June 8, 2012

UC Davis launches a California Supreme Court Clinic

UC Davis School of Law plans to open a California Supreme Court Clinic this fall, the first clinic of its kind in the state. According to the school’s news release, the clinic “will give students the invaluable opportunity to work on actual cases pending before the state’s highest court,” researching and writing briefs on behalf of the clinic’s clients. “Students enrolled in the clinic will explore California Supreme Court practice and procedure, study principles of effective appellate advocacy, and meet with seasoned appellate practitioners from different areas of legal practice as the clinic provides pro bono legal services to individuals and organizations in cases pending before the Court.”

We applaud UC Davis’s move and think a clinic devoted to practice before the Court is long overdue. As we said in our first post nearly two years ago: “The California Supreme Court sits at the apex of the vast judicial system that has primary responsibility for resolving legal disputes for the state’s 38 million residents, as well as millions of others who come to California each year for business or pleasure. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court has primary responsibility for overseeing the administration of that system. The Supreme Court regularly construes statutes enacted by the Legislature, resolves disagreements among the Courts of Appeal and decides contentious and often divisive issues that affect the lives of vast numbers of people.”

The new clinic’s director is Aimee Feinberg, a Stanford law grad who clerked for Justice Stephen Breyer on the U.S. Supreme Court and for Judge David Tatel on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. Most recently, Feinberg was an appellate lawyer and litigator in the San Francisco office of Munger, Tolles & Olson. Ms. Feinberg has, on occasion, been our opposing counsel so we know her skill as an appellate advocate and we think she will make a fine director for the clinic.

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