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University of Richmond (School of Law)

The University of Richmond campus consists of 350 acres located about six miles west of the center of the city of Richmond, Virginia. The Law School building, of Collegiate Gothic architecture, was originally opened in 1954, and it was enlarged in 1972 and 1981. In 1991, the building was significantly expanded, renovated, and refurbished. The Law School building now provides modern and technologically equipped classrooms, seminar rooms, an expansive law library, a beautiful courtroom, faculty and administrative offices, faculty and student lounges, and offices for most student organizations.

Richmond, the capital of the Commonwealth of Virginia, is where the Virginia General Assembly holds its annual sessions and where the Supreme Court of Virginia sits. The Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia and the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit also hold regular terms here. In addition, the State Corporation Commission, the Industrial Commission, and many federal administrative agencies hold hearings in the city. Washington, D.C., home to the United States Supreme Court, is only a two-hour drive from Richmond. Thus, students find, in addition to the formal law school program, unsurpassed opportunities for observation of the legal process at work in various legislative, judicial, and administrative departments of the local, state, and federal governments.

The Law School is fully accredited by the recognized standardizing agencies in the United States. It is a member of the Association of American Law Schools; it is on the approved lists of the American Bar Association and the Virginia State Board of Bar Examiners; and its Juris Doctor degree is fully accredited by the Regents of the University of the State of New York. Although each state has its own requirements for admission to the bar, a law degree from the Law School qualifies the holder to seek admission to the bar in any state in the nation and in the District of Columbia.

The University of Richmond, T.C. Williams School of Law building provides technologically equipped classrooms, seminar rooms, the state-of-the-art William Taylor Muse Law Library, a magnificent courtroom, faculty offices, administrative offices, lounges, and offices for student organizations. Designed in traditional Collegiate Gothic architecture, the Law Building is now seen as a crown jewel on a campus that is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful in the country.

The law school building was originally opened in 1954 and was most recently expanded in 1991. It provides technologically equipped classrooms, seminar rooms, a state-of-the-art law library, a magnificent courtroom, faculty offices, administrative offices, lounges, and offices for student organizations.

Student are assigned to study carrels in our expansive Law Library. Each carrel consists of a desk with a sliding tray for a laptop computer and a secure storage area allowing students ready access to books and notes. These carrels link students' personal computers to a school-wide computer system giving them instant access to the electronic age in law.

The Law Library has been carefully developed to integrate computer technology with a strong, core collection of over 230,000 print, microform, and CD-ROM volumes, making it possible to find or obtain most needed research and study materials very quickly. Additionally, the Library participates in a number of resource sharing consortia with other libraries, making it possible to obtain even hard-to-find research materials upon request.

The Law School provides a comprehensive, integrated clinical education program, combining simulation, clinical placements and Law School- operated ("in-house") live client representation clinics.

Simulation Based Courses:
All students are required to take the two-year Lawyering Skills course. The Lawyering Skills requirement is unique in several respects. Traditionally law schools require a first-year course on legal research, writing, and analysis. The traditional course's focus is on the skills of writing, research, and appellate advocacy. While these are important skills, they by no means represent the only, or even the most often used, lawyering skills. By expanding to a two-year Lawyering Skills course, the Law School is able to teach a wider range of lawyering skills including interviewing, counseling, negotiation, pretrial motion practice, pretrial discovery (e.g., deposition skills), trial practice, and appellate practice. Moreover, this course strengthens students' research and writing abilities, since each of the additional skill areas has a writing component.
In addition to Lawyering Skills, the Law School offers a rich variety of upper- level elective simulation-based courses, including advanced courses in interviewing and counseling, negotiation, and trial practice. Other specialized simulation-based clinical courses include Alternate Dispute Resolution, Labor Arbitration, Environmental Dispute Resolution, and Contract Drafting. Letter grades are awarded for work in the simulation-based clinical courses.

In-house Clinical Courses :
The law school houses the Children's Law Center of the University of Richmond (CLC-UR) which operates two entry-level clinics and one advanced clinic in which the students, under the supervision of Law School faculty members, represent real clients. The center has its own facilities within the Law School that include videotape capability, student carrels, an interview room, and a class/conference room.
The Disability Law Clinic represents youth with mental disabilities. Law students represent children and parents seeking appropriate special education and community-based services mandated by both federal and state law. Students also represent youth with mental disabilities who are incarcerated or institutionalized. They may also act as guardians-ad-litem for children with mental health needs in the justice system.
In the Delinquency Clinic, students advocate on behalf of children appearing before area juvenile courts. In the majority of cases, students serve as defense counsel for youth accused of delinquency (criminal) offenses. Students are also occasionally assigned to work on other cases which involve children's issues such as abuse and neglect or custody.
With faculty permission, students who have completed either the Delinquency Clinic or the Disability Law Clinic, may enroll in the Advanced Children's Law Clinic for between two and six credits. Advanced students take leadership roles in clinic cases and complete a significant project over the course of the semester.
The CLC-UR clinics enrich the academic life of participants by allowing them to represent clients from initial client interview through resolution of the client's problem, whether that involves drafting a document, settling a dispute, or litigating a law suit. As part of the Law School's integrated skills program, the CLC-UR clinics build upon and reinforce work done in the simulation-based courses as well as in traditional coursework. In addition to advanced skills training, the clinical setting provides students with an opportunity to apply these skills in real-life situations. The CLC-UR clinics also allow law students to question some of the assumptions and deficiencies in the practice of law generally, as well as in the specific context of children's law. Finally, the CLC-UR clinics focus on issues of professionalism and professional responsibility in preparing students to become members of the bar.
Students enroll in either the Disability Law Clinic or Delinquency Clinic for six credit hours. Credit hours earned in these clinics are not included within the hours of non-law work which can be counted toward meeting the 86 hours required for graduation. Credit-hours are, however, included in the 12 clinical hours that can be applied toward graduation. Letter grades are awarded for work in the CLC-UR clinics. Preference for enrollment is given to third-year students.

