Law 792:  Judicial Opinion Writing

This is a pass/fail course designed for law students designed for students who are seeking or have accepted judicial clerkships. Discussion topics will include the role and responsibilities of a judicial law clerk, ethics and confidentiality, the process of judicial decision making, and the clerkship application process.

Writing assignments will consist of a bench memo and two drafts of a judicial opinion. The cases are selected from among those docketed for oral argument before the Illinois Supreme Court at its January 2022 Term. The records in the cases (briefs, pleadings, motions, discovery materials, transcripts, etc.) will be made available to us by the Clerk of the Court, with the permission of the Chief Justice. Each student will also make a presentation to the class.

Guest speakers include a federal district court judge, members of the Illinois Supreme Court and appellate court, the Illinois Supreme Court Reporter of Decisions, and former law clerks in both the federal and state systems.

Sequence and Prerequisites: None

Evaluation: This is a pass/fail course. Writing assignments will include a bench brief, a memorandum to the judge following oral argument, and an opinion.

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