Course Information

Course Number

571A

Credits

3

JD Graduation Requirements

This course typically satisfies all or some of the following JD graduation requirements:
  • Writing

SEM / US Supreme Court

U.S. Supreme Court Seminar, 4 credits, taught by Neil Siegel

In this yearlong course, students will serve as the Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States during the current Term of the Court. Students will become experts in the legal and personal backgrounds of their Justices, and they will write research papers (25-30 pages) on the jurisprudences of their Justices. Students will also vote on nine cases on the docket during the current Term, and they will write majority, dissenting, and concurring opinions (25-30 pages) in those cases.

The seminar will meet for two hours a week throughout the fall and spring semesters. Accordingly, students who enroll in the fall will be required to enroll in the spring. Students will be evaluated in the fall based on course participation and a research paper they will produce on the jurisprudence of their Justice. Students will be evaluated in the spring based on course participation, a judicial opinion they will draft and revise before submitting for a grade, and an “edit” memorandum in which they provide general and specific substantive, stylistic, and organizational suggestions to their “co-Justice” on his or her draft opinion.

The course will involve both substantial reading (of various academic materials, legal briefs, judicial opinions, and transcripts of oral argument) and substantial writing (both academic and judicial). Students will also be responsible for compiling reading materials on their Justice, and some preliminary preparation will be required before the fall semester begins. Accordingly, only students who are prepared to make a serious, year-long commitment to the success of the seminar should consider enrolling.

The class is ideal for students interested in constitutional law, federal courts, appellate litigation, and judicial clerkships.


Please note that course organization and content may vary substantially from semester to semester and descriptions are not necessarily professor specific. Please contact the instructor directly if you have particular course-related questions.