Law Schedule of Classes

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243.7A sec. 001 - 9th Circuit Practicum (Fall 2019)

Instructor: William H. D. Fernholz  (view instructor's teaching evaluations - degree students only | profile)
Instructor: Charles D. Weisselberg  (view instructor's teaching evaluations - degree students only | profile)
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Units: 4

    Course Start: August 19, 2019
    Course End: November 26, 2019

    Enrollment info:
    Enrolled: 7
    Waitlisted: 0
    Enroll Limit: 7
    As of: 04/07 11:14 PM

    The Ninth Circuit Practicum will provide students an intense experience in appellate advocacy. Students will brief and potentially argue cases before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on behalf of clients who would otherwise not have legal representation. Students will also learn aspects of federal law and appellate practice.

    Working in collaboration with the Ninth Circuit’s Pro Bono Program, the Practicum will brief and possibly argue three appeals during the 2019-2020 academic year. These will most likely be civil rights cases, though the Practicum will not know the cases and clients until this summer. Students will work in teams of two on a strict schedule. We expect to file opening briefs in October, and reply briefs in early 2020. The cases may be set for argument in April or May, and some students may argue under faculty supervision. Because of this schedule, the Practicum is a two-semester experience.

    This will be a demanding course. Students will work very hard early in the Fall semester to master the cases and prepare the opening briefs. The work will also be uneven in the Spring semester given the timing of the reply briefs and arguments. Students must devote the necessary amount of time to these cases on this schedule, so they should not be concurrently enrolled in another clinic, field placement or practicum, Appellate Advocacy, or other course with a competing commitment. Each team and case will have a primary faculty supervisor - either Professor Fernholz, Professor Weisselberg, or an adjunct faculty member - though the teams will also collaborate with each other.

    Because of the needs of the clients, we cannot guarantee that the briefing will follow this schedule or that every case will be fully litigated or argued. We will do what is best for the clients, and that might mean settling or mediating a case. It is possible that the Practicum will need to alter the briefing or argument schedule. But we will select cases with the anticipation that they will be handled during the academic year.

    Course Applications
    Admission to the Practicum and the co-requisite Seminar is by application only. Please apply for the course through our online application: The APPLICATION DEADLINE is April 15, 2019. (Only one application is required for both the seminar and clinic components.) We hope to make offers of admission early in the week of April 22. Regrettably, enrollment will be limited to six students.

    Attendance Requirement
    Full attendance at each seminar session and full participation in the clinical portion is mandatory to receive credit for this course.

    Attendance at the first class is mandatory for all currently enrolled and waitlisted students; any currently enrolled or waitlisted students who are not present on the first day of class (without prior permission of the instructor) will be dropped. The instructor will continue to take attendance throughout the add/drop period and anyone who moves off the waitlist into the class must continue to attend in order not to be dropped.

    Prerequisites, Co-Requisites, and Commitment
    There are no prerequisites, though it would be helpful for students to take or have taken Federal Courts and writing-intensive courses, such as Advanced Legal Writing or Appellate Advocacy. The 9th Circuit Practicum Seminar (Law 243.7) is a co-requisite. Students must attend an all-day Seminar meeting on Saturday, August 17, 2019. They should be prepared to commit to enrolling in the Advanced Practicum Clinic and Advanced Seminar in Spring 2020 as well. We may ask students to review the records in the cases before classes begin, if possible, and we will also try to arrange meetings with the clients either before the semester or shortly after it begins. 3L JD students are preferred.

    Requirements Satisfaction:

    This class may be counted as either an Option 1 class (two Option 1 classes satisfy the J.D. writing requirement) or units from this class may count toward the J.D. Experiential Requirement. This class may count for both requirements if and only if a student is electing Option 1 and the student's other Option 1 class being used to satisfy the J.D. writing requirement is not being counted towards any other requirement.

    Student Services is available to answer questions.

    Exam Notes: (None) Class requires a series of papers, assignments, or presentations throughout the semester
    This is a credit only course
    Course Category: Litigation and Procedure
    This course is listed in the following sub-categories:
    Public Law and Policy
    Social Justice and Public Interest

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