Through the practicum, students, who will serve consumers filing Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases, will apply legal concepts to real-life situations, interact with clients facing financial hardship, and gain professional skills.
Each semester, up to four students will be accepted into the program, and each student will spend 60 hours over the course of the semester working in mentoring relationships with bankruptcy lawyers in Hampton Roads.
The practicum will allow law firms to provide discounted consumer bankruptcy work for clients who cannot afford it, helping decrease the current strain on the court system.
“Over one million people in the United States file individual Chapter 7 bankruptcies,” Professor Pryor explains. “To file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, lawyer fees are about $2,500. Many people don’t have the money, so some go online, complete the confusing forms and file them. That’s a disaster for them and the system.”
“There is a bit of a nationwide movement for a practicum like this because so many individuals file independently and clog up the court system,” adds Professor Pryor. “The practicum can help solve this problem at our local level.”
Professor Scott Pryor teaches first-year Contracts and upper-level courses on Uniform Commercial Code and Bankruptcy. He has served as the resident scholar of the American Bankruptcy Institute where he worked closely with judges and leading members of the practicing bankruptcy bar.
Read Professor Pryor’s blog, Pryor Thoughts.