407 Appellate Litigation Clinic (Fall)

The Appellate Litigation Clinic offers students the opportunity to work on a federal appeal.  Our cases are typically in the Third or Fourth Circuit and have involved a wide range of complex and novel civil and criminal issues.  This Clinic will provide you with the chance to experience what it is like to be an appellate lawyer.  Because appellate practice focuses largely on researching and writing, students in the Appellate Clinic naturally focuses on those matters. Clinic students work in teams to review the trial court record, conduct sophisticated legal research, prepare research memos, draft and edit briefs (typically an opening brief and a reply brief), participate in tactical decision making, prepare the record excerpts for the court of appeals, and prepare for oral argument.  When oral argument is calendared during the academic year, it is expected that a student on the Clinic team for that case will argue the appeal (subject to client permission).  In addition, the Clinic faculty will lead a weekly seminar that will allow for instruction on the appellate process, reflection on case work, and strategic and tactical case planning.

Because of the time needed to handle an appeal through briefing and argument, the Appellate Clinic is a full-year clinic, and students must enroll in both semesters.  Students receive 3 credits in the fall semester and either 2 or 3 credits in the spring semester.  It is expected that most students will receive 3 credits for both semesters, but the credits for the spring semester may be adjusted based on workload.

Students seeking to enroll in the appellate clinic are encouraged to contact Prof. Andrussier before enrolling to discuss, among other things, scheduling. The Appellate Clinic, like our other clinical courses, involves the representation of real clients in ongoing legal matters.  As a result, participation in the Clinic requires students to be flexible with their schedules to fulfill their professional obligations to clients under court-imposed schedules, including possibly during a school break.  For more information about that, please contact Prof. Andrussier.

Enrollment is limited to third-year students (i.e., students enrolling in this clinic must have completed four semesters of law school).  It is helpful (though not required) to have previously taken Appellate Practice.  Students should not enroll in that course and the Appellate Clinic simultaneously.  It is recommended that students enrolling in the Appellate Clinic have completed or be contemporaneously enrolled in the federal courts course.

Important:

  • As with other clinics, this course may not be dropped after the first class meeting.
  • Appellate Clinic students represent real clients, enter appearances in court as student counsel, and operate under court-imposed deadlines and schedules.  Consequently, clinical work must take priority over extracurricular activities.
  • Students must attend the all-day clinic intensive held on a Friday in early September (students in all clinics must attend).
Course Areas of Practice
Course Type
Simulation
Learning Outcomes
Other professional skills needed for competent and ethical participation as a member of the legal profession
2019
Fall 2019
Course Number Course Credits Evaluation Method Instructor Meeting Day/Times Room

407.01 3 Sean E. Andrussier Tu 6:00-8:00 PM 4055

The Appellate Litigation Clinic offers students the opportunity to work on a federal appeal.  Our cases are typically in the Third or Fourth Circuit and have involved a wide range of complex and novel civil and criminal issues.  This Clinic will provide you with the chance to experience what it is like to be an appellate lawyer.  Because appellate practice focuses largely on researching and writing, students in the Appellate Clinic naturally focuses on those matters. Clinic students work in teams to review the trial court record, conduct sophisticated legal research, prepare research memos, draft and edit briefs (typically an opening brief and a reply brief), participate in tactical decision making, prepare the record excerpts for the court of appeals, and prepare for oral argument.  When oral argument is calendared during the academic year, it is expected that a student on the Clinic team for that case will argue the appeal (subject to client permission).  In addition, the Clinic faculty will lead a weekly seminar that will allow for instruction on the appellate process, reflection on case work, and strategic and tactical case planning.

Because of the time needed to handle an appeal through briefing and argument, the Appellate Clinic is a full-year clinic, and students must enroll in both semesters.  Students receive 3 credits in the fall semester and either 2 or 3 credits in the spring semester.  It is expected that most students will receive 3 credits for both semesters, but the credits for the spring semester may be adjusted based on workload.

Students seeking to enroll in the appellate clinic are encouraged to contact Prof. Andrussier before enrolling to discuss, among other things, scheduling. The Appellate Clinic, like our other clinical courses, involves the representation of real clients in ongoing legal matters.  As a result, participation in the Clinic requires students to be flexible with their schedules to fulfill their professional obligations to clients under court-imposed schedules, including possibly during a school break.  For more information about that, please contact Prof. Andrussier.

Enrollment is limited to third-year students (i.e., students enrolling in this clinic must have completed four semesters of law school).  It is helpful (though not required) to have previously taken Appellate Practice.  Students should not enroll in that course and the Appellate Clinic simultaneously.  It is recommended that students enrolling in the Appellate Clinic have completed or be contemporaneously enrolled in the federal courts course.

Important:

  • As with other clinics, this course may not be dropped after the first class meeting.
  • Appellate Clinic students represent real clients, enter appearances in court as student counsel, and operate under court-imposed deadlines and schedules.  Consequently, clinical work must take priority over extracurricular activities.
  • Students must attend the all-day clinic intensive held on a Friday in early September (students in all clinics must attend).

