Curriculum Guide · Courses
SCI Judicial Clerkship Practicum
Professor Dori Bernstein
J.D. Practicum 1174 | 3 credit hours
The SCI Judicial Clerkship Practicum will operate in conjunction with the Supreme Court Institute (SCI), which provides moot courts to Supreme Court advocates in virtually every case the Court hears each Term. Each moot court panel is composed of five “Justices,” professors or practitioners with experience in Supreme Court and appellate advocacy. This Practicum will enable eight J.D. students to function as “law clerks” who will help prepare “Justices” to serve on SCI moot court panels. Each student will be assigned a case scheduled for argument in the February or March sitting, for which he or she will prepare a “bench memorandum.” Prior to the moot court, the student will submit the memorandum to his or her assigned moot “Justice” – a Georgetown Law professor who has volunteered to serve on the moot panel – and will meet with the Justice for a “case conference” to discuss the case in preparation for the moot. After attending the moot court, the student will attend the oral argument, read the argument transcript, or listen to the audio recording, and write a post-mortem review describing the ways in which the moot resembled and differed from the argument. Each student will also draft a majority opinion deciding the mooted case. The seminar component of the practicum will explore the role and function of law clerks; the mechanics of writing a useful bench memo and draft opinion; and ethical dimensions of judicial clerkships, including confidentiality and influence. Seminar sessions will also feature guest speakers, including appellate judges and recent Supreme Court law clerks.
Prerequisites: Students must complete the required first-year program prior to enrolling in this course (part-time and interdivisional transfer students may enroll prior to completing Criminal Justice, Property, or their first-year elective).
Students may not concurrently enroll in this practicum course and a clinic (except Street Law) or another practicum course. Students may concurrently enroll in this practicum course and an externship.
Professor permission is required. THIS COURSE REQUIRES PROFESSOR PERMISSION TO ENROLL. Students must submit a Statement of Interest (one page double-spaced), explaining his or her interest in the course to Professor Dori Bernstein (firstname.lastname@example.org) by June 3, 2013.