I valued my time in the free speech clinic not just for the fascinating subject matter, but for the opportunity to do actual, hands-on appellate work. Opportunities like that are rare for all lawyers, and especially rare for law students.
In my time with the clinic, I was able to work on a team with two other students to write the first draft of what would become an amicus brief actually filed with the Supreme Court on behalf of a group of United States Senators and Representatives. The brief evolved substantially from our initial draft, but the end product clearly reflected the research we did, the themes we developed, and the examples we curated. Seeing what changed from early draft to final product helped me improve immensely as a writer, and finding a single typo in a near-final draft remains one of my prouder moments in law school. Getting back a printed copy of the amicus—exactly as it was delivered to the Chambers of the Supreme Court—was one of the most inspiring moments in my legal education.
The work I did with the Free Speech clinic was ideal for growing as a writer and legal thinker, and the star-studded list of guest speakers gave me access to fantastic advocates committed to the freedom of speech. It would be difficult to have had a better clinic experience.
Ben, Scalia Law ‘22