Public Policy and Regulation
Lawyers working with public institutions must understand the complex relationship between law and public policy to be effective at shaping it. Virginia’s strength in public policy and regulation law draws from faculty members who have brought their experiences working for the government or other institutions back to the classroom. These connections benefit students in a variety of ways. When professors work for Congress or federal agencies such as the State Department, volunteer for government commissions, consult for state and local governments, or work with advocacy organizations that seek to influence public policy, the experiences enrich their teaching, give students an opportunity to network with practicing attorneys in a variety of fields, and inspire fresh insights in research and scholarship.
Connections With D.C.
The Law School's proximity to Washington, D.C., provides rich opportunities for a close-up view of how regulations, policies and the government interact. The location also allows top government lawyers and Washington-based practitioners to teach part-time at Virginia, which exposes students to the kinds of concrete issues they may one day face as government officials, practicing lawyers or policy advocates.
Virginia's alumni also connect the school and students to Washington and other public policy networks. The Law School’s graduates work for the White House (Cynthia Hogan ’84, chief counsel to the vice president); the Justice Department (four sitting U.S. attorneys in the Western District of Virginia, Delaware, South Dakota and the Northern District of Alabama); Congress (John Mullan ’83, chief majority counsel, House Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade); the military (Brig. Gen. Richard Gross ’93, legal counsel to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff); and numerous federal agencies (NASA General Counsel Michael C. Wholley ’77)