Law Schedule of Classes

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243.7A sec. 001 - 9th Circuit Practicum (Fall 2022)

Instructor: William H. D. Fernholz  (view instructor's teaching evaluations - degree students only | profile)
Instructor: To Be Announced  
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Units: 4
Grading Designation: Credit Only
Mode of Instruction: In-Person

Course Start: August 24, 2022
Course End: November 30, 2022

Enrollment info:
Enrolled: 8
Waitlisted: 0
Enroll Limit: 8
As of: 10/01 11:59 PM


Please apply for the course through our online application. The APPLICATION DEADLINE is Noon on April 13, 2022. (Only one application is required for both the seminar and clinic components.) We plan to interview applicants and make decisions shortly thereafter.

Admission to the Practicum Clinic and the co-requisite Seminar is by application only. The Ninth Circuit requires that a student have completed two thirds of their law school training to practice before the Court. As a result, we will consider applications only from rising third-year students.


The Ninth Circuit Practicum provides students an intense experience in appellate advocacy. Students brief and 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 also learn aspects of federal law and appellate practice. Because of Ninth Circuit rules for student practice, the Practicum is limited to rising third-year law students.

Working in collaboration with the Ninth Circuit’s Pro Bono Program, members of the Practicum brief and argue four appeals during the academic year. These most likely will be immigration or civil rights cases, though we will not know the cases and clients until this summer. Students work in teams of two on a strict schedule. We expect to file opening briefs in October, and reply briefs in February 2023. The cases may be set for argument in April, and students will argue under faculty supervision. Because of this schedule, the Practicum is a two-semester experience.

This is a demanding course. Students work very hard early in the Fall semester to master the cases and prepare the opening briefs. The work is 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 may not concurrently enroll in another clinic, field placement or practicum, Appellate Advocacy, or other courses with a competing commitment. Each team and case has a primary faculty supervisor, though the teams 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 court or the Practicum will need to alter the briefing or argument schedule. But we select cases anticipating that they will be litigated during the academic year.


The Ninth Circuit Practicum requires students to enroll in both the Practicum and Seminar for the entire academic year. The Fall Seminar is limited to students who are accepted for enrollment in the Practicum for academic year 2022-23. Accepted students will enroll in the Advanced Practicum and Advanced Seminar in Spring 2023 at the appropriate time.

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

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.


Submit teaching evaluations for this course between 14-NOV-22 and 02-DEC-22

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

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