Lawyers, Clerks, and Judicial Decisionmaking

Information Introduction

Section 1, Spring 24

Schedule Information

Enrollment: 7/12
Credits: 1
Days Time Room Start Date End Date


0850-0950 WB121

Course Description

Drawing on the instructor’s experience as a clerk at the federal district, appellate, and Supreme Court levels, this class will explore the process of judicial decisionmaking and how lawyers influence those decisions, and how law clerks aid in the process, with a focus on analytical, writing, and communication skills that aid in the process. We will move deliberately through the stages of judicial decisionmaking, such as oral argument and briefing, as well as tools judges use in the process, such as bench memoranda. The course will use real cases and filings as opportunities for students to practice their analytical and communication skills with the instructor’s guidance and feedback. These opportunities will include: participating in oral argument as judges, advocates and clerks, advising on a case in an emergency posture, and drafting a bench memorandum. This course will be useful to students interested in clerking, as the course will provide perspective into the types of analyses and responsibilities the students will undertake in chambers. This course will also be useful to students interested in careers in litigation more broadly, as it will provide practical lessons in legal writing and oral advocacy.

Course Requirements

Exam Information

Final Type (if any): None

Description: None

Written Work Product

Students will draft a 10-15 page bench memo due via EXPO no later than noon on May 9, 2024.

Other Course Details

Prerequisites: Because the credits in this course count toward the JD Program Professional Skills requirement, JD candidates will be given enrollment priority for this class. Concurrencies: None

Exclusive With: None

Laptops Allowed: Yes

First Day Attendance Required: No

Course Resources: To be announced.

Graduation Requirements

Satisfies Understanding Bias/Racism/Cross-Cultural Competency requirement: No

Satisfies Writing Requirement: No

Credits For Prof. Skills Requirement: Yes

Satisfies Professional Ethics: No

Additional Course Information

Schedule No.: 124220250

Modified Type: Simulation

Cross Listed: No

Concentrations: Litigation and Procedure

Evaluation Portal Via LawWeb Opens: Sunday, April 14, 12:01 AM

Evaluation Portal Via LawWeb Closes: Sunday, April 28, 11:59 PM

Information reflected on this page was last refreshed at: Friday, May 17, 2024 - 7:03 AM *

*During open enrollment periods, live enrollment data may be found in SIS.