Pre/Co-requisites
None
Enrollment Restrictions
None
2018
Fall 2018
Course Number Course Credits Evaluation Method Instructor Meeting Day/Times Room

407.01 3
  • Reflective Writing
  • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 10-15 pages
  • Group project(s)
  • Class participation
Sean E. Andrussier Th 6:00-8:00 PM 4172

Students seeking to enroll in the appellate clinic are strongly encouraged to contact Prof. Andrussier before enrolling.

This is a year-long clinic, and enrollment is limited to third-year students (i.e., students enrolling in this clinic must have completed fourth semesters of law school). Because of the time necessary to handle an appeal from briefing through argument, this is a year-long clinic offering 3 credits in the fall and 2 credits in the spring, and each student must enroll in both semesters.

For a practitioner, the appellate process focuses largely on researching and writing; thus most of the work in this clinic will entail researching and writing. Work will include reviewing the trial court record to identify appealable issues, conducting sophisticated legal research, drafting research memos, drafting appellate briefs, participating in tactical decision making, preparing the excerpts of record for the court of appeals, and preparing for oral argument if argument is scheduled. If oral argument is calendared during the academic year, a student may also argue the appeal, with client and court permission (only one student on a team can argue any appeal). In addition, the clinic director will meet with the students in a seminar setting early in the year to discuss appellate advocacy and the law necessary to handle the appellate work.

It is also helpful if students enrolling in this course have previously taken appellate practice. It is recommended that students enrolling in this course have completed or have contemporaneously enrolled in the federal courts course.

Because of tight court-imposed deadlines and the demands of appellate practice, this course requires students to be exceedingly flexible with their schedules and to dedicate significant amounts of time in the briefing process and in preparing for oral argument. The briefing schedule overlaps with fall break, and for reply briefs the schedule has often overlapped with a portion of winter break. Oral argument preparation has often overlapped with spring break.

Clinic students represent real clients, enter appearances in court, and operate under court-imposed deadlines.  Consequently, if scheduling conflicts arise, work on a clinic case must take priority over extracurricular activities (such as moot court).

Enrollment is limited to eight students (unless case load permits larger enrollment, which won't be known until the fall semester commences).

Like students in all other Duke clinics that meet in the fall, appellate clinic students must attend the ethics portion of the all-day clinic intensive held on a Friday in early September.

Pre/Co-requisites
None
Enrollment Restrictions
None
2016
Fall 2016
Course Number Course Credits Evaluation Method Instructor Meeting Day/Times Room

407.01 3
  • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 10-15 pages
  • Reflective Writing
  • Group project(s)
  • Class participation
Sean E. Andrussier Th 6:30-8:30 PM 3171

Students working in teams will, under the close supervision of the clinic director, handle appeals. Enrollment is limited to third-year students. Each team is assigned to an appeal. Past appeals for this clinic have all been in federal appellate courts (Fourth Circuit, D.C. Circuit, and Third Circuit), but the venue might vary. Work will include reviewing the trial court record to identify appealable issues, legal research, drafting appellate briefs, preparing the excerpts of record for the court of appeals, preparing for oral argument if argument is scheduled, and arguing the case (only one student on a team can argue any appeal, with client and court permission). In addition, faculty will meet with the students in a seminar setting early in the year to discuss appellate advocacy and the procedural and substantive law necessary to handle the appeals. Enrollment is limited to eight students (unless case load permits larger enrollment, which won't be known until the fall semester commences). In the past, three to four students typically have been assigned to each case.

Because of the time necessary to handle an appeal from briefing through argument, this is a year-long seminar offering 3 credits in the fall and 2 credits in the spring, and you must be enrolled in both semesters to get credit. Students must be in at least their fourth semester of law school to enroll in the clinic. It is strongly recommended that students enrolling in this course have completed the school's appellate practice course. It is also recommended that students enrolling in this course have completed or have enrolled in the federal courts course.

For a practitioner, the appellate process focuses largely on researching and writing; thus most of the work in this clinic will entail researching and writing. Because of tight court-imposed deadlines and the demands of appellate practice, this course requires students to be exceedingly flexible with their schedules and to dedicate significant amounts of time in the briefing process and in preparing for oral argument. The briefing schedules overlap with fall break and winter break. Oral argument preparation often overlaps with spring break. Clinic students represent real clients and operate under court-imposed deadlines; consequently, if scheduling conflicts arise, work on clinic cases must take priority over extracurricular activities (such as moot court).

Like students in all other Duke clinics, appellate clinic students must attend the ethics portion of the all-day clinic intensive held in early September.

Students seeking to enroll in the appellate clinic are strongly encouraged to contact Prof. Andrussier before enrolling.

Pre/Co-requisites
None
Enrollment Restrictions
None

*Please note that this information is for planning purposes only, and should not be relied upon for the schedule for a given semester. Faculty leaves and sabbaticals, as well as other curriculum considerations, will sometimes affect when a course may be offered.