U.Va. Ranks Third Among Law Schools in Filling Supreme Court Clerkships

September 12, 2006

Sept. 12, 2006 -- Four graduates of the University of Virginia School of Law are clerking for the U.S. Supreme Court this term, more than any other law school except Harvard University and Yale University. The current court term officially begins in October.

The law school alumni include Gordon Todd (’00), who is clerking for Justice Samuel Alito; John Adams (’03) and David Bragdon (’02), who are clerking for Justice Clarence Thomas; and Dan Bress (’05), who is clerking for Justice Antonin Scalia.

“Clerking is the best job a young lawyer could have,” Bress said. “I have tremendous respect for the United States judiciary and am humbled by the opportunity to serve.”

According to Molly Bishop, director of public service at the law school who handles the school’s clerkship application process, clerking for the Supreme Court is one of the most impressive credentials a young lawyer can have and can lead to an academic career or to a position with one of the nation’s top law firms.

“Clerking for the Supreme Court is a once-in-a-lifetime experience — the opportunity to see firsthand the inner workings of the most important court in our nation. The work that a clerk does has real-world impact on people's lives that few other jobs offer,” Bishop said.

Bishop added that “a clerkship with the Supreme Court will open doors for a lawyer for the rest of his or her career.”

Three U.Va. law school alumni, all graduates of the Class of 2004, clerked for the U.S. Supreme Court during the 2005-06 term — Michael Passaportis and Kosta Stojilkovic for Chief Justice John Roberts, and Allison Orr for Justice David Souter. The last time four alumni of the law school clerked for the court at the same time was during the 1983-84 term. That group was composed of J. Michael Luttig ’81, who clerked for Chief Justice Warren E. Burger (formerly a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, Luttig is an oft-mentioned prospective Supreme Court nominee); Kerri Martin Bartlett ’82, who clerked for Justice William H. Rehnquist; Cammie Robinson Hauptfuhrer ’82, who clerked for Justice Lewis F. Powell Jr.; and Elizabeth G. Taylor ’82, who clerked for Justice Harry A. Blackmun.

For more information on the U.Va. School of Law, please contact Mary Wood, Web and Communications Manager, at (434) 924-3786 or mmw3v@virginia.edu.