Appellate Advocacy Center
The Appellate Advocacy Center, part of Northwestern University School of Law's Bluhm Legal Clinic, provides clients with legal assistance in appealing their cases, and provides students with opportunities to participate in appeals before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and the United States Supreme Court. Students choose between two Center offerings: in the Federal Appellate Clinic, students represent indigent criminal defendants before the Seventh Circuit; in the Supreme Court Clinic students act as Supreme Court litigators in partnership with attorneys at Sidley Austin LLP. Since its founding in 2006, the Center has enjoyed victories in its own cases and has been integral in assisting counsel in many others.
"Ours is the only law school-based center in the country that offers federal, intermediate, and Supreme Court experience, along with an appellate concentration, all in one place," says Appellate Advocacy Center director, Sarah Schrup. Most cases taken by the Federal Appellate Clinic serve underrepresented populations - indigent civil plaintiffs and criminal defendants on appeal, and students thoroughly review the trial record for possible legal errors to overturn the clients' convictions and/or sentences. The Supreme Court Clinic was designed in conjunction with Sidley Austin LLP's Supreme Court practice group, and students work with the firm's attorneys to assist with petitions for certiorari, merits briefs, amicus assistance, and oral-argument preparation. The clinic sponsors several notable guest speakers and invites students to attend the oral arguments in Washington, D.C. each semester.