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Pen, Writing, Letter.Amicus brief writing is all the rage. The U.S. Supreme Court alone now receives between 600 and 1,000 amicus briefs every year—an average of 7 to 12 for each argued case, nearly double the number filed in 1995, and eight times the volume in the 1950s. Allison Orr Larsen & Neal Devins, The Amicus Machine, 102 Va. L. Rev. 1901, 1902 (2016). Federal circuit courts and state appellate courts—and even trial courts—are also seeing more and more amicus briefs. How can counsel filing amicus briefs stand out from the crowd and make an impact? Based on experience, I’ve identified three keys to preparing impactful amicus briefs: pairing with the right client, making the right kinds of arguments, and mustering the right types of materials.

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