Constitutional Law Seminar | L4701CLS

This course is intended to help develop various aspects of your professional and lawyering skills by requiring you to engage in depth with a limited number of Constitutional Law problems. Each of you will be required to choose a project in Constitutional lawyering and complete it by the end of the semester. Each project must have (1) a client; (2) a lawyering role; (3) a problem; and (4) written work product. The problem must be more than just a topic (e.g., “Free speech rights of corporate funders in political campaigns”). There must be a specific conflict or tension within the constitutional issue that would lead your client to engage your analytical, advocacy and problem-solving skills. The “workshop” aspect of the course means that we will be using class time for you to report on your progress and get feedback on your project from your classmates. You will each be required to lead the class discussion 1-2 times during the semester. As part of this requirement, you will have to create a reading list that is short enough to be manageable for your classmates but thorough enough to position us to understand your project and give useful comments on it.

Finally, I will ask each of you to act as a mentor for a group of 4-5 1L students in my Constitutional Law I course in connection with their oral argument project. Each group of 1Ls will be putting together a bench memo and presenting an appellate argument in a pending or recently-decided U.S. Supreme Court or appellate case. Your role will be (1) to help them brainstorm and talk through the legal issues in their case; (2) to provide guidance and feedback on their preparation of the bench memo; and (3) to “moot” their argument, i.e., to observe and critique them in a practice round of their argument prior to their graded performance in their 1L class. This 5-10 hour time commitment on your part is designed, not only to provide obvious learning benefit to the 1Ls, but also to help you develop some of the supervision and coaching skills that you are likely to need within 3-5 years of graduating from law school.

Prerequisites: None
Credit Hours: 2
ULW: This course does not satisfy the Upper Level Writing requirement (ULW)

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