Appalachian Law Students Assist AG’s Office through New Program

President and Dean B. Keith Faulkner of Appalachian School of Law recently announced that ASL has begun a new clinic program that allows its law students to work with the Office of the Attorney General of Virginia on criminal appeals.  “ASL’s new Advanced Appellate Advocacy Program,” Dean Faulkner stated, “reflects ASL’s commitment to providing students with practical learning, future career opportunities, and, most important, an opportunity to serve the Commonwealth with their talents.”

Welcoming ASL’s students, Attorney General of Virginia Jason Miyares, observed that “ASL is an incredible asset to Southwest Virginia.  ASL students are well-rounded, hardworking, and passionate people who want to serve their communities through the practice of law.  The ASL alumni in my administration are dedicated public servants.  I am confident that the ASL externs will continue that great legacy.”

In the only program of its kind in Virginia, ASL students in the program work on actual appellate cases with attorneys from the Criminal Section of the Attorney General’s Office.  Students review the court record and write briefs on those cases.  The Attorney General’s Office then reviews those briefs and submits them on behalf of the Commonwealth of Virginia.  “The program gives students an amazing opportunity to work on actual criminal appeals and work with attorneys who are experts in appellate work,” explained Professor Shelly James, who works with the students and coordinates the program.  “Students even have the possibility of arguing before the Court of Appeals if their cases are set for oral argument.  It is a very unique clinic program, and we are very excited for our students.”

Distinguished Professor Larry Elder, a former Judge on the Court of Appeals, also works with ASL’s students, guiding them through the process of researching and writing legal briefs.  “Judge Elder provides invaluable, practical assistance to the students,” according to Prof. James.  “His assistance and oversight is one of the reasons that the Attorney General’s Office considered starting the clinic program with ASL.”

For additional information and details on the ASL Advanced Appellate Advocacy Program, please email Professor Shelly James at or call her at (276) 935-4349 ext. 1225.


Posted April 20th 2022 Posted by