By: Professor Phil Broadhead
This semester the Criminal Appeals Clinic has reached the century mark through the representation of 100 appellants since the creation of the Clinic in 2002. Filing briefs and motions for rehearing on behalf of the clients in all of the cases, filing petitions for certiorari to the Mississippi Supreme Court in eighteen cases, and participating in 27 oral arguments, has resulted in winning reversals in 13 of those cases. During that time, 187 law students have been trained in the highly-specialized field of appellate practice and criminal law through this clinical course of study, along with instruction on advanced “fact-centered” legal writing, practical application of the Rules of Evidence and Criminal Procedure, problem-solving in the clinical setting, and oral advocacy before both the Court of Appeals of Mississippi and the Mississippi Supreme Court.
“Many of the students who pass through the Criminal Appeals Clinic compare their experience to an apprenticeship, although they never use that word,” Clinical Professor Phillip Broadhead said. “They regard the Clinic as a professional, rather than a traditional professor/student, relationship that is intuitively more collaborative than competitive. This view of the course of study transforms their focus to problem-solving in real cases through working within with the case teams under the supervision of a clinical professor. The opportunity to teach, collaborate with, and mentor these students has lead me to believe the clinical dynamic guides them to a shorter transition time from being a law student to becoming a lawyer.”
Visit the Criminal Appeals Clinic web page to learn more.