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A Neat Idea to Get Supreme Court Cases and Free Work

With recent small-firm victories at the Supreme Court, looks like Biglaw will have to look for a different approach other than criticizing solo lawyers' competence to attract Supreme Court cases. And as this recent blurb from How Appealing bears out, big firms are now copying the ingenious idea patented by solo-turned-Biglaw attorney Tom Goldstein:  the law school Supreme Court clinic.

As the How Appealing post describes:

Lawyers from two D.C. firms are working with law schools that are launching Supreme Court litigation clinics this  fall, and others may not be far behind. Andrew Pincus and Charles Rothfeld, partners at Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw, will be sharing their high court skills at Yale Law School. And Mark Stancil, who is moving  this week from Baker Botts to the smaller appellate shop of Robbins,  Russell, Englert, Orseck & Untereiner, will be working on Supreme Court cases at the University of Virginia School of Law.

What an utterly ingenious marketing idea. For the cost of a few hours a week teaching a clinic, Biglaw attorneys have access to hundreds hours of FREE work on cert petitions by some of the top law students in the country. And the more cert petitions that you churn out, the better your odds of the Court picking your case for the docket. Plus, law students aren't bar members, so the lawyers don't have to worry about competition from them when it comes to arguing the case. As for the students, they'll have a couple of Supreme Court briefs as a writing sample, which beats a fake appellate moot court brief any day.

I will file this idea under "wish I thought of that one" and "how can I make this work some other way for my practice?"

Posted by Carolyn Elefant on July 17, 2006 at 04:52 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)


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