Every day, lawyers confront challenges in litigation that stem from the array of principles and rules that underlie the federal judiciary. More importantly, lawyers also regularly deploy such rules tactically. This class is designed to prepare students to succeed as law clerks and litigators by creating opportunities to practice skills at various steps in the judicial process. We will simulate the roles of law firm associate, law firm partner, law clerk, and judge through oral presentations and substantial writing projects (which may be used to develop writing samples suitable for applying to clerkships or other roles). Students will also learn to edit their own work and the work of others. Class format will vary week-to-week and include courtroom simulations, guest speakers, and seminar-style discussions. We will also cover the clerkship application process and feature guests who can speak about their clerkship experiences.
Each student will complete four primary assignments:
- A motion or opposition (~10 pages)
- A bench memo on the motion (~15 pages)
- Oral argument on the motion (~7 minutes)
- Judicial opinion (~10 pages)
- Improve legal writing and research skills through “real world” applications of civil procedures and other federal courts topics.
- Develop a deeper understanding of the structure and function of legal argument.
- Practice techniques to more effectively edit and critique one’s own writing.