The Federal Appellate Litigation Clinic has exceeded every expectation I had for clinical education. Our supervising attorneys treat us as colleagues, giving us unparalleled opportunities to write and argue briefs on behalf of the Federal Public Defender of the Northern District of Ohio before the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. The clinic has dramatically improved my legal writing, client counseling, and oral advocacy skills. Our instructors are unparalleled in their passion and commitment both for their clients and for teaching.
—Kate Gilbert, 2L
Federal Appellate Litigation Clinic
In the Federal Appellate Litigation Clinic, second- and third-year law students will gain hands-on experience in various stages of federal appellate litigation. Under the supervision of attorneys from the Office of the Federal Public Defender for the Northern District of Ohio (Professors Melissa Salinas and Dennis G. Terez), students will prepare and file briefs on behalf of criminal defendants and/or habeas petitioners in the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. Each student will manage an appeal from its inception, and will gain hands-on experience by reviewing the district court record and identifying issues for appeal, developing a theory of the case, researching substantive law, and preparing the client's merits brief. When appropriate in view of timing and subject matter considerations, students will have an opportunity to write reply briefs and conduct oral arguments in Cincinnati before a panel of judges on the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Weekly class meetings will include case discussions and instruction on how to litigate effectively a federal criminal appeal. Students will meet frequently with instructors who will provide individualized feedback as students prepare their appellate briefs and oral arguments. In addition to developing their written and oral advocacy skills, students can expect to gain an understanding of the practical aspects of federal appellate litigation. While the clinic will be relevant to all students of law, it will be particularly valuable to students who plan to pursue federal clerkships or who have an interest in criminal or appellate litigation.