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Supreme Court Clinic: Prospective Clients

Not everyone can afford to pay a team of experienced lawyers hundreds of thousands of dollars to face the US government’s highly specialized Solicitor General’s legal team or a top national law firm before the US Supreme Court. That’s where we come in.  

Studies show that parties represented by a Supreme Court specialist, such as the Penn Clinic, are 1.4 to 2 times as likely to prevail as those represented by nonspecialists.

Rates of Success When Representing Petitioners
In overall terms, criminal defendants, civil plaintiffs and immigrants represented by Supreme Court specialists prevailed in 68.0% of the cases in which they were petitioners — 63.4% in criminal cases; 70.2% in civil cases and 83.3% in immigration cases. By contrast, such parties prevailed as petitioners in 48.3% of the cases when represented by nonspecialist counsel — 46.7% in criminal cases; 52.0% in civil cases; and 50% in immigration cases.

Rates of Success When Representing Respondents
Criminal defendants and individual civil plaintiffs prevailed in 30.5% of cases as respondents when represented by specialist counsel — 43.8% in criminal cases; 26.2% in civil cases; and 0 of 1 in immigration cases. By contrast, such parties prevailed as respondents in just 14.5% of cases when represented by nonspecialist counsel — 8.5% in criminal cases; 19.3% in civil cases; and 0 of 1 in immigration cases. That translates to an overall 19.7 percentage point difference for petitioners, and a 16.0 percentage point difference for respondents. In terms of relative odds of success, these figures mean that petitioners represented by specialists are roughly 1.4 times more likely to win their cases, and respondents represented by specialists are over twice as likely to prevail. Source.

Penn Law is committed to representing the under-served who cannot afford a big law firm. We do this for free both to level the playing field and as part of our educational mission. The Penn Law Supreme Court Clinic, led by experienced and talented lawyers and supported by top law students, welcomes applications for our representation. 

Our students work on all aspects of cases, and experienced lawyers redraft and revise all of the students’ work, to ensure a professional final product.

Proper representation before the Supreme Court is important both to you as a prospective Penn Law client and to society in general, as Supreme Court decisions often have lasting impact.   

We apologize in advance that we cannot represent everyone since we have limited space for new clients.