407.01 Appellate Litigation Clinic (Fall)


The Appellate Litigation Clinic is a yearlong clinic that offers students the opportunity to work on a federal appeal in a civil or criminal case involving complex, important legal questions. The clinic aims to advance the public interest and help secure access to justice for those who are underserved by the legal system. Because appellate practice focuses largely on legal research, brief-writing, and oral argument, students will receive intensive training in written and oral advocacy as they are practiced in some of the highest courts in the nation. Students will also engage in all the other critical aspects of appellate practice, including: meeting with clients, listening to them, learning to tell their stories, educating them (and co-counsel) about the substantive law and appellate practice, developing effective legal strategy, and identifying and addressing ethical concerns. Skills developed in the clinic will be directly transferable to trial-court litigation, regulatory work, government service, and many other career paths in the law.

Clinic students will work in teams to review the trial-court record, identify legal issues, conduct legal research, prepare research memorandums and outlines of arguments, participate in tactical decision-making, draft and edit briefs, and prepare for oral argument. Students will also collaborate on classmates’ cases and participate in the litigation of a variety of legal issues. Subject to the clients’ permission, court approval, and an argument date during the school year, a student will argue each appeal in court. A weekly seminar will include reflection on case work, instruction in appellate procedure and effective written and oral advocacy, and exploration of how to negotiate workplace power dynamics and ethical issues that new lawyers often face.

Enrollment is limited to third-year students (i.e., students who have completed four semesters of law school).

To allow students to experience the entire life-cycle of an appeal, from filing the notice of appeal through oral argument, the Appellate Clinic is a full-year clinic. Students enrolled in LAW 407 will therefore also be enrolled in LAW 408, Appellate Litigation Clinic (Spring). Students will receive 3 credits each semester.

As with other clinics, students are required to attend the clinic intensive training session, and the course may not be dropped after the first class meeting.

International LLM students who wish to enroll in a clinic must seek the permission of the clinic’s faculty director before the enrollment period. Permission is required for LLM students to enroll but does not guarantee a spot in the clinic.

Clinics Enrollment Policy


Students are required to attend the clinic intensive training session. Students who have previously completed a clinic may skip some portions of the intensive.

International LLM students who wish to enroll in a clinic must seek the permission of the clinic's faculty director prior to the enrollment period. Permission is required to enroll but permission does not constitute entry into the clinic.

Ethics Requirement

Students are required to have instruction in the Model Rules of Professional Conduct prior to, or during, enrollment in the Appellate Litigation Clinic. Examples of ethics classes that meet the requirement include Ethics in Action: Large Firm Practice (LAW 231), Ethics of Social Justice Lawyering (LAW 237), Ethics and the Law of Lawyering (LAW 238), Ethics and the Law of Lawyering in Civil Litigation (LAW 239), Criminal Justice Ethics (LAW 317) and Ethics in Action (LAW 539).

Special Notes:

Year-long course

Enrollment Pre-/Co- Requisite Information

Students are required to have already taken or be contemporaneously enrolled in any ethics course (Law 231, Law 237, Law 238, Law 239, Law 317, or Law 539).

Completion of or contemporaneous enrollment in Federal Courts is recommended but not required. It is also helpful (but not required) to have already taken Appellate Practice, but students should not take Appellate Practice and the Appellate Litigation Clinic at the same time.

Fall 2023

Course Number Course Credits Evaluation Method Instructor
Course Credits
Group project(s)
Practical exercises
Live-client representation and case management
Class participation
Richard Katskee
Degree Requirements
Course Requirements - JD
Course Requirements - Public Interest
Course Areas of Practice