The University of Virginia School of Law will help create a pro-bono clinic for law students working in the areas of civil rights and racial justice, thanks to a grant from the Jessie Ball duPont Fund.
The Fund’s trustees awarded $80,000 to the Law School to support its partnership with the Legal Aid Justice Center, which has recently established a Civil Rights and Racial Justice Program. The grant was among 12 awards, valued at $695,000, made by the trustees in their fall meeting.
As government-funded legal services become more limited, pro bono is an essential part of ensuring access to justice for the indigent and under-represented.
“The most important thing that we can teach law students is the power that they have in their hands as a result of being lawyers,” said Risa Goluboff, Dean of the School of Law. “We train our students not to be passive recipients of information. Rather we empower them to understand the role they play in the legal process.”
Law School students will work with Legal Aid Justice Center staff, gaining important legal experience, advancing critical civil rights work and receiving an introduction to pro bono work before they begin their professional careers.