The Amicus Brief Clinic will provide students and faculty an opportunity to weigh in on, and attempt to influence, the development of the law and public policy in the courts.
The Amicus Curiae, or “friend of the court”, brief provides a formal avenue for interested non-parties to offer new information and unique insights to a court as it considers a matter. The amicus brief procedure allows the court to take advantage of expertise with respect to a matter or policy that is before the court and to consider implications of the court's ruling beyond those raised by the parties to the litigation. Amicus briefs are accepted under certain conditions by a wide variety of courts, including the US Supreme Court, federal and state appellate courts, as well as international tribunals such as the European Court of Human Rights, the International Criminal Court, the Court of Justice of the European Union, among many others. The Amicus Brief Clinic is a “pop-up” clinic at BCLS. A pop-up clinic is a temporary clinic established and run for a very short period of time and for a specific purpose. The temporary nature of a pop-up clinic is intended to provide the Law School with the flexibility to respond to opportunities for students to learn and engage with current legal issues without the Law School making a long-term commitment to a subject matter or problem that might only be short term in nature. In the Amicus Brief Clinic faculty will identify an important legal issue being considered or soon to be considered by a court. Faculty will then guide a small student team in the process of researching, writing, editing, and submitting an amicus brief to the court for consideration. The Amicus Brief Clinic is a 2-credit, one-semester clinical opportunity. Although the subject matter and faculty leader of each amicus brief will be different, every Amicus Brief Clinic will include instruction and supervision on legal research and writing as well as the rules relating to submission of amicus briefs.