Section Description Provided by Instructor
The field component will be at CAL, a public defender organization based in lower Manhattan that handles state court appeals for indigent defendants convicted of felonies in Manhattan and the Bronx. CAL, founded in 1997, engages in cutting-edge advocacy of defendant's rights, often involving complex constitutional issues. In the major part of the field component, each student will be assigned his or her own "real" case through CAL and, under the supervision of one of the instructors, will draft an appellate brief for the client. Students will be expected to read, digest and annotate their case's full appellate record (including motion papers and hearing, trial and sentence transcripts), research and select issues, write initial and final drafts of the opening appellate brief and correspond with the client. Students will meet individually with their assigned instructor every other week, at a minimum, at the CAL office in lower Manhattan. Additional thinking/editing sessions will occur as needed either at CLS or CAL. After the course ends, the instructors will submit the briefs to CAL for peer review and then file them with the court. At the discretion of the instructors, students in the Spring term may also draft a reply brief and/or orally argue their cases before a five-judge panel of the First Department. Each student will be expected to devote at least 10 hours per week to their briefs during the Fall term.