Appellate Litigation Clinic

"The faculty enabled us to think through the issues and craft the arguments on our own — aided by their expertise, which we needed, but with freedom to work creatively and sharpen our lawyering skills as a team."

- Libby Magee '08, who worked with four other law students on U.S. v. Weymouth.


Appellate Litigation Clinic

The Appellate Litigation Clinic allows students to develop litigation skills by preparing and presenting appeals in appellate courts including the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. The courts appoint the supervising professors as counsel of record in appropriate cases filed by parties who are not represented by counsel. Students review the trial court record for the cases, conduct legal research, draft and file appellate and reply briefs, prepare the excerpts of record for the court of appeals, prepare for oral argument, and argue the case, with permission of the court and consent of the client. The clinic provides Duke Law students an extraordinary opportunity to develop their legal skills at the same time that they provide critical legal services to people who would otherwise be unrepresented.



  • Appellate Litigation Clinic (Fall), 407.01
    Students will, under the close supervision of faculty, brief and argue appeals in the U.S. Court of Appeals for D.C. Circuit and in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.
  • Appellate Litigation Clinic (Spring), 408.01
    Work will involve reviewing trial court records to identify appealable issues, legal research, drafting and filing appellate briefs, preparing the excerpts of record for the court of appeals, preparing for oral argument, and arguing the case, with court permission.
Standing in front of the Fourth Circuit was one of the most exhilarating experiences of my life. I had spent so long preparing for the argument and I was having such a good time conversing with the court that I was sad to see it end.”

Hannah Ludwin-Polikov ’08 is now manager of cross-cutting energy and climate issues for the Maryland Energy Administration.


Contact Us

Appellate Litigation Clinic
Duke Law School
Box 90360
Durham, North Carolina 27708-0360
Phone: (919) 613-7169
Fax: (919) 613-7262