Public Service Guidelines and Procedures
Each third year student must perform public service during the academic year sufficient to be awarded one pass/fail credit. Public service is defined as activities that serve either the public or the legal profession. Credit is allocated on the following criteria:
- Public service activities that involve a client or legal organization must be supervised by a faculty member, senior administrator or supervising attorney or judge who will oversee student work and will set guidelines for satisfactory completion.
- Other public service activities must be approved by Professor Mary Natkin before hours may be recorded.
- A student must complete a minimum of forty (40) hours of uncompensated service per course credit. Students may receive a maximum of two course credits for public service in their third year of law school.
- The decision to add the second credit must be reached prior to the expiration of the drop/add period (January 23, 2015).
- Students participating in academic law school projects such as Journal Editors, Moot Court Board and Kirgis Fellows, may submit service hours for work done during the academic year and for time spent in preparation during the week immediately preceding the beginning of classes. Work done during the summer may not be counted towards your service requirement.
- Service hours may be completed in one semester, two semesters, or over scheduled breaks. All Service hours must be completed and recorded no later than the final day of classes (April 24, 2015) in the Spring Semester. Service hours should be reported regularly (within 14 days of completion) and with detailed description of each activity.
- Students who complete more than one hundred hours (100) of uncompensated service during their third year will be awarded a certificate and their extraordinary service will be noted at the awards ceremony preceding Commencement.
Approved Service Projects
(1) Hours may accrue for work for law school programs or projects that is not otherwise credited or compensated. The following are approved, but you should feel free to propose other projects:
Translator for any of the clinical programs, Innocence Project, Moot Court Board, Kirgis Fellows, Teaching Assistant for Undergraduate Mock Trial Team, Honor Advocates, Student Judicial Council (hearing work), Executive Committee (hearing work).
(2) Work done with organizations whose primary work benefits the public or the legal profession. The following are approved, but you should feel free to propose other projects:
Legal Aid, Public Defender, Justice Center, Project Horizon, CASA, Virginia Poverty Law Center, ACS.
(3) Students who complete a one semester externship during the fall semester have the option of completing either one or two credits of law related service in the Spring Semester with the same supervising judge or attorney, provided that the work serves the public or the profession and is not fee generating. Students who extern with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Virginia during the Fall Semester complete two law related service credits in the Spring as a condition of their acceptance of the fall externship.
Law Journals or other Activities for which Academic Credit is Available:
Third Year students who serve as writers or editors for the Law Review, JCRSJ, or the German Law Journal or those who compete in external Moot Court Competitions may choose whether to have their work credited to the journal or activity or toward their public service obligation. Hours may not be used simultaneously to satisfy both.
Students may elect to register for 1 credit of Law Related Service and 1 credit of journal or activity work if they wish, or may simply elect to use the work for 1 or 2 Service credits. A journal or activity will only show on the transcript if it is not applied toward the service requirement.
The election as to how to have the law school credit applied must be filed via email (email@example.com) with Linda Johnson in the Law Records Office, no later than November 7, 2014.
Procedures for Reporting Hours
Prior to submitting hours each student must complete the Student Contract and identify the project(s) on which they will work.
Time must be recorded in quarter hour increments. For example 70 minutes should be recorded a 1.25 hours and 90 minutes as 1.5 hours.
Social activities may not count as service hours.
Service hours must be submitted within 14 days of completion. If you have an on-going project please record your hours as you achieve them. Hours submitted after 14 days will be approved only at the discretion of Professor Natkin.
The deadline for project designations is Friday, November 7, 2014. Please advise Professor Natkin how you plan to fulfill your hours no later than November 7. As a reminder, hours may be completed either semester, but it is necessary that you designate your project(s) by November 7.
To submit hours for approval select the Record Your Hours tab on the main page of the Law-Related Service website. Next, enter your network Username and Password. You will be asked to enter the date, activity and time spent on the project. Please use enough detail in describing the activity so that it is ready to be approved.