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U.Va. Law School Partners With Hunton & Williams Law Firm To Help Low-Income Charlottesville Residents
Pro Bono Office To Open In July 2005 at Legal Aid Justice Center

May 24, 2005 -- The University of Virginia Law School and Hunton & Williams LLP have established a pro bono partnership between the law school and the law firm to provide free legal services to low-income Charlottesville residents. Volunteer lawyers and law school students will be working together to represent clients with legal problems in the areas of immigration and domestic relations.

“Inspired by a partnership between a major Boston law firm and the Harvard Law School, we have teamed with Hunton & Williams so that our students will be able to participate with their attorneys on a pro bono basis for the representation of low-income persons referred primarily by the Legal Aid Justice Center,” said John C. Jeffries, dean of the University’s Law School. “We welcome this opportunity for our students to engage in important public service under the guidance of lawyers from a firm so highly respected as Hunton & Williams.”

Through a pilot program started in September 2004, four Hunton & Williams lawyers and eight law school students began handling cases for immigrant clients seeking asylum in this country. The success of that program, based in Charlottesville, persuaded the law school and the law firm to expand their partnership in the fall of 2005 by adding the representation of family law clients. Types of domestic matters will include child custody, support, divorce and other family law cases arising out of abusive relationships.

In addition to the free legal services of the volunteer lawyers from their Richmond office, Hunton & Williams will contribute the office space, as well as employ a full-time lawyer experienced in family law litigation matters to develop the practice and manage the new office, to be located in Charlottesville.  The law school will contribute a substantial portion of time from the schedule of Kimberly C. Emery, assistant dean for pro bono and public interest, to represent clients, coordinate student volunteers and help supervise the case load in the pro bono office. The current four-lawyer team will be joined by another six to eight volunteer lawyers, and the law student component will be increased from the present eight to 20 student volunteers.

The partnership’s new pro bono office in Charlottesville will open in July 2005 on the campus of the Legal Aid Justice Center, at 1000 Preston Ave. The partnership office will be located there until the winter of 2006, when it will be relocated permanently on the same campus in the nearby Rock House, now undergoing renovation. 

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About the University of Virginia School of Law

Founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1826, the University of Virginia School of Law has long been recognized as one of the nation’s leading law schools. It maintains Jefferson’s emphasis on rigorous intellectual training and the promotion of civic mindedness in its graduates. Its 1,150 students are enrolled following a highly competitive admissions process and its faculty includes many of America’s most respected legal thinkers. Virginia is noted for especially strong programs in law and business, international and human rights law, criminal law, health law, and constitutional law and history. Its graduates are prominent in the nation’s judiciary, corporate leadership and political life. U.Va. is second only to Harvard in the number of alumni who are chairpersons and managing partners of law firms nationwide.

About Hunton & Williams

Hunton & Williams LLP provides legal services to corporations, financial institutions, governments, individuals and an array of other entities. Since its establishment in 1901, the firm has grown to more than 850 attorneys serving clients in 100 countries from 17 offices around the world. Although Hunton & Williams’ practice has a particular emphasis on commercial litigation, corporate and structured finance, corporate transactions, energy and environmental law, governmental relations and intellectual property, the firm’s depth and breadth of experience extends to more than 60 separate practice areas.

About the Legal Aid Justice Center

The Legal Aid Justice Center offers civil legal services to low-income families throughout Central Virginia and to low-wage immigrant workers statewide, while also engaging in systematic, statewide legal advocacy for all low-income Virginians. Through legal representation, community education and advocacy, the Legal Aid Justice Center works both to eliminate the immediate symptoms and to address the underlying causes of poverty in Virginia.

Contacts: Kimberly Emery, U.Va. School of Law, (434) 924-3883, kac5e@virginia.edu; George Hettrick, Hunton & Williams, (804) 788-8324, ghettrick@hunton.com

 


FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Contact the Office of University Relations at (434) 924-7116. Television reporters should contact the TV News Office at (434) 924-7550.

SOURCE: U.Va. News Services

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