What are Counselors?
Counselors serve as advocates for the accused and complainant parties going through the UJC trial system. Their duties include advising the parties of their rights, assisting them in the preparation of their cases, and representing them at trial. The Counselor is a trusted oral advocate for their client throughout the entire process. They interview witnesses, draft examinations and statements, handle evidence, and help make decisions on how the case should proceed. Additionally, as a UJC support officer, Counselors are expected to participate in various UJC educational requirements, effectively communicate with other members of the UJC and the broader UVA community, as well as consistently attend both general body and Counselor pool meetings.
Why should you be a Counselor?
UJC Counselors have a significant role in the UJC process through their frequent interactions with clients, investigators, and trial chairs. Once assigned a trial by the Senior Counselors, it is their job to independently build a case with their client. The ability to handle a caseload comes with a lot of responsibility, but working individually with deans and accused students is incredibly rewarding. Counselors themselves will benefit from the consistent practices of public speaking, concise writing, and communication skills that come with performing their duties.
How to Apply to be a Counselor
Counselor recruitment occurs at the beginning of each academic year during the fall semester. In the fall of 2017, applicants will be expected to attend a UJC informational session, take a preliminary quiz about the basic policies and procedures of the UJC, and interview with the Senior Counselors. If selected as a Counselor, one should expect to complete a full semester of training and shadowing before beginning to take on a their own caseload.
An Ideal Counselor Candidate
An ideal Counselor candidate would feel strongly about promoting the mission of the UJC with respect to all parties involved in the trial process. To fulfill the duties of a Counselor, one would need the following skills: confidence in their public speaking, effectiveness in a team setting and initiative when working alone, empathy for their clients, the ability to identify both the big picture and smaller details of a case, efficient email communication, thorough organization, and overall professionalism. An interest in law may motivate Counselors, but it is certainly not required. A new Counselor should have a flexible schedule and should be up to any challenges thrown their way. Finally, the Senior Counselors are committed to increasing the diversity of the pool in order to best represent the broader University community.