UT Law School Classes
- Spring 2014
Smnr: Supreme Court
2:15 pm - 4:05 pm
|| Test Date
This course is restricted to upper division students only.
You must have at least 43 credit hours to register.
SUPREME COURT SEMINAR
This seminar is based on the traditional Supreme Court Seminar offered here by the late Charles Alan Wright. Students participate as Justices of the United States Supreme Court, although no actual role playing is involved. In the week before each Monday’s “judicial conference,” students do their own “clerking,” preparing for discussion of an actual case currently before the Supreme Court. At the Monday "judicial conferences," the “Justices” present their individual views of how the case before them should be decided, supporting their positions with arguments based on their researches. After this round they then can thrash out the issues freely, trying to achieve a majority for decision of the case.
After these early conferences, a writing period begins. The required written work is in the form of a substantial, fully researched full dress “United States Supreme Court” opinion. There are page and format requirements which also must be met, both in the initial draft submitted for the instructor's comments, and in the final submission. A pre-approved list of cases is provided from which students may choose the subject of their written opinions; but students may also choose any other case currently before the Supreme Court on certiorari. The seminar ends in late April with a mandatory Marathon Meeting at which students briefly “deliver” a precis of their written opinions.
The seminar offers exposure to some of the Court's more interesting current cases, and to actual professional materials of national importance, while providing experience in analysis of legal issues through focused lawyerly argument. This seminar can be a revelation of the variety and interest of the Court’s current cases, and can introduce the student to interesting areas of federal law generally as well as of constitutional law.
Because the seminar presumes completion of the first year of law school, it is open to upperclass students only. Enrollment is limited, but the course is open to all first comers. Three hours.