First Amendment Clinic
Students work as a team in conducting legal research, meeting with clients and co-counsel, and drafting legal memoranda and briefs. Assignments involve both appellate-level and trial-level litigation, but more frequently the former, including the U.S. Supreme Court.
In the controversial Supreme Court case involving the First Amendment rights of funeral protesters, clinic students researched and drafted an amicus curiae brief as well as prepared counsel for oral argument. In 2012, the clinic represented a reporter in D.C. federal trial court involving media and public access to judicial reports. Students also take on a variety of non-litigation but real-world projects. Such projects have included reviewing proposed municipal ordinances for potential First Amendment flaws, preparing FOIA requests, and drafting a handbook for the American Bar Association detailing media rights of access to the courtroom. During the fall semester, a series of readings in First Amendment and media law corresponding to the clinic’s docket are assigned to provide students with an intellectual and jurisprudential framework for their clinical work.
In the News
- 3.15.17 A Fake Constitutional Showdown: 'Docs v. Glocks' Among Cases Law Students Weigh in On
- 6.4.15 First Amendment Clinic Obtains 18 More of DOJ's Secret Deals with Corporate Offenders
- 11.19.14 UVA Law Clinic Brings 'True Threats' Facebook Case to Supreme Court
- 4.8.14 Your Homework Assignment: Sue the Federal Government (The New York Times)
- 3.10.14 UVA Law Clinic Suit Prompts Justice Department to Release Non-prosecution Agreement
- 12.5.13 UVA Law Clinic Sues Justice Department to Make Document Public
- 12.10.12 UVA Clinic Argues Before Federal Appeals Court to Release Information Relating to Financial Meltdown
- 4.18.12 Judge Grants UVA Law School Clinic's Motion to Release AIG Corporate Monitor Reports
- 8.22.11 Wheeler '92 Discusses New Role as Director of First Amendment Center