Supreme Court Clinic

Supreme Court Clinic

In UCLA's Supreme Court Clinic, students and faculty work together on real cases before the United States Supreme Court. The clinic represents clients and counsel who otherwise would not have the resources to pursue cases before the Court. Past cases have involved criminal law, immigration law, First Amendment and trademark claims.

Students help to research and draft petitions for and against certiorari, as well as briefs on the merits of cases to be argued before the court. When clinic cases are argued before the court, students often travel to Washington, D.C., to observe.

UCLA Law faculty experts from a range of disciplines participate in shaping briefs and preparing counsel for arguments, often participating in moot courts in preparation for argument.

Attorneys from around the country have turned to the clinic for support. Attorneys who would like the clinic's assistance with any aspect of Supreme Court practice may contact clinic director Stuart Banner, the Norman Abrams Professor of Law at UCLA.

Current Cases

Murphy v. Smith, 16-1067

When a prisoner obtains a monetary judgment in a section 1983 suit and the prisoner’s lawyer is awarded attorney’s fees, the Prison Litigation Reform Act requires that a portion of the judgment “not to exceed 25 percent” go toward the fees. In a certiorari petition we filed on behalf of former prisoner Charles Murphy, we argue that the Seventh Circuit erroneously requires prisoners to pay the full 25 percent in every case. We are collaborating on this case with Fabian Rosati, who represented Murphy in the lower courts, and with Fred Rowley and his colleagues at Munger, Tolles & Olson.

Merits brief
Merits reply brief
Certiorari petition
Certiorari reply


Carter v. Colorado, 17-634

Miranda v. Arizona requires that a suspect be clearly informed of his right to an attorney before and during interrogation. In a certiorari petition we filed on behalf of Parish Carter, we argue that the bare-bones statement "you have the right to an attorney," without any information as to when, does not satisfy this requirement, because suspects may reasonably understand the advisement to refer to a right to counsel at some later time such as trial. We are collaborating on this case with Dean Neuwirth, who represented Mr. Carter in the lower courts.

Certiorari petition

Recent Cases

Matal v. Tam, 137 S. Ct. 1744 (2017)

Merits brief
Certiorari-stage brief for respondent


Nelson v. Colorado, 137 S. Ct. 1249 (2017)

Merits brief
Merits reply brief
Certiorari petition
Certiorari reply


Heffernan v. City of Paterson, 136 S. Ct. 1412 (2016)

Merits brief
Merits reply brief
Certiorari petition
Certiorari reply


Torres v. Lynch, 136 S. Ct. 1619 (2016)

Merits brief
Merits reply brief
Certiorari petition
Certiorari reply


Betterman v. Montana, 136 S. Ct. 1609 (2016)

Merits brief
Merits reply brief
Certiorari petition
Certiorari reply


Utah v. Strieff, 136 S. Ct. 2056 (2016)

Merits brief
Brief in opposition