together and offer a panel presentation or career fair-style event. If this is something your organization would like to be considered for, please e-mail us at publicservice@law.virginia.edu.

A few notes about events:

  • Webinars and virtual presentations are becoming more popular options for connecting with students. The Public Service Center is always happy to help advertise an event through our Symplicity system or weekly announcement email to students (if appropriate). If you have an upcoming virtual event, please email us the relevant details at least one week prior to the event.
  • We generally recommend providing food for an in-person event, particularly if it occurs over the lunch or dinner period. For Public Service Center-initiated events, we are happy to provide food and refreshments. For individual employer events, we ask that the organization provide the catering, if appropriate. The Public Service Center is happy to recommend local catering organizations.
  • While we will always do our best to advertise upcoming events, we are unable to guarantee attendance. We have seen events attended by over 100 students and events that only had 2. Please take this into account when determining if an in-person event makes the most sense for your organization.

Advertising Volunteer/Pro Bono Opportunities

The University of Virginia School of Law features a robust Pro Bono Program, offering the opportunity for students to gain valuable legal skills, explore potential career paths, and most importantly assist underserved communities and causes while cultivating a lifelong commitment to the provision of legal services.

Public service organizations as well as private law firms providing pro bono representation may request law student volunteers by advertising potential projects with the Pro Bono Program. To learn more about the Program, including what types of projects qualify and how to solicit volunteers, please visit the Program’s Information for Project Supervisors.


Financial Support for Public Service Students

The University of Virginia School of Law recognizes that students and young alumni interested in public service careers can face financial hurdles that their peers going into the private sector may not encounter. The Law School is committed to ensuring resources are available for all students who wish to make their public service dreams a reality. To that end the Public Service Center administers several programs to financially assist students seeking public service internships and careers.

  1. Summer Internship Funding – The Law School has committed to providing guaranteed funding to students who accept summer internships with public service or judicial employers. Public Service Summer Grants provide $5,000 for 1L students and $8,000 for 2L students. These grants are available to all students who intern with a public service or judicial employer and contribute the requisite number of pro bono hours. The Law School also offers several other competitive in-house summer fellowships such as the Katherine and David deWilde ’76 Public Interest Summer Fellowship, the Democracy Summer Fellowship, and the LawTech Center Summer Fellowship for Privacy, Cybersecurity, and Technology Public Service.
  2. Post-graduate Fellowship Funding – The Law School offers several postgraduate fellowships for our graduates that allow them the opportunity to begin their career immediately in a paid public service position.
  3. Interview Travel Funding – Through the Virginia Public Interest Interview Program, 2L and 3L students are eligible to receive reimbursement up to a capped amount for travel expenses incurred for interviews with public interest organizations.
  4. Loan Forgiveness –  Through the Virginia Loan Forgiveness Program, graduates who enter qualifying employment within two years of graduation or within two years of completing a judicial clerkship are eligible to receive loan repayment assistance from the Law School.

Student Outreach

The University of Virginia School of Law has a substantial number of student organizations that range from affinity groups to ideological societies and  interest-based organizations. Employers who wish to reach out to specific affinity groups or student organizations are welcome to contact these organizations directly. The Public Service Center is not able to contact student organizations on behalf of employers.


Links to Public Service-Related Curricular Programs

  • Program in Law and Public Service – 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.
  • Externship Program – designed to provide students the ability to gain practical experience in the public service sector during the academic semesters while also engaging in academic inquiry.
  • Clinical Programs – a list of the 24 clinics the University of Virginia School of Law offers to it’s second- and third-year students.