The Civil Rights Appellate Clinic provides intensive training in appellate advocacy by involving students in noncriminal civil rights cases before the state appellate courts, federal courts of appeal, and the U.S. Supreme Court. Students conduct research, draft briefs, assist in case selection, develop substantive legal positions, and plan appellate strategy. As this is a new clinical offering, an initial focus will be on amicus briefs; however, the driving decision for case selection will be which cases during any particular clinic sessions offer the best pedagogical value.
The clinic reproduces the type of representation and methodology comparable to that provided by the best appellate firms in the country, with teams of attorneys working in small groups on one case. In working on the cases, students have exposure to top civil rights and appellate litigators in the country. In addition to this work, students participate in classroom sessions (augmented by expert presentations) and attend oral arguments when appropriate.
The clinic is directed by Professor Michael Foreman, the immediate past deputy director of legal programs for the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Law in Washington, D.C., where he was responsible for supervising all litigation in employment discrimination, housing, education, voting rights, and environmental justice areas.