Beatrice C. Franklin ’14
Counsel for the Appellants
As she has prepared her case for each round of the Harlan Fiske Stone Moot Court Competition, Beatrice Franklin has kept in mind something she learned during an externship with Robert A. Katzmann, chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit: most cases are won or lost on the briefs, and the oral argument should focus on clarifying and elaborating on one or two important points for the judges.
At Columbia Law School, Franklin has served as articles editor for the Columbia Human Rights Law Review and worked as a teaching assistant for first-year Civil Procedure. She also appeared in family court to advocate on behalf of domestic violence victims as part of the Courtroom Advocates Project, one of Columbia Law School’s in-house pro bono programs.
Next fall, she will work as a litigation associate at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, before taking on two clerkships: the first with Judge Jesse M. Furman of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, and the second with Judge Susan L. Carney of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
Franklin isn’t sure if she wants to work as a litigator at the trial or appellate level, or both. However, the Stone Moot Court—a highlight of the Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison Moot Court Program—has given her a deeper appreciation for the challenge—and the pleasure—of being in the courtroom.
“You really do have to be concise and constantly return to the point you want to make,” she says, noting that the 20 minutes allotted for oral argument in Stone Moot Court are far more than the typical time allowed in most appellate courts.
“The kind of cases appellate attorneys work on in real life involve binders full of documents, and the case may go on for years,” she points out. “It’s incredible to me that they can answer questions as effortlessly as we can—when we have far fewer facts to keep straight. The Stone Moot Court experience has made me even more in awe of what they do. It’s also made me understand what lawyers mean when they talk about how much fun it is to be in court.”