Course Details

Clinic Practice: Federal Criminal Appellate Practice

***NEW STUDENTS PLEASE NOTE: Students who newly enroll in the Spring 2015 semester of the Federal Appellate Practice Clinic will have the opportunity to participate in the remaining briefing of the existing clinic cases, prepare the bench memoranda for our moot courts, and participate in the government's role during our moot courts leading up to oral argument. Newly enrolled students, however, should not expect to have the opportunity to orally argue the cases in the Seventh Circuit. Course Description: Student attorneys work collaboratively in teams of two or three on their primary cases, and work as a unified whole on all of the clinic cases. In their primary appeals, students will take the case from start to finish-from research and briefing in the fall and early winter through oral argument in the spring. The clinic cannot guarantee oral argument, but Professor Schrup makes every effort to have two students argue each direct appeal in the Seventh Circuit. On occasion the court has not permitted two students to argue, and in other instances the cases are of a nature where Professor Schrup must argue them. The value from the course, however, stems not from these few minutes of oral argument (though fun and invigorating), but rather from the eight months leading up to it. In short, oral argument should not be a student's driving force for taking the class; this clinic is an intense, collaborative enterprise that rewards-professionally and personally-those who choose to commit to it. Professor Schrup will mentor each team and guide it through the appellate process. She will assist in revising and perfecting the brief and argument. The pedagogical goals are to develop advanced legal-research, legal-writing, analytical and appellate-advocacy skills, to expose students to the intricacies of representing a client on appeal, and to introduce students to the substantive areas of the law in an in-depth and hands-on way. Teamwork and a collegial atmosphere are extremely important in real law practice and those skills are emphasized here. The course is demanding because teams will need to produce a top-quality brief on a strict deadline by December or January. As a practical matter this means that students should be prepared to devote several hours to reading their case files before the semester begins, 25 hours per week (or more) for the first three to four weeks of the semester and the same (or more) in the three weeks leading up to their brief due date. The remaining half of the semester requires 10 hours per week or less. Students will also file a reply brief about six to eight weeks after the opening brief, and should expect to devote 25 hours per week during that two-week drafting period. Finally, oral-argument preparation in the spring semester requires about a 75-hour commitment of time over three to four weeks for those who opt to present oral argument. Because the nature of appellate work and the briefing timeline is not limited to one semester, students are strongly encouraged to sign up for a full academic year. The spring semester will be devoted to writing the reply brief and preparing for and presenting oral argument, as well as to any follow-up matters including petitions for rehearing and petitions for certiorari. Weekly class sessions are held during which there will be presentations on the appeals, brainstorming sessions, skill development, and broad issues involving advanced appellate writing and appellate practice, along with some specifics on the substantive area of law in our appeals. We will travel to visit clients if possible. There will be additional sessions outside of class when briefs are due, as well as group moot court exercises in which the entire class is encouraged to participate. Students will be evaluated based on their overall contribution to the brief and oral argument, including but not limited to the student's participation in digesting the record, brainstorming issues on appeal, researching chosen topics, writing the brief, citation, assistance in oral argument, and ability to collaborate with partners to produce the best written product possible. Students' grades will also heavily depend on an ability to set a realistic timeline for completion of the various stages of the brief, to adhere to that timeline, and to create a top-quality brief that reflects a diligent effort to learn the legal issues in the case and to improve as legal writers. Students will be graded on their collaboration with and assistance to their classmates in finalizing briefs and preparing for oral argument. Students also will be required to keep a journal of their experience in the class. Given the nature of the cases to which the clinic is appointed, Constitutional Criminal Procedure and Evidence are strongly recommended pre-requisites or co-requisites. Professor Provenzano's Appellate Advocacy course is a helpful pre-requisite, but students should be careful about taking both at the same time and should speak to one of us about it before registration. The emphasis on the time commitment for this course is not meant to scare students away, but rather to give a realistic assessment of what is required to produce top-quality briefs and argument; early investment in your clinic cases makes the experience so much more rewarding. Feel free to contact Professor Schrup with any questions about the structure of the clinic. NOTE: There will be a mandatory clinic student orientation hosted by clinic faculty on Sunday, September 7, 2014 from 1:00 to 5:00 pm.

Catalog Number: LITARB 719
Practice Areas: Civil Lit. and Dispute ResolutionCriminal Law Practice AreaLegal Skills Development
Additional Course Information: Experiential Learning,  Professional Writing


Course History

Fall 2017
Title: Clinic Practice: Federal Criminal Appellate Practice
Faculty: Elson, John S. (courses | profile)
Schrup, Sarah O'Rourke (courses | profile)
Section: 1     Credits: 4.0
Capacity: 6     Actual: 6

Fall 2017
Title: Clinic Practice: Federal Criminal Appellate Practice
Faculty: Elson, John S. (courses | profile)
Schrup, Sarah O'Rourke (courses | profile)
Section: 2     Credits: 4.0
Capacity: 3     Actual: 1

Spring 2017
Title: Clinic Practice: Federal Criminal Appellate Practice
Faculty: Schrup, Sarah O'Rourke (courses | profile)
Section: 1     Credits: 4.0
Capacity: 4     Actual: 4

Spring 2017
Title: Clinic Practice: Federal Criminal Appellate Practice
Faculty: Schrup, Sarah O'Rourke (courses | profile)
Section: 2     Credits: 4.0
Capacity: 2     Actual: 2

Spring 2017
Title: Clinic Practice: Federal Criminal Appellate Practice
Faculty: Wedoff, Eugene Robert
Section: 3     Credits: 4.0
Capacity: 2     Actual: 1

Fall 2016
Title: Clinic Practice: Federal Criminal Appellate Practice
Faculty: Schrup, Sarah O'Rourke (courses | profile)
Section: 1     Credits: 4.0
Capacity: 4     Actual: 4

Fall 2016
Title: Clinic Practice: Federal Criminal Appellate Practice
Faculty: Wedoff, Eugene Robert
Section: 3     Credits: 4.0
Capacity: 2     Actual: 0

Fall 2016
Title: Clinic Practice: Federal Criminal Appellate Practice
Faculty: Schrup, Sarah O'Rourke (courses | profile)
Section: 2     Credits: 4.0
Capacity: 2     Actual: 2

Spring 2016
Title: Clinic Practice: Federal Criminal Appellate Practice
Faculty: Schrup, Sarah O'Rourke (courses | profile)
Section: 1     Credits: 4.0
Capacity: 4     Actual: 4

Spring 2016
Title: Clinic Practice: Federal Criminal Appellate Practice
Faculty: Schrup, Sarah O'Rourke (courses | profile)
Section: 2     Credits: 4.0
Capacity: 4     Actual: 4

Fall 2015
Title: Clinic Practice: Federal Criminal Appellate Practice
Faculty: Schrup, Sarah O'Rourke (courses | profile)
Section: 1     Credits: 4.0
Capacity: 4     Actual: 4

Fall 2015
Title: Clinic Practice: Federal Criminal Appellate Practice
Faculty: Schrup, Sarah O'Rourke (courses | profile)
Section: 2     Credits: 4.0
Capacity: 4     Actual: 3

Spring 2015
Title: Clinic Practice: Federal Criminal Appellate Practice
Faculty: Schrup, Sarah O'Rourke (courses | profile)
Section: 1     Credits: 4.0
Capacity: 6     Actual: 4

Fall 2014
Title: Clinic Practice: Federal Criminal Appellate Practice
Faculty: Schrup, Sarah O'Rourke (courses | profile)
Section: 1     Credits: 4.0
Capacity: 8     Actual: 3