Clinical Placement Program :
The Clinical Placement Program (CPP) affords students the opportunity to integrate legal theory with practice. Selected students are assigned to a law office or judge's chambers, which becomes the classroom. Here, students experience the practice of law, combining substantive and procedural knowledge with skills development. The work students do will be as varied as the placements. Some will serve as student law clerks while others will represent clients and handle "real" cases. During the semester, students grapple with issues of role assumption and personal and professional responsibility. They also learn firsthand about the legal system and the social, economic, and political forces which impact it. Issues involving access to justice, bias, and other societal concerns challenge student thinking. Throughout the semester, students are encouraged to take charge of their own learning experiences and to utilize critical thinking skills in evaluating performance.
The CPP is divided into four sections: civil, criminal, judicial, and litigation. Students work under the supervision of experienced judges and lawyers as well as the CPP Director and faculty. The civil section offers placements with government and public interest agencies. The criminal section is composed of defense and prosecutorial placements. The judicial section includes placements with state and federal judges. Opportunities are available at both the trial and appellate levels. The litigation section includes trial-related placements in all three areas. Third-year practice certification is required for all criminal placements and selected civil placements. Some judicial placements require completion of a course in evidence.
Successful completion of the CPP requires meeting the requirements fo the placements, including four hours of field work for each hour of credit; active participation in weekly seminar; weekly journal entries reflecting on the clinical experience; bi-weekly meetings between the student and clinical professors; and time sheets. Students can enroll in the Program for four, five, or six credit. Grades in the Clinical Placement Programs are awarded on a pass/fail basis. The credit hours earned are not included in six hours of non- law work which can be counted toward meeting the 86 hours required for graduation. However, no more than a total of 12 credit hours in the Clinical Placement programs and the in-house clinics (see above) may be applied toward the J.D. degree program requirements.

Third Year Practice :
Most of the In-house and many of the Extern Clinical Programs require a third-year practice certificate. Virginia Supreme Court Rules allow eligible third-year students to appear in court under the supervision of a member of the bar. To receive a third-year practice certificate, a student must have completed 56 credit hours, Civil Procedure, Criminal Law, Evidence and Professional Responsibility. The Dean's Office applies for the certificates for all students who have completed the requirements necessary for application after all grades have been reported and processed with the Registrar's Office. Certificates may be picked up by the student in the Dean's Office (if you have a change of address, please notify the Dean's Office before this time).
To obtain a certificate, you must be currently enrolled in the Law School.

With the entering first-year class in the Fall of 1994, the University of Richmond became the first law school in the U.S. to require its incoming students to own portable computers. To this end, the newly constructed addition to the Law Library included a study carrel for each student, and each carrel was outfitted with a 10BaseT ethernet connection. The timing could not have been better.

Individual laptops and wired carrels had been a goal of the Law School and Library administration since the late 1980's, but it would be several years before affordable network connectivity for laptops would become available, let alone a significant number of legal resources online. By 1994, both had become a reality, and first-year students were able to access Lexis, Westlaw, email and the beginnings of the World Wide Web from their carrels. Use of and access to technology has grown steadily in the intervening years. Most law faculty use email or Blackboard to share information with students. The 10BaseT connections have long since been replaced by 100 MBs connectivity. All classrooms are wired for network access to each seat, and all areas of the building also have wireless access to the network and internet.

The Law Library's rapidly growing collection has been carefully balanced to fully meet the academic requirements of the Law School's students and faculty without sacrificing its practical value to members of the local bar and general public. The collection of approximately 300,000 volumes and volume equivalents has been purposefully developed to contain a comprehensive selection of current Anglo-American legal materials, arranged and classified to promote ease of use. Included are all federal and state codes; session laws of all states on microfiche; published opinions of all federal and state appellate courts; an ever expanding collection of legal periodicals; and a full complement of treatises, looseleaf services, finding aids, and reference works.

The Library also houses sound British and Canadian collections; United States Supreme Court Records and Briefs on microfiche; Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals Records and Briefs; and an extensive collection of Virginia Supreme Court Records and Briefs. Additionally, the Library is steadily building its International Law collection, placing special emphasis on European Economic Communities materials.

As a selective federal depository library since 1982, the Library has assembled a strong collection of federal legislative and administrative materials. In addition to these government publications, researchers will find post-1970 legislative history materials, including full text transcripts of Congressional hearings, available in the commercially-produced CIS microfiche collection. Also available to researchers are the unpublished House of Representatives Committee Prints issued from 1823 to1936 and unpublished Senate Committee Prints issued from 1823 to 1969.

Augmenting the Library's traditional collection, students and faculty have access the Law School's local area network. Using the network, faculty and students have access to LEXIS, WESTLAW, E-mail and the vast array of information options available on the Internet. Students may also access Dialog through the WESTLAW system or NEXIS through the LEXIS system. These services provide access to general newspapers, magazines, wire service reports and non-legal databases.

School name:University of RichmondSchool of Law
Address:28 Westhampton Way
Zip & city:VA 23173 Virginia

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