by Bridget Claycomb, Class of 2016
How many law students can say that they have represented real clients, in front of real Federal Circuit Court Judges, against seasoned attorneys? Students in William and Mary’s Appellate and Supreme Court Clinic can! The Public Service Admissions Ambassadors sat down and talked about this unique opportunity with Skyler Peacock, Brittany Sadler, and Andrew Steinberg –all third year law students—who are currently enrolled in the year-long clinic. Like most clinics, the students receive three credits each semester and learn valuable practical skills.
“It’s the best thing I’ve done in law school,” says Brittany. “I get to practice real legal skills. I’ve been able to present oral arguments to a panel of 6th Circuit judges and represent a client who needed my help… and I am not even a [bar certified] lawyer yet.”
Skyler, Andrew, and Brittany all came to William and Mary Law School with a goal to give back to their communities. Skyler wanted to make a difference by becoming a prosecutor. Andrew’s focus was public interest, and he was fascinated by the role that public institutions played in American Society. Brittany gravitated toward constitutional law and immigration. Each student pointed to their scholarships and the supportive student community as reasons why they chose William and Mary Law School. In fact, both Brittany and Andrew said it was testimony from upper classmen that helped them decide to do the Appellate and Supreme Court Clinic.
The students also say that the clinic’s director—Professor Tillman Breckenridge—is a big reason why they chose to apply for the clinic. Skyler says, “He’s a great person and attorney. He really shows us the art of appellate advocacy.” Andrew agrees, “ Professor Breckenridge is excellent. I appreciate his practical insights.”
The clinic members we spoke to all said the Appellate and Supreme Court Clinic is a beneficial part of their law school experience. Clinics give law students a chance, as Andrew said, to advocate for more than just a grade, but for real people with real legal issues.
Learn more about our Student Bloggers here.