Beginning in the fall of 2007, Harvard Law School students will get hands-on experience participating in each step of the appellate process with a new Supreme Court and Appellate Litigation Clinic. The year-long clinic will put students in teams that work closely with an experienced appellate attorney formulating strategies, researching arguments, drafting briefs, and preparing oral arguments for high-impact Supreme Court, federal courts of appeals, and State Supreme Court cases.
“I am excited about this new clinic – it will be a great opportunity for clinical students to work with extraordinary lawyers on important cases and at the same time learn the inner workings of the US Supreme Court,” said Lisa Dealy, administrative director of clinical and pro bono programs at HLS. “In addition, it will be a valuable resource to our existing clinics, which often work on Supreme Court briefs in their respective practice areas.”
Former acting solicitor general Walter Dellinger will lead the clinic with Pam Harris and Jon Hacker, senior attorneys at O’Melveny & Meyers. Dellinger, who is currently a professor at Duke University and head of the appellate practice at O’Melveny, also served as Assistant Attorney General from 1993-96. During his time as solicitor general, Dellinger argued nine cases before the Court.
Participating students will have the option of spending the winter term in Washington, DC, working with O’Melveny attorneys and observing oral arguments at the Supreme Court. Public lectures and events at HLS will also accompany the coursework throughout the year.
The new clinic will be added to Harvard’s already extensive clinical programs, which provide a valuable experience to students and to the community, since many clinics focus on pro bono casework.
Through the participation in programs like the Supreme Court and Appellate Litigation Clinic, students develop substantive expertise in one area of legal practice, have the opportunity to be involved in exciting real-world cases, and gain an understanding of the professional and ethical issues that a practicing lawyer might face.