This practicum course will provide students the opportunity to work one-on-one with a faculty supervisor on a pro bono amicus brief. Students enrolled in this course will be assigned a case and a faculty supervisor. Case selection will be based on a variety of considerations, including legal significance, social significance, inquiry by an interested party (including student), jurisdiction, service to the profession, as well as faculty interest and expertise.
Upon invitation to participate in the practicum, the faculty supervisor will present the student with a written project description, the goal of which will be to produce a pro bono amicus brief of professional quality by the end of the semester. Students must agree in writing to the project description, including interim draft deadlines, before permission to register for the course will be granted.
All participating students will be required to attend an orientation to brief drafting and to meet periodically with the faculty supervisor and the project director. The faculty supervisor and the student will work to map out arguments, make a research plan, and determine the applicable procedural and filing requirements.
Given the nature of the course, the law covered will vary by the issues to be address in each brief. Students will be required to review cases, treatises, and other materials as determined by the faculty supervisor, and will be expected to utilize additional texts and resources as they conduct research. Students will receive credit for the course irrespective of whether the amicus brief is filed or accepted by the court. If the brief is filed, the student will be credited as a non-signatory co-drafter.
Interested students must submit the application for the Amicus Project Practicum, a writing sample, a letter of recommendation, undergraduate and law school transcripts, and resume to the Project Director, Professor Michael Epstein, c/o Faculty Support on the 4th Floor of the Bullocks Wilshire Building. The application is available on the MySouthwestern portal.
For additional information, please contact Professor Michael Epstein.