A year after arriving at Boston College Law School in 2012, Professor Kari Hong, who had handled nearly 100 appeals before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, started an experiential pilot program called the Ninth Circuit Appellate Project (NCAP). In May 2014, she watched as four of her students stood before a Ninth Circuit three-judge panel and forcefully made their cases for two clients who had run afoul of immigration law.
Over the course of two semesters under Hong’s guidance, the students researched, wrote briefs, and rehearsed their arguments, learning to think around obstacles and discovering novel ways to present the merits of their clients’ cases. As the day of their appearance in court drew near, there were lots of jitters. As one student put it, “Professor Hong told us, ‘Your knees will be shaking, you’ll be sweating, you’ll be incredibly nervous. Just get out that first sentence and you’ll be fine.’”
The Law School’s Ninth Circuit efforts were rewarded in November when National Jurist/PreLaw magazine named NCAP one of the nation’s “most innovative” clinical programs. Read the full story about the students’ strategies and the outcomes of their appeals in BC Law Magazine.