Skip to content

Winter 2021 Seminar

Supreme Court Litigation

Required Clinic Component: Supreme Court Litigation Clinic (2 winter clinical credits). This clinic and course are bundled; your enrollment in the clinic will automatically enroll you in this required course.
Additional Co-/Pre-Requisites: None.
By Permission: Yes. Applications are due October 1, 2020.
Add/Drop Deadline: November 13, 2020.
LLM Students: International students on F-1 student visas are required to have Curricular Practical Training (CPT) authorization; LL.M. students are not eligible for CPT.
Placement Site: Washington D.C.

This course is co-taught by Tom Goldstein, Kevin Russell, Sarah Harrington, and Eric Citron.

This winter-term class is taken concurrently with the Supreme Court Litigation Clinic. Students are immersed in the practice of law before the United States Supreme Court. Both the class and clinic will take place in Washington, D.C.

The clinic and course consist of three major components:

  • (1) Intensive work on cases before the Court. Students will be assigned to small teams, each working closely with an instructor to write and file a petition for a writ of certiorari, brief in opposition to certiorari, merits brief, amicus brief and/or to prepare for oral argument in a pending case.
  • (2) Seminars. The instructors will facilitate classroom discussions about Supreme Court practice – including strategy, procedure, brief writing, and oral advocacy.
  • (3) Events. Students will attend arguments at the Supreme Court, view a moot court, and meet with leading members of the Supreme Court bar, former Supreme Court clerks, and members of the Supreme Court press corps.

The work is extremely rewarding, giving students an opportunity to work side by side with experienced Supreme Court practitioners litigating before the Court. The work is also quite intensive, precluding students from undertaking any significant non-class-related activities during the winter term. While we do our best to make the schedule manageable, the clinic requires us to complete a large amount of work in a short amount of time, and so students should be prepared to work long hours, including potentially on weekends.

Students will be provided transportation to and from Washington, D.C., as well as housing (which will require students to share hotel rooms, likely two students per bedroom). Housing will not be provided for students’ spouses or significant others. Students generally will be responsible for providing themselves meals and transportation within the city. In recent years, students have stayed at the Hyatt Regency Bethesda, which is located directly above a Metro stop, across the street from the office, and a short walk away from many restaurants and grocery stores.

Enrollment is through an application process. Interested students must submit a resume, a writing sample, and one or more references. The writing sample may consist of one or two writing products, totaling fifteen to twenty pages (the sample(s) should accurately indicate the student’s current writing ability, and so should not be significantly edited by anyone other than the author). The reference(s) should include the reference’s name and contact information. Application materials should be sent to Maggie Bay (mbay@law.harvard.edu) by October 1, 2020. Enrollment is limited to 10 students.