Ex. Criminal Appeals - Fieldwork
- Course Number
- Curriculum Level
- Areas of Study
- Criminal Law and Procedure, Clinics, Externships, and Experiential Learning
- Additional Attributes
- Experiential Credit
Section 002 Information
The Center for Appellate Litigation Criminal Appeals externship offers CLS students the opportunity to brief a criminal appeal on behalf of a client who is among society's most disenfranchised: a sentenced and incarcerated person who has been subjected to systemic and individual injustices during the era of mass incarceration. Each student selected for the externship will assist a client in challenging the system that has taken away their freedom, representing them on an appeal of their felony conviction to the New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First Department.
The externship consists of a seminar component and a field component. The seminar will meet for two hours weekly on Monday nights on Zoom. Seminar sessions will consist of lectures, discussions, and in-class exercises. Seminar sessions will address both the fundamentals of appellate advocacy (including the harmless error and preservation doctrines, scope and standards of review) and the practical skills essential for effective lawyering (including ethical responsibilities, brief writing, oral advocacy, and client communication). Focus will also be placed on a variety of other issues affecting students entering the legal profession (including a "career fair" with a panel of CAL attorneys). The externship's seminar portion will be graded.
The field component will be with CAL, a public defender organization based in lower Manhattan that represents clients convicted of felonies in Manhattan and the Bronx on their state court appeals. CAL, founded in 1997, engages in cutting-edge client-centered
advocacy, often involving complex constitutional issues. Working in two-person teams, students will represent a client appealing their felony conviction with CAL and, under the supervision of one of the instructors, will draft an appellate brief. For the supervised brief-writing part of the course, students will digest the full appellate record, research and select issues, draft the opening brief and collaborate with their clients. Students will meet with their assigned instructor every other week and engage in scheduled conference calls with clients, many of whom are incarcerated in NYS correctional facilities. At the conclusion of the semester, briefs will be filed with the Appellate Division, First Department. Students may later draft a reply brief and/or orally argue their cases. Each student will be expected to devote at least 12 hours per week during the semester to their assigned appeal.
- School Year & Semester
- Fall 2021
- J.D Writing Credit?
- At the end of the course, students will have acquired understanding of and/or facility in preparing and writing a criminal appeals brief.
- At the end of the course, students will have acquired understanding of and/or facility in various lawyering skills, e.g., oral advocacy, legal writing and drafting, legal research, negotiation, mediation, working collaboratively, client communications.
- At the end of the course, students will have acquired understanding of and/or facility in ethical and professional issues
- At the end of the course, students will have acquired understanding of judicial process.
- Instructor Pre-requisites
- Instructor Co-Requisites
- Recommended Courses
- Other Limitations
- Limited to JD and LLM students; admission is by instructor permission during the Externship application period.