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 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.
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.
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