Law School Public Service

Law School Public Service

SIF54 Law School Public Service

Project Manager: Annie Kim, Law School

The purpose of this project is to expand the Law School's public service program.

BoV Approved: September 2016

Project Dates: 10/20/2016 – 10/19/2020

Total Funding: $1,000,000

Executive Summary

The Law School upholds Thomas Jefferson’s conviction that lawyers have a special obligation to serve the public interest. Law School leadership believes that if this commitment to law as a service profession is instilled in students early on in their professional development, they have the potential to become transformative leaders and visionaries. Through years of steady effort and significant investments of human and economic capital, the Law School has constructed a strong public service foundation for its students and graduates. With this grant application, the Law School seeks to build on these strengths and expand the public service infrastructure in a way most likely to move toward these goals. As the UVA Law graduate Robert Kennedy stated, “It is not enough to understand, or to see clearly. The future will be shaped in the arena of human activity, by those willing to commit their minds and their bodies to the task.” It is the belief of UVA Law that this investment will trigger change and empower students to move from vision to commitment to action. In doing this, concrete and measurable improvements will be achieved in our public service outcomes, the School’s national reputation for outstanding commitment to public service will be enhanced, as will the pursuit of justice in our communities, our nation, and our world. This project proposes to do this through: 1) The award of Dedicated Public Service Scholarships, 2) The establishment of a Student Travel Fund, and 3) Holding an annual Conference on Law and Public Service.

Current Status: Completed


The Project Manager received high praise from the PAC at the final review of this award in October 2020 for successful implementation of this award, achievement of all original goals, and securing the funding to continue the program in perpetuity. Following are highlights that resulted from this SIF award:

  1. Two students in each cohort of entering Law School students who plan to pursue public interest law for the past three years received full scholarships.
  2. The Virginia Public Interest Interviewing Program funded student travel to interviews as they sought employment in public service, providing opportunity to students who would not otherwise have been able to afford it.
  3. Three Shaping Justice conferences were held, fostering engagement of law students in public service.

This award demonstrates excellent return on investment, and the intention of the SIF as a seed investment program designed to transform a critical area of knowledge or operation.