Although appellate practice articles often cover how to write briefs and motions for judges, we can forget that our audience also includes law clerks, and importantly, we need to help them focus on our arguments, too. Though their roles and influence may vary from court to court, it is safe to conclude that law clerks at least have a judge’s ear and a significant role in identifying the important legal issues and facts on which an opinion will rely. Making an enemy of the law clerk may not sink your case, but it certainly will never help you. And keeping the law clerk on your side will you give you another voice in chambers who can remind the judge of strong facts or law that help your position.
This DRI For The Defense article intends to provide practical tips from former law clerk perspectives that can help make you a better advocate by giving the people spending the most time with your briefs the tools that they need to focus on your winning arguments. These tips are derived from conversations with former judicial law clerks across the country.
Click here to read "Keep the Judicial Law Clerk on Your Side," originally posted in the February 2020 issue of DRI For The Defense.