Sixth Circuit Clinic

The Sixth Circuit Clinic introduces students to the basics of appellate advocacy. Requiring a strong understanding of an area of law and the policy issues that surround it, the Sixth Circuit Clinic gives students an opportunity to work closely with an attorney on cases pending before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. In addition, students will have the opportunity to attend arguments at the Court, as well as participate in a mooting the attorneys for oral argument. This can be a one semester clinic with a second semester at the instructor's option.

The clinic has represented clients in 20 appeals since it began in 2003. These included habeas and direct criminal appeals in the Sixth Circuit, a BIA appeal, an amicus brief to the Ohio Supreme Court, and an appeal to the Kentucky Supreme Court.

Clinic students have the opportunity to review lower court record, find issues, write the first and second (and perhaps third) draft of briefs, and participate in a mock oral argument in a Sixth Circuit courtroom. Past guest speakers have included Sixth Circuit Clerk Susan Rogers and Hon. Danny Boggs of the U.S. District Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. The clinic has won more than half of its cases, with recent wins including a reversal after previous counsel filed an Anders brief and getting a habeas grant overturning a life sentence where the prosecutor used perjured testimony to obtain a murder conviction.

In the Sixth Circuit Clinic, you will work on important appeals for real clients before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and other appellate courts.  The clinic, located in downtown Cincinnati, will teach you to navigate the federal appellate process in both civil and criminal appeals.  You will work on appeals from beginning to end—you’ll talk with the client, review the record below, figure out what issues to raise, research those issues, draft and file the appellate brief, and then participate in mock arguments in a Sixth Circuit courtroom.  You may even have a chance to argue one of the clinic’s cases before a panel of the Sixth Circuit.