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Sidley Austin’s powerhouse Supreme Court practice, led by veteran advocate Carter Phillips, will soon be aided by some top-notch law students � and we’re not talking about summer associates. Northwestern University School of Law announced late last month that it is creating a Supreme Court litigation clinic, in which eight to 10 students will work for an academic year with Sidley lawyers to write petitions, merits briefs, and amicus curiae filings in the firm’s pro bono portfolio. Mostly behind the scenes, Sidley has for a dozen years aided federal public defenders in bringing or defending criminal cases before the high court. The clinic will add muscle to the effort, says Phillips, himself a Northwestern alumnus who will teach on campus several times a semester. Just as the solicitor general’s office does on the prosecution side, Phillips says the clinic will help Sidley work with defenders in shaping cases at an early stage and strategizing which cases are the best vehicles for resolving key criminal law issues. “They’ll roll up their sleeves right away,” says Sidley partner Jeffrey Green, designer of the program. David Van Zandt, dean of Northwestern Law, is especially enthusiastic that students will get to work with Phillips, who has argued 51 cases before the Court. “The experience our students will gain from his affiliation with this clinic is unprecedented,” he says. Northwestern’s announcement follows similar moves in recent weeks by Yale Law School (affiliating with Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw) and the University of Virginia School of Law (Robbins, Russell, Englert, Orseck & Untereiner). All the schools’ clinics are modeled on the Stanford Law School clinic created three years ago by Thomas Goldstein, now with Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld. Tony Mauro can be contacted at [email protected]

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