Fall 2019 Course Schedule

Appellate Advocacy (LAW-847-002)
Seth Grossman

Meets: 09:00 AM - 11:50 AM (Th) - Capital - Room C116

Enrolled: 22 / Limit: 22 / Waitlist: 1

Administrator Access


There are no notices at this time.


This course is designed to introduce students to appellate processes, procedures, and structures, including written and oral advocacy and judicial decision-making in federal appellate courts (the U.S. circuit courts and the U.S. Supreme Court). The course will cover federal appellate courts’ structure and jurisdiction (both constitutional and statutory); doctrines governing access to federal appellate courts; procedures in federal circuit courts and the Supreme Court; appeals from administrative agency decisions and regulations; the standards and scope of review used by federal appellate courts; the roles of litigators, law clerks, and judges in appellate decision-making; writing effective briefs; and impactful oral advocacy, among other topics. Students will have two writing assignments and present an oral argument during the semester.

Textbooks and Other Materials

The textbook information on this page was provided by the instructor. Students should use this information when considering purchases from the AU Campus Store or other vendors. Students may check to determine if books are currently available for purchase online.

First Class Readings

Patricia Wald, 19 Tips from 19 Years on the Appellate Bench, Journal of Appellate Practice and Process (1999)

Department of Justice, Introduction to the Federal Court System, available at https://www.justice.gov/usao/justice-101/federal-courts

Federal Judicial Center, Structural and Other Alternatives for the Federal Court of Appeals (1993), Pages 5-11

Law Clerk Handbook, Section 3.4 (Appeals); Section 4.6 (Case Management: The Appellate Court)

Listen to the podcast SCOTUStalk, Paul Smith on oral advocacy, available at https://www.scotusblog.com/2019/08/scotus-spotlight-paul-smith-on-oral-advocacy/

Note: The readings that do not have a link are available on MyWCL.