The Federal Appellate Clinic entails the study of the adversarial processes of the criminal justice system and intensive instruction in persuasive legal writing. Admission is by selection based on a record of work and academic achievement. The clinic functions as a small, highly collaborative law firm. Professor Ricardo J. Bascuas, a former Assistant Federal Public Defender, supervises each team and guides the class through the briefing process.
Pairs or small groups of students are assigned to each case. The students identify issues, plan strategy, and conduct research jointly and individually. Students present their research and ideas to the class for discussion. Each student produces multiple drafts of briefs to the U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeals as well as petitions for writs of certiorari to the Supreme Court. The clinic also occasionally drafts amicus curiae briefs in federal and state courts on criminal justice issues.
In addition to researching and briefing appeals, students will study, through traditional doctrinal reading (cases, law review articles, and the like), the adversarial aspects and norms of the federal criminal justice system.
Prospective Student Requirements
This clinic is a one-semester, four-credit course. The class meets twice each week for one and a half hours.
- Cumulative GPA of at least 2.5
- Successful completion of at least 32 credits