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ASL's mission is to produce lawyers with a sense of professional responsibility who will become leaders in their communities. The school was founded in 1994, and the first class of 71 students was admitted in August 1997. ASL is fully accredited by the American Bar Association. Students are eligible to take the bar exam in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
What sets ASL apart is its deep commitment to community service and leadership. ASL takes an innovative approach to education, going beyond just talking about the law to actually experiencing it through an emphasis on practical skills and an incomparable externship program. The curriculum is rigorous, but students are supported by a mentoring faculty, dedicated staff, and encouraging classmates. ASL maintains a focus on dispute resolution, ethics, and professional responsibility.
ASL professors aren't just exceptional law scholars. They've also been in the trenches, practicing what they teach. Together, they have more than 325 years of law-practice experience. They're approachable, accessible, and devoted to students' success.
ASL's commitment is three-fold: to advance the legal profession, to serve the community, and to produce civic-minded lawyers. The school strives to produce alumni with heart who have the drive to not only reach their goals, but help their communities in the process. Whatever a student's definition of success, ASL's goal is to provide the tools to make it happen.
ASL is committed to developing community-minded leaders. That's why students fulfill 25 hours of community service each semester, a standard matched by only about a dozen law schools in the country. Recent graduates volunteered nearly 25,000 hours during three years at ASL.
ASL maintains that the best kind of lawyers come from the best kind of people. That describes ASL students, whose backgrounds are as diverse as their goals. Some come from as far away as the Pacific Northwest and Pakistan. Many are from Virginia and surrounding states. Some are fresh out of college; others have established careers in fields from medicine to auctioneering. All are driven to create bright futures for themselves and their communities.
ASL is proud of its growing alumni network. Throughout the country, ASL graduates have wasted no time before making a difference:
- Margaret Sagi '06: assistant district attorney general in the 23rd Judicial District of Tennessee
- Stewart Harmon '06: practices in Salt Lake City doing civil defense litigation, including cases involving alleged sex abuse of juveniles
- Jon Marion '05: opening law office in the East Tennessee area after completing a clerkship with the Honorable Glen M. Williams, Senior United States District Judge in Abingdon, Virginia
- Valerie Chaffin '09: completed LL.M. at the University of Missouri in Columbia and is pursuing a degree in nonprofit management at the Truman School for Public Affairs