Prior to the conference, conferees will receive a problem based on a discrete First Amendment issue and some general guidelines. They will submit a short, double-spaced opinion draft to the conference email address: csl-clerkship@cua.edu

Conferees will receive instructions and protocols for how the events will proceed by email.

On the evening of February 24, 2022, conferees will be welcomed to the conference at an opening dinner, attended by faculty and staff.


On the first working day of the conference, February 25, the events will consist of an instructional component: four members of the judiciary will review a particular opinion or opinions that they value. They will explain how the writing achieves its purpose analytically, organizationally, rhetorically, and diplomatically, and how different strategies—perhaps hidden to the untrained eye—help achieve the purpose.


On the second and final working day of the conference, February 26, the events will consist of small breakout sessions of five conferees each with another set of judges. The judges go over the draft opinions with the conferees and lead a conversation about style, mechanics, strategies, and approaches taken in the drafting process. There will also be a post-conference mixer and panel discussion with former judicial clerks.

At the end of the conference, conferees will receive a problem on another discrete First Amendment issue, which will serve as the basis for their CSL Prize in Judicial Clerkship Opinion Writing entries. The conference judges will pick the winner. The winner will be awarded $500.