A University of Virginia graduate will clerk for U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts during the 2015-16 term.
Ben Tyson, who graduated in May from both U.Va.’s School of Law and the Darden School of Business through a dual-degree J.D.-M.B.A. program, will join a long list of U.Va. Law graduates who have clerked for Supreme Court justices in recent years. Virginia is fourth in contributing the most clerks to the U.S. Supreme Court from 2005 to 2014, after Harvard, Stanford and Yale universities. Tyson will serve alongside 2013 graduates Galen Bascom and Jonathan Urick, who will be clerking for Justices Stephen Breyer and Antonin Scalia, respectively.
Tyson and wife, Katherine Tyson (a 2013 U.Va. law graduate) currently reside in Washington, where Ben is clerking for Judge Srikanth Srinivasan of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
“This year with Judge Srinivasan has been amazing, and now this gives me something incredibly exciting to look forward to when my clerkship [with Srinivasan] is done,” Tyson said. “I’m in the middle of a fun two years.
“I’m thrilled about the opportunity and incredibly thankful for all the support U.Va. has given me,” Tyson said.
In his interview with Roberts, Tyson said he had the opportunity to talk with the chief justice about both the history of the court and the Green Bay Packers – “Two very important things,” he added.
“One of the best things about doing these two clerkships is that you get to cover such different areas of the law. Every day is different, and it’s all extremely interesting to me,” Tyson said. “I haven’t been in the law long enough to actually dislike any area of it, so at this point it’s great to see everything.”
Tyson, who is originally from Mequon, Wisconsin, was the recipient of the Carl M. Franklin Prize, which honors the student with the highest grade-point average after the first year of law school, and served on the editorial board of the Virginia Law Review. At graduation, he received the Traynor Prize and Law School Alumni Association Best Note Award for his law review publication. He also received the Faculty Award for Academic Excellence, given to the student with the most outstanding academic record at graduation.
Tyson also took a Supreme Court seminar with professor A.E. Dick Howard, who said Tyson wrote a paper “that showed an uncommon skill at legal research and analysis – a paper that would do justice to a seasoned scholar.”
“Ben compiled a spectacular record here at the Law School,” Howard said. “He graduated at the top of his class and, at graduation, won both of the Law School’s academic writing awards. My own judgment regarding Ben’s legal acumen is amply confirmed by Ben’s overall record at the Law School, one which has few parallels in the school’s recent history.”
For Tyson, the highlight of his time at U.Va. Law was the community of students and faculty – and sharing it all with his wife.
“Katherine and I could not have asked for a better place to go to school. We were very lucky,” he said. “My mom and dad [1977 U.Va. Law graduates Joe and Renee Tyson] always had such great things to say about their time at U.Va. It turns out that they knew what they were talking about.”
Prior to starting law school, Tyson worked at Bain & Company in Chicago as a management consultant for three years. He earned his undergraduate degree from Duke University.
After the clerkship, Tyson said he will probably stay in Washington to practice appellate litigation. Though Wisconsin will always be home, he said, he hopes to return to another special place.
“All I want to do is find a way back to Charlottesville,” he said.