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Course Details

Externship: Federal Defender Appellate Unit (Quaglia)

Spring 2024   LAW 827-001  

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Additional Information
Experiential Course


Skills Training
Drafting Legal Documents
Other Professional Skills:

100% Other (Externships are graded Credit/No Credit)

Satisfies Senior Writing Requirement



Class meets in person.

Course Continuity
Students are encouraged to stay home if you are ill or experience flu-like symptoms. If you miss a class for any reason, it is still your responsibility to make up the work missed.

I offer the following to students who miss class due to illness:

- If you are absent due to illness or some other unavoidable circumstance, email me and I can make PowerPoint slides or other class materials available to you.

Meeting Times/Location



The Federal Community Defender for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia)

Appeals Unit Externship Information

The Office of the Federal Community Defender for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania is pleased to accept applications for the Appeals Unit Externship. The Federal Community Defender represents indigent defendants charged with federal crimes. This externship will provide law students with a close-up and hands-on view of the federal appellate process from initial record review through certiorari proceedings in the Supreme Court. The student will assist Appeals Unit attorneys by researching legal issues, drafting research memoranda and/or sections of appellate briefs, and participating in moot courts in preparation for oral arguments before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. The student may also work on certiorari petitions. As time permits, the student is welcome to attend trial proceedings and appellate oral arguments that he/she is not directly involved with. If desired, the student may work on a project to yield a writing sample.

This is a 7-credit externship, and students are expected to devote 21 hours per week for the semester, which runs through the end of the Examination Period. Students will be assigned a Faculty Supervisor whom they will meet with on a bi-weekly basis, along with submitting reflective journals. This externship is open to current 2L or 3L students, with preference to those having completed criminal procedure coursework.

HOW TO APPLY: Before 10 AM on October 11, 2023, students must apply for this externship by emailing a resume and one-page Statement of Interest to externships@law.upenn.edu with “Federal Defender – Appeals Unit Application” in the subject line. Please combine your resume and Statement of Interest into one pdf. The Statement of Interest should address why you want to enroll in this externship. The Penn Law Externship Program will forward students’ application materials to the Federal Defender’s Office on your behalf. The Defender’s Office will contact students it would like to interview directly and will select the student to enroll in the externship.

Before Advance Course Registration closes, students will receive an email letting them know if they were or were not selected for enrollment. Please note that this placement expends a great deal of time and effort scheduling work, securing supervisors, designing programming, creating office space, etc. Thus, students are strongly encouraged to enroll only if they are committed to completing the externship. If you have any questions about this externship, please email externships@law.upenn.edu.

IN-PERSON BI-WEEKLY SEMINAR COURSE REQUIREMENT: Before the semester begins, students will receive an email to choose one of two seminar times and should plan their course and work schedules accordingly. Students may not switch the seminar day and time once they have committed to one of the options. The options are as follows:

Criminal Justice Externship Seminar The Criminal Justice Externship Seminar taught by Professor Kathryn Quaglia will meet beginning the week of January 22. Students will choose either Tuesday 12 to 1 p.m. or Wednesday 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.

Advanced Externship Seminar Students who have previously taken the Criminal Justice Externship Seminar with Professor Quaglia and who are registering for a second criminal externship will take the Advanced Externship Seminar. The Advanced Externship Seminar will meet every other week beginning the week of January 16 and students will have the option to choose Tuesday 12-1 p.m. or Thursday 5:30-6:30 p.m.

Course Concentrations

Skills Learning outcomes: Demonstrate an understanding of the individual course skill; Demonstrate the ability to receive and implement feedback; Demonstrate an understanding of how and when the individual course skill is employed in practice.

Criminal Law and Procedure Learning outcomes: Demonstrate a core understanding of criminal law and procedure; Perform legal analysis in the context of criminal law and procedure; Communicate effectively on topics related to criminal law and procedure; Demonstrate an understanding of the role criminal law and procedure play in society and their impact on other areas of law and society.

Public Interest Learning outcomes: Demonstrate a core understanding of the varied legal aspects of public interest law; Perform legal analysis in the context of public interest law; Communicate effectively on topics related to public interest law; Demonstrate an understanding of how public interest law is connected to and affected by a wide variety of legal and regulatory structures and doctrines.