Aspen Publishing

In Chambers: A Guide for Judicial Clerks and Externs

Jennifer Sheppard


  • ISBN: 9781454802891

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  • Description

    In Chambers is a refreshingly brief and focused book that addresses the key concepts and basic skills clerks and externs need to have on day one. It explains rudimentary tasks, such as reading a docket sheet and working with a case file, and offers detailed instructions on drafting jury instructions. Sources of authority commonly relied upon by the courts are identified for specific topics, and a helpful note-taking system is provided. Standards of review are covered in detail, including the standard for mixed questions of fact and law. Useful checklists are provided as well for drafting documents. Exercises at the end of chapters evaluate the reader’s comprehension and application of the materials. The text of In Chambers is informed by the author's own experience as a judicial clerk as well as her involvement with the externship programs at Appalachian School of Law and Mercer University School of Law. Supplements that accompany the book make this a hard-working teaching and learning package. They include a Website, with additional lengthy material such as a case file, PowerPoint slides for class use, and a Teacher’s Manual with proposed answers to the exercises as well as pedagogical suggestions.

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  • Details
    Page Count 256
    Published 03/12/2012
  • Additional Product Details

    Summary of Contents

    Introduction: What Do Judicial Clerks Do?

    Chapter 1. Basic Information to Get You Started

    Chapter 2. Civil Litigation Process

    Chapter 3. Criminal Process

    Chapter 4. Professionalism and Ethics for Judicial Clerks

    Chapter 5. Research Process

    Chapter 6. Standards of Review

    Chapter 7. Writing Techniques to Utilize When Drafting Documents for the Court

    Chapter 8. Drafting a Judicial Opinion

    Chapter 9. Drafting a Bench Memorandum

    Chapter 10. Drafting Jury Instructions

    Chapter 11. Legal Citation

    Chapter 12 Applying for a Clerkship

  • Author Information

    Jennifer Sheppard

    Professor Sheppard’s scholarship focuses on improving legal discourse in a variety of media, including appellate briefs, trial motions and memoranda, and judicial opinions.

    She teaches courses in Legal Writing and administers Mercer’s Advanced Legal Writing, Research, and Drafting Certificate Program. Professor Sheppard also coordinates judicial externships and teaches a section of the Judicial Field Placement course. She has also taught a course in poverty law. Prior to joining the Mercer Law faculty, Professor Sheppard taught as a visiting professor at West Virginia University Law School and as an assistant professor of law at Appalachian School of Law. Before entering academia, she clerked for the Honorable Norah McCann King of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio.

    Professor Sheppard graduated summa cum laude from Capital University Law School, where she was executive articles editor for the Capital University Law Review, a Dean’s Fellow for Legal Writing, and a teaching assistant in Legal Writing and Research.

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