• Impacting Public Policy

Constitutional Jurisprudence Clinic

»Constitutional Jurisprudence Clinic


The Fowler School of Law Constitutional Jurisprudence Clinic provides students with an opportunity to earn 3 units of clinical class credit conducting research, drafting discovery requests, preparing draft summary judgment motions and appellate briefs, attending hearings, and even preparing briefs for filing with the Supreme Court of the United States. The clinic has for the past decade provided students with the opportunity to learn about the original understanding of the Constitution, and to put those lessons into practice by crafting arguments to the United States Supreme Court. Through its affiliation with the Claremont Institute’s Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence, the clinic has offered students the unique opportunity to participate in high profile cases and to understand how the Constitution was intended to protect individual liberty. 

The Constitutional Jurisprudence Clinic is recognized as one of the most influential advocates in the nation in terms of convincing the United States Supreme Court to grant review. Moreover, students participating in clinic work have a real opportunity to influence public policy in a positive way – arguing that the courts should adhere to the original understanding of the Constitution and founding principles.

Most significantly, the clinic briefs have been cited by appellate judges and Supreme Court Justices in their opinions. Justice Thomas cited the clinic’s brief on behalf of the CCJ in his dissenting opinion in Arizona v. The Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, __ U.S. __; 133 S.Ct. 2247, 2266 (2013) (Thomas, J. dissenting). The clinic’s brief in another case was cited by Ninth Circuit Judge N. R. Smith in his dissent in American Trucking Associations v. City of Los Angeles, 660 F.3d 384, 412 (9th Cir. 2011) (N.R. Smith, dissenting).

The Student Experience

  • Jennifer T. ('11)
  • Erik B. ('12)
  • Jennifer T"This clinic provided me with hands-on knowledge about how to write briefs for the courts of appeal and also how to navigate the procedural rules and requirements for getting those briefs filed in court. Once I graduated and began practicing law, I felt confident to know where to begin in appellate practice because of my experience in the Clinic. And that experience certainly made me more useful to my employer who could rely on me to take charge of my own cases---both substantively and procedurally. "

    -Jennifer T. (J.D. '11)

  • Erik"I practiced law for the first time at the Constitutional Jurisprudence Clinic. The Clinic provided me the opportunity to take what I had heard about in class and to put it into practice. I had the opportunity to help write an amicus brief that was submitted to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on a landmark case involving cutting-edge environmental issues and age-old federalism concerns. My experience at the clinic proved very valuable both in the remaining semesters of law school and in my job practicing environmental law. My experience at the clinic was also impressive to prospective employers when I was applying for summer associate positions. I highly recommend the Clinic for anyone who wants to gain the real-life experience of what practicing law is like."

    -Erik B. (J.D. '12)

+-Course Information for Students

This 3 unit clinical program provides students an opportunity to work on pending litigation representing clients or drafting amicus curiae briefs in high profile cases raising significant issues of constitutional law. Depending on the availability and current status of cases, students will, under the supervision of the course instructor or cooperating counsel, draft briefs for filing with the United States Supreme Court. Students may also have the opportunity to prepare initial case strategy, conduct client interviews, research legal issues, draft a complaint and prepare it for filing, draft discovery plans and requests, prepare summary judgment motions, draft appellate briefs, and perhaps, and, depending on the jurisdiction, argue a motion before the trial court or the case before an appellate court.

This course will satisfy the Practical Writing Requirement OR the Lawyering Skills Requirement; one course cannot satisfy both requirements at the same time.

  • Featured
  • News
  • Events
  • page loading
    TODAY TOMORROW

    »

    TODAY TOMORROW

    »

    TODAY TOMORROW

    »

    View all News »
  • page loading
    TODAY TOMORROW

    »

    TODAY TOMORROW

    »

    TODAY TOMORROW

    »

    View all Events »

Recent News

According to a recent study, the Constitutional Jurisprudence Clinic is ranked sixth nationally among organizations that regularly file amicus briefs urging Supreme Court review. Read more »

Tom Caso

Professor Tom Caso

"Students rarely, if ever, get the chance to see how the principles underlying the founding of this nation are relevant to the issues facing us today.  The Constitutional Jurisprudence Clinic shows students how use those founding principles to argue for an interpretation of the Constitution based on original understanding to continue to protect liberty."

    Contact us

    John Eastman, Chairman
    Phone: (714) 628-2587
    Email: jeastman@chapman.edu

    Anthony T. (Tom) Caso, Director

    Phone: (714) 628-2666

    Email: caso@chapman.edu

    • Featured
    • News
    • Events