UVA: Judges Teach Classes on Navigating Courtrooms, Legal Rules

Press Release

University of Virginia School of Law students will have the opportunity during the 2023-24 academic year to absorb the knowledge and wisdom of 11 judges in separate course offerings.

Judges John T. Cook ’82 (Col ’79) and J. Frederick Watson (Col ’93), who sit on the 24th Judicial Circuit of Virginia, are teaching Trial Advocacy this semester. In this course, students are prepared for work in the trial court and for the atmosphere of the courtroom, with extensive use of simulated trial segments.

Lisa Lorish ’08, a judge on the Virginia Court of Appeals, will teach Law and Riots in the spring with former U.S. Attorney Timothy J. Heaphy ’91, a partner in Willkie’s litigation department who led the House investigation into the Jan. 6 attacks on Capitol Hill. The course will examine legal, ethical and practical issues presented by protecting free speech and public safety while managing mass demonstration events.

Timothy J. McEvoy S.J.D. ’99, who was appointed to the Federal Court of Australia in 2022, is teaching Globalization and Private Dispute Resolution in the fall. The course analyzes the effects that globalization has had on a range of existing legal rules and regulatory regimes. McEvoy has taught at the Law School periodically for 20 years.

Judge Alison Nathan of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit will teach Federal Practice and Procedure in the spring. The course will explore federal trial and appellate court practice, with an emphasis on developing skills especially useful for future federal law clerks.

Judge Andrew Oldham of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and Judge Amul R. Thapar of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit will teach The Great Writ during the January term. The course will trace habeas corpus — or “The Great Writ,” as William Blackstone called it — from its origins in England to its role in federal courts today.

U.S. Judge Jed S. Rakoff of the Southern District of New York will teach Science and the Courts for the January term. The course will address the difficulties that courts encounter in dealing with scientific evidence and scientific concepts, both at the practical level and as a matter of jurisprudential theory.

Senior U.S. Judge Stefan Underhill (Col ’78) of the District of Connecticut is teaching Federal Sentencing this semester. The course provides an overview of federal sentencing policy and practice, including the history and goals of sentencing, the types of sentences available to judges, the collateral consequences of conviction and the sentencing reform movement that led to the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines.

Susan L. Whitlock, who serves as the resident judge of the Culpeper Circuit Court, Virginia’s 16th Judicial Circuit, will teach Virginia Practice and Procedure in the spring. The course is organized and presented primarily for students who intend to practice law in the state.

Morgan T. Zurn (Col ’03), vice chancellor of the Delaware Court of Chancery, will teach Corporate Litigation in the Delaware Court of Chancery in the January term. The course will explore corporate litigation in the nation’s preeminent forum for resolving business disputes, from a doctrinal and practical perspective.

Founded in 1819, the University of Virginia School of Law is the second-oldest continuously operating law school in the nation. Consistently ranked among the top law schools, Virginia is a world-renowned training ground for distinguished lawyers and public servants, instilling in them a commitment to leadership, integrity and community service.