NOTE: This course is only available to 2L student enrollment in Spring 2023.
The state and federal appellate courts play an important role in explaining what our laws mean, and their decisions have far-reaching effects that impact many aspects of daily life. In the Civil Rights Appellate Clinic, students will immerse themselves in the work of the state and federal appellate courts, including state supreme courts and the U.S. Supreme Court. They will develop strong skills in oral and written appellate advocacy while working on cases involving issues of civil rights, social and criminal justice, and racial equity. Students will be involved in all aspects of the clinic's work and specific projects will vary each semester depending on the clinic's current caseload and the stage of the assigned appeals. Projects may include participation in case selection, reviewing the record on appeal, in-depth research and argument development, drafting merits briefs or amicus briefs that will be filed in court, and participating in preparation for oral argument. Whenever possible, students will participate in client meetings and assist in developing case strategy. The subject matter of the casework will center on civil rights and social justice work and may involve issues such as prisoner's rights, capital punishment, voting rights, gender equity and rights of LGBTQ+ individuals, section 1983 litigation, federal habeas appeals, or racial discrimination and inequity. The clinic will be accompanied by a weekly seminar, where students will learn key components of appellate advocacy, strategize on casework, and engage with guest speakers who are experts in the appellate field.