Get Real World Experience doing Appellate Work at a Firm, Public Defender Office, or Government Agency!

The College of Law is offering a new opportunity to do an Appellate Clinic during the school year.  This Clinic was previously offered only to rising 2L’s, and only in the summer.  It is now open to 2L and 3L students.  This article includes information on the required corresponding course and the possible placements where you can work (firm, public defenders, and other agencies). 

The Appellate Clinic will now be offered every semester for students who have already taken or are currently enrolled in the Appellate Practice class (taught starting next Monday evening—so you can still add it) or who have previously taken the Appellate Survey summer course.

The placements are still being finalized, but a tentative list is below.  Additional placements may be added based on the number of students registering for the clinic.  This is a great chance to work with top-notch attorneys!


  • Guardian ad Litem’s Office (downtown location)
  • Salt Lake Legal Defender’s Association
  • Zimmerman Jones Booher LLC –


If you considering adding the Appellate Practice class and clinic, please attend the first Appellate Practice class Monday, August 29 at 5:30 pm, and stop by the Clinical Office to get an application form.  You will need to attach your resume to the application, so have that ready.  Some students who did the clinic this summer will be there the first day of class to talk about their experiences.  Below are a few comments about the clinic from former students (you can also read the Career Brief article on Mark Schwartz’s experience in the summer clinic):

“One of the most useful concepts that has come out of the clinic experience as a whole came from Michael Zimmerman (former chief justice of the Utah Supreme Court), when he was a guest speaker in the class. He talked about how the most effective brief and oral argument will be the one that not only convinces one or more of the judges that you are right, but allows them to go into conference as an advocate for your position. To that end, you must provide them with all of the information and arguments you need to have to win, and ensure that these come out in oral argument.  The interaction between judges after argument is something I had not greatly considered before, and I think this ‘behind-the-scenes’ look at how decisions are made will definitely influence my writing, and potentially future oral argument.”

“My thoughts are more focused not on the process of appellate practice, but the interconnection between appellate practice and trial work.  The clinic placement has made me more cognizant of issue preservation in the trial courts and it is something I will continue to keep in mind should I land in trial attorney work.  In fact, I believe it was this experience that landed me a fall OCI interview with a prosecuting attorney’s office.”

“Handling a case from the beginning has definitely helped prepare for class, particularly the readings which you can put in to context with the background of practical experience.”

“At the SLLDA, I have attended meetings with my supervising attorney to plan appeal strategies and research directions. I also visited one of our clients in prison, to discuss his appeal. (This was a particularly good experience.)”

“I think I’ve become a better legal writer just through practice and observation. I’m very impressed with (my supervisor’s) legal writing ability.”