Academics

Liberty Law: Here to Serve

September 20, 2022

Liberty University School of Law has a long tradition of serving the Lynchburg community and surrounding areas. Whether offering free tax services or representing underprivileged clients in the courtroom, their acts of community service flow not only from the skills they’ve acquired in their studies but also from their Christian commitment to help others.

“Liberty Law’s distinctively Christian mission is one of the biggest factors that motivates students to come to Liberty,” Dean Morse Tan said. “It’s stunningly special to have a law school that is dedicated to following our Lord Jesus Christ in every way, including evangelism and service. Encouraged by this mission, our students are motivated to serve their neighbors and change the world.”

Students participate in the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program each spring. The free tax filing service is for qualified individuals with an average annual income under $54,000. Liberty’s program has served hundreds of community members over the past decade.

Students also volunteer with Liberty Law’s Intellectual Property Clinic, assisting start-up businesses, veteran-owned businesses, and Christian ministries with trademark, copyright, and trade secret issues as well as protecting creative works (literature, music, movies, artwork, and software). The clinic is certified by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Clinic Director Andrew Connors was recently recognized by the Virginia Access to Justice Commission, under the Supreme Court of Virginia, at a pro bono summit honoring those who have completed a high number of voluntary service hours. He and his students collectively gave over 400 hours in free legal work to clinic clients over the last year.

Through a partnership with the Virginia Legal Aid Society, students provide pro bono legal services to clients who could not afford counsel otherwise. Services include landlord and tenant law, public benefits denials and terminations, unemployment law, debt collection, and permanent protective orders in domestic violence cases.

Through Liberty Law’s Constitutional Litigation Clinic, students share the responsibility of managing a case under the direct supervision of attorneys. The pro bono service allows students to learn civil procedure, evidence, substantive constitutional law, law office management, ethics, and professional responsibility.

Law students also regularly participate in many university-sponsored service projects, including work with Habitat for Humanity, area food banks, Salvation Army, and the Blue Ridge Pregnancy Center.

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