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Gone Are The Ink Stains

Publication Date: 
March 06, 2007
Legal Times
Tony Mauro

Lecturer in Law Thomas Goldstein is quoted in this article about the what's next in the new area of law clinics:

"Does it keep going, or is there a super-saturation point? It will be interesting to see," he says.

Already, the Stanford clinic has had to fight harder for cert-worthy cases to handle, Goldstein says. At the beginning ­ only three years ago ­ Stanford's clinic could choose to take cases only on behalf of a direct party, and only those that Goldstein or Stanford professors would argue themselves. "We're doing more amicus briefs now," Goldstein says, and more cases in which the original attorney still argues the case. Goldstein said his clinic pursued Michael Watson, the petitioner in the firearms case the court granted Feb. 26, only to find out that the Virginia clinic had gotten there first. [Editor's Note: Goldstein is a contributor to Recorder affiliate Legal Times.]

But Goldstein is unambiguously happy with the trend, which he thinks over time will have a "genuine effect" on the work of the court and bring criminal and other cases to the justices that otherwise might get forgotten.

And while none of the justices of the high court have commented publicly on the role of the clinics, they have already paid them the highest possible compliment. "Five of my clinic students from Stanford and Harvard will be clerking for justices next term," Goldstein says.