This two-credit seminar is designed to help students develop the legal practice skills necessary to succeed as judicial law clerks and civil litigators. Students will have an opportunity to build upon the written and oral advocacy skills learned in first-year Legal Research and Writing by using those skills in a practical setting that simulates the litigation process. Throughout the semester, each student will play the role of advocate, law clerk, and judicial decision-maker and should expect to research and write a motion to dismiss or opposition, a bench memorandum, and a judicial decision (all about a single fact pattern). Students will also learn to edit their own written work and the work of their colleagues—a critical, and often underdeveloped, skill for any young lawyer. By the end of the semester, students will have written approximately 50 pages of legal writing and produced three substantial writing samples that can be used to apply for judicial clerkships and/or positions as litigation associates. Class format will vary week-to-week. Some classes will be seminar-style discussions, others will simulate courtroom experiences, and others will feature guest speakers. One class session will be dedicated to the clerkship application process and clerkship experience and will feature Georgetown alumni who have clerked in recent years.
The instructor will provide individualized comments and grades on each major assignment. The seminar will teach cost-effective research, writing, and revising techniques. Students will also develop their practical research and writing skills, learn to view cases from multiple perspectives, and learn strategies for addressing and managing the challenges of legal practice. Class participation will count toward the final grade.