Public Interest Law Concentration

The Public Interest Law Concentration prepares students to work to further the interests of the general public using the legal process through the representation of individuals and organizations who might otherwise be unrepresented.


PUBLIC INTEREST LAW CONCENTRATION COURSE REQUIREMENTS

In order to complete a concentration in Public Interest Law, a student must have:

  • mandatory core course; and
  • total credit hours from one mandatory core course, designated elective courses, and the credits allowed for the experiential learning course (described below).

Mandatory Core Course

Students must take one of the following courses for this Concentration:

  • Trial Advocacy (Law 756)
  • The Legislative Process (Law 620)
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution (Law 750)
  • Legal Interviewing and Counseling (Law 788)


Designated Elective Courses

Students may select from the following courses for Concentration credit (NOTE: Not all courses offered every year).

  • Natural Resources (Law 604)
  • Child Protection and the Law (Law 609)
  • Agriculture/Rural Land Use (Law 612)
  • Elder Law (Law 615)
  • Nonprofit Organizations (Law 625)
  • Advanced Family Law Advocacy (Law 629)
  • Seminar: Lawyers & Legislation (Law 689F)
  • Seminar: Environmental Justice (Law 689I)
  • Seminar: Civil Rights Litigation (Law 689J)
  • Seminar: Civil Disobedience (Law 689K)
  • Seminar: Refugee & Asylum Law (Law 689N)
  • Seminar: Juvenile Justice (Law 689V)
  • Domestic Violence and the Law (Law 717)
  • Immigration Law (Law 723)
  • Civil Rights (Law 759)
  • Employment Discrimination (Law 763)
  • Family Law (Law 769)
  • Labor Law (Law 771)
  • Environmental Protection (Law 789)
  • Child/Parent/State (Law 791P)
  • Agriculture and Food Law (Law 791Q)
  • All WVU College of Law Clinics (subject to limitation, below)


Additional Courses may be added with the consent of the Concentration Administrator.

Writing 

Students must produce a written paper of no less than 25 pages on a topic related to public interest law. A student may fulfill this requirement through any of the following methods:

  • Law Review Note
  • Qualifying paper in any Designated Elective Course
  • Qualifying paper in a non-Designated Elective Course if the topic involves matters of public interest, with the advance approval of the Concentration Administrator
  • Independent Study approved per WVU College of Law Handbook and overseen by a Concentration Faculty member


A student may fulfill the writing requirement through an alternative method with the consent of the Concentration Administrator.

Experiential Learning

Students must meet the following experiential learning requirement of no less than 3 credits. No more than 7 credits of from participation in a clinic shall count toward the 17 credit hour requirement for the Concentration. A student may fulfill this requirement through any of the following methods:

  • Any WVU College of Law clinic; provided, however, that any student in clinic shall make every effort to work on matters that further the interests of the general public using the legal process through the representation of individuals and organizations who might otherwise be unrepresented.
  • Externship approved per WVU College of Law Handbook and approved by the Concentration Administrator.
Credit Hours

17 total credit hours must be accumulated from credits from the student’s mandatory course, credits from designated electives, and credits from experiential learning.

Pro Bono Requirement
College of Law-related pro bono requirement: 25 hours over three years. What is contemplated here is law-school based pro bono including, but not limited to, PIAparticipation, and participation in other pro bono activities sponsored by the College of Law.

A student may fulfill the experiential learning requirement through an alternative method with the consent of the Concentration Administrator.

Other Requirements 

Students must also met the following requirements:

  • 25 pro bono hours over the student’s three years at the College of Law (which may include, but is not limited to, participation in Public Interest Advocates).
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