Appellate Law

Northwestern is the first law school to offer a federal appellate clinic, a Supreme Court clinic, and an appellate concentration together for comprehensive training in the theory and practice of appellate law. This concentration is designed for students interested in pursuing careers as appellate lawyers or for those students who would like focus more heavily on their legal research and brief-writing skills during law school. The concentration consists of a series of required and elective courses as well as several recommended extracurricular activities.

Concentration Checklist (pdf)
Sample Three-year Appellate Concentration

Program Director: Sarah Schrup

Concentration Requirements

Required Courses
Students must complete the following courses:

  • Appellate Advocacy
  • Research Requirement under the Senior Research Program: a minimum of 6 hours and a maximum of 12 hours to undertake an intense three-draft scholarly research project on a subject related to the problems and issues of appellate practice, under the guidance of an authorized faculty member

Additional Distribution Requirement
Students must complete at least three of the following core classes with at least 16 credits and may choose within these offerings to focus on civil or criminal litigation.

  • Administrative Law (3.0)
  • Advanced Constitutional Law (3.0)
  • Advanced Criminal Law (3.0)
  • Advanced Legal Communication (3.0)
  • Appellate Practice (2.0)
  • Civil Procedure II (3.0)
  • Class Actions (3.0)
  • Clinic: Federal Criminal Appellate Clinic (3.0/4.0)
  • Clinic: Supreme Court Clinic (3.0/4.0)
  • Clinic: Criminal Defense and Appeals (3.0/4.0)
  • Clinic: Critical Motions Practice (3.0/4.0) (new course)
  • Clinic: MacArthur Justice Center (3.0/4.0)
  • Clinic: Center on Wrongful Convictions (3.0/4.0)
  • Colloquium: Constitutional Law (3.0)
  • Conflict of Laws (3.0)
  • Constitutional Criminal Procedure (3.0)
  • Criminal Law Theory (3.0)
  • Criminal Process (3.0)
  • Federal Criminal Practice (3.0)
  • Evidence (3.0)
  • Federal Courts
  • Federal Jurisdiction/Advanced Federal Jurisdiction (3.0)
  • Fourteenth Amendment
  • Law and Rhetoric (3.0)
  • Law and Social Change (3.0)
  • Legal Ethics (2.0)
  • Legislation (3.0)
  • Persuasion: The Art of Writing In, For and About the Law (3.0)
  • Practicum: Criminal (4.0)
  • Practicum: Judicial (4.0)
  • Remedies (3.0)
  • Rule of Law, Procedural Justice and the Activity of U.S. Trial Courts (3.0)
  • Supreme Court Simulation Seminar (2.0)
  • Torts II
  • White Collar Criminal Practice (3.0)
  • U.S. Courts
  • U.S. Supreme Court (3.0)

Recommended Extracurriculars

  • Moot Court
    • Miner
    • Jessup
    • National Teams
  • Journal
  • Judicial Externship (and related coursework)