Supreme Court Litigation Clinics:
The news that Harvard is joining the list of schools with Supreme Court litigation clinics makes me wonder -- how many years will it be before the number of law school Supreme Court clinics exceeds the number of merits cases on the Supreme Court's docket? (Hat tip: The Bashmanator)
E. Conan McClelland:
Well... the linked article does say "Supreme Court and Appellate Litigation clinic"....
1.31.2007 9:44pm
Ragerz (mail):
First, there is always room for Harvard Law.

Second, I don't see why one would think that there should be only clinic working per case. If the case is important, it makes sense to have multiple clinics working on it. Most important, the whole experience is a very good one for students while potentially helpful to the court.
2.1.2007 12:36am
Nobody Special:
There's a hell of a lot of meritless cert. petitions that need to be filed on behalf of prisoners.
2.1.2007 1:16am
theobromophile (www):
The S. Ct. is taking on fewer cases under Roberts than under Rehnquist. Emphasis on "appellate."
2.1.2007 1:48am
Al Maviva (mail) (www):
I for one am thrilled, because what the law really needs is more 2-L's and 3-L's shaping it - because you know, those 3-L+'s (law clerks) just don't have a clue about the law or how we should live; we need some fresh voices. Perhap's the Supreme Court should consult some 1-L's or better yet pre-law majors on how to rule in tough cases. Getting more students and legal academia involved in shaping the law will definitely put us on the road to Utopia, in the classical sense...
2.1.2007 9:37am
As law firm websites show, one way to make the Supreme Court pie larger and to claim that you "represented a party before the Supreme Court" is to file an amicus brief.
2.1.2007 9:55am
Ragerz (mail):
Al Maviva,

I am presuming that your post is sarcastic. But it has one major flaw. Merely submitting, say, an amicus brief to the Supreme Court hardly ensures influence. The Justices do have trash cans in their offices. And paper shredders.

Only if the brief is actually read and is persuasive will it have any chance of influence. And for it to be read and be persuasive, one would suppose it actually would have to be pretty good.
2.1.2007 12:07pm
Al Maviva (mail) (www):
Wow Ragerz... you really got me there. I thought the term amicus meant "you must obey this."

Speaking of errors - you state that a brief will only have influence if it gets read and is persuasive, but then go on to say that "for it to be read. . . it actually would have to be pretty good."

How would they know something is a pretty good brief, if they haven't read it yet? I guess the masters of the law really do posses superior predictive abilities.
2.1.2007 5:06pm
Ragerz (mail):
Al Maviva,

You can determine quality with a high probability without reading the entire brief using rules of thumb to determine whether it is good.

Example rules of thumb:
(1) Does the litigation clinic in question have a reputation for quality briefs.

(2) Read the introduction and the conclusion. Are they well and lucidly written? Do they indicate that the brief in question contributes something that the other briefs do not?

(3) Have your clerk skim/read the brief and recommend whether it is worthy of being read.

If the brief fails any of these tests, throw it in the trash. You do not have to read it.
2.1.2007 7:05pm