Students who complete the Experiential Advocacy Program gain numerous advantages: a high level of interaction with faculty, exposure to key areas of law, many opportunities to acquire and develop skills needed by practicing attorneys, increased self-confidence in performing legal research and transactions, and the knowledge that they can offer pertinent experience to law firms.
Experiential Advocacy graduates are employed in a wide range of employment settings, including small and large firms, government agencies, and nonprofit enterprises. To maximize the educational experience, permit sufficient individual guidance from the professors and facilitate class discussion and assignments, class size is limited to 16 students. Students who prefer active, experiential learning to lecture style, who enjoy working as a team, and seek to gain practical skills in a number of areas of law, would benefit from the Experiential Advocacy experience.
Students apply to the Experiential Advocacy Program in their first year of law school and are notified of their acceptance prior to registration for second-year fall semester classes. All students interested in applying should submit a resume and cover letter addressed to the program director, Professor Jessica West. The cover letter should identify the student's reasons for wanting to participate in the program as well as their ability to contribute to the richness of the classroom. We are looking for students who will excel in a program of experiential learning and who can demonstrate the likely ability to take advantage of experiential learning opportunities. Similarly, we seek students with the ability to work collaboratively, independently, and to actively engage with new material. Examples from the student's life or education that illustrate the students' suitability are helpful. A copy of a current résumé must be included, and must indicate the applicant's current GPA. Applicants to the program must have a minimum grade point average of at least 2.2 though all factors—GPA, career goals, ability to work collaboratively, prior work experience, ability to excel in the program and quality of the application statement—will be considered.
The statement and résumé should be uploaded via the VLS Experiential Advocacy Program web page by mid-March. Should the number of applicants exceed the number of positions available, qualified students will be selected based upon application and lottery. Students will be notified whether they have been accepted into the program by the end of March.
Online Application Submission