Reproductive Rights and Justice Project (30226). 3 units, graded or credit/fail, at student option. Students in this project will gain firsthand experience in fast-paced litigation and timely and strategic advocacy in a highly contested area of the law, confronting knotty procedural problems as well as substantive constitutional law questions in an area where established doctrine is under siege. Students will advocate for clients who are often vilified by opponents as well as some members of the press and judiciary, learning the vital importance of client confidentiality, as well as the impact of political movement strategy and management of press and public messaging. Enrollment limited to eight to twelve. Permission of the instructors required. P.J. Smith, K. Kraschel.
For litigation matters, students will work in small teams representing reproductive health care providers and/or patients in cases being handled by attorneys at Planned Parenthood Federation of America, the Center for Reproductive Rights, or the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project. Projects and case assignments will vary according to the posture of the cases, but all will require top-notch legal research, analysis and writing, as well as strategy meetings with team members. Some cases will involve trial level work, including informal fact development, drafting pleadings, discovery, motion practice, and negotiations. Other matters will involve appellate briefing.
Students will also have an opportunity to develop non-litigation skills by undertaking non-litigation matters involving legislative and regulatory advocacy, public education, and strategic planning, at the federal, state, and local level. Some ongoing matters developed outside the project will be carried into the project, including research and development of model legislation to protect reproductive rights at the state level, the appropriate constitutional standards to be applied in challenges to restrictions on the provision of reproductive health services, including abortion and contraception, in light of Planned Parenthood v. Casey, and Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, and additional projects involving preparation for future litigation on the state and national level or other policy projects promoting access to reproductive health care, the details of which cannot be disclosed because they involve privileged matters.
Students will be assigned in small teams to work on one litigation matter and one non-litigation matter each. Supervision of the litigation will be conducted by the attorneys at the national organizations, with assistance from course instructors. Non-litigation matters will be supervised by the course instructors with input from those at national organizations where appropriate.
Note: Open only to U.S. J.D. students.
Course Bidding:Students should submit a statement of interest and a copy of their resumes to Professors Smith (Priscilla.firstname.lastname@example.org) and Kraschel (Katie.email@example.com) by January 6, 2017. In the statement, please indicate how you would have ranked this experiential course if it had been posted during the December bidding period. Priority will be given to applicants with past experience in the substantive law of reproductive rights and justice, either through coursework or work experience, as well as to some with a demonstrated commitment to this as a new practice area. All other things being equal, preference will be given to those qualified students who rank the clinic as their first choice and to third-year students.