Whereas we watch for the Supreme Court confirmation hearings of Judge Brett Kavanaugh of the D.C. Circuit to get underway, let’s flip to a associated subject that we haven’t lined since May: Supreme Court docket clerk hiring.

We now have the complete roster of SCOTUS clerks for October Time period 2018 — and never a second too quickly, for the reason that clerks at the moment are altering over and the official begin of the Time period is only a few quick weeks away. A few of you will have already seen these names on Twitter — observe @SCOTUSambitions, which presents nearer to real-time clerk hiring information — however this submit brings them collectively multi functional place.

Earlier than we get to the names, although, let’s start with our customary roundup of clerk-related information:

1. The “orphaned” Kennedy clerks. Inquiring minds wish to know: what’s occurring to the 4 clerks that Justice Kennedy hired for OT 2018? In a narrative about them a number of weeks in the past, Tony Mauro predicted that “if courtroom custom holds, the 4 gained’t be jobless for lengthy” — and that prediction has come to move.

For the upcoming Time period, Aimee Brown will work within the chambers of Justice Samuel A. Alito, Alex Kazam will work within the chambers of Justice Neil M. Gorsuch, and Conrad Scott will work within the chambers of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The one really “orphaned” clerk is Clayton Kozinski, however observe that he’s a former Kavanaugh clerk — which means that if Choose Kavanaugh turns into Justice Kavanaugh, Clayton may find yourself clerking for him on the Court docket, whether or not for OT 2018 or a future Time period.

As for Sarah Sloan, the clerk to retired Justice John Paul Stevens who was slated to work as a fifth clerk in Justice Kennedy’s chambers, she will probably be going to work within the chambers of Justice Elena Kagan. So plainly SCOTUS will probably be very properly staffed for the upcoming Time period.

(A caveat: these preparations for the Kennedy clerks should not fully finalized and will change between now and the official begin of the Time period. The Court docket has not but launched its official record of October Time period 2018 legislation clerks, so nothing has been set in stone. We are going to replace this submit if and once we obtain new or completely different details about the destiny of the AMK clerks.)

Right here’s some hypothesis on my half. Why did Justice Kennedy make his retirement efficient July 31 — after the top of the Court docket’s Time period, and when nothing a lot is occurring at One First Avenue? Because it seems, SCOTUS clerks flip over through the month of July. By remaining an “energetic” justice for the month of July, Justice Kennedy presumably entitled himself to the complete complement of 4 clerks — i.e., 4 funds traces for his clerk workers. So this shrewd transfer on AMK’s half protected his hires from unemployment (or from having to be squeezed right into a colleague’s future clerk class), for the reason that cash for his or her salaries was budgeted prematurely.

Will Justice Kennedy have yet another clerk who will work for him as a retired justice? Clerks to retired justices assist out their bosses on varied initiatives, reminiscent of speeches and books and circumstances the justice hears in circuit courts, and get farmed out to energetic justices to work on deserves circumstances. It’s not clear whether or not the justice could have a fourth clerk or whether or not he’ll obtain such help from his three hires already at One First Avenue (Brown, Kazam, and Scott). When you’ve got data to share on this rating, please email me (topic line “SCOTUS Clerk Hiring”).

2. SCOTUS Clerkship Bonuses. The signing bonuses that legislation corporations pay to woo Supreme Court docket clerks simply carry on heading increased. Contemplating the latest pay raises and summer time bonuses for “common” Biglaw associates, this isn’t surprising — however remember that SCOTUS clerks will profit from the raises too, since they often receives a commission base salaries that mirror the seniority degree mirrored of their legislation faculty commencement yr.

Or possibly it is surprising, contemplating how large the SCOTUS clerk bonuses already have been? After we final checked in, the going fee was $350,000, delivered to market by the powerhouse litigation boutique of Wilkinson Walsh + Eskovitz and subsequently matched by everybody else (a rise from $330,000). However now we’re listening to that the bonuses are nonetheless climbing.

Many corporations are nonetheless at $350Ok, however upon data and perception, at the very least six corporations are providing $400,000, to at the very least a few of their SCOTUS clerk recruits: Jones Day, Kirkland & Ellis, Orrick, Paul Weiss, Skadden Arps, and Susman Godfrey. As well as, some or all of those corporations require only a one-year dedication to obtain the complete $400Ok (and a few of them had a one-year coverage final yr too). This issues as a result of, at many different corporations, a former SCOTUS clerk should stick round for 2 years to get the complete bonus, giving up some prorated portion of the bonus for leaving early.

3. The Legislation Clerk Hiring Plan. This isn’t about SCOTUS clerk hiring particularly, nevertheless it’s fairly related as a result of it impacts feeder-judge hiring. The brand new and improved Law Clerk Hiring Plan, introduced in March by 4 chief judges of outstanding circuit courts, continues to select up Supreme supporters.

In June, Justice Sonia Sotomayor introduced that she “can pay shut consideration” to who’s adhering to the Plan and who just isn’t — and “react accordingly” relating to hiring. She joins Justices Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Elena Kagan in supporting the Plan, which means that all the “liberal” wing of the Court docket is now on document as pro-Plan. So I’d anticipate the Plan, at the very least in its first few years, to get first rate traction, particularly amongst legislation college students who aspire to clerk for one of many liberal justices — and the feeder judges who ship clerks to the left wing of the Court docket. (When you’re desirous about general traits in legislation clerk hiring, try this fascinating report from Professor Derek Muller, Federal Judicial Clerkship Report of Recent Law School Graduates – 2018 Edition.)

Transferring on, let’s flip to paint commentary on the newest hires:

1. Feeder faculties. Supreme Court docket clerks proceed to return from a handful of elite faculties. For OT 2018, there are 37 clerks (counting the three farmed-out AMK clerks, however not Clayton Kozinski). They arrive from simply 14 faculties — and three faculties, the “HYS” trinity of Harvard, Stanford, and Yale, produced 25 out of 37 clerks (68 p.c). Yale leads the way in which with 12 clerks, Harvard has 9, and Stanford has 4. Just one different faculty, Chicago, has multiple (two clerks whole).

2. Feeder judges. There’s rather more variety on the feeder decide entrance, however that’s largely a perform of what number of clerks do two (or extra) clerkships earlier than arriving at SCOTUS. The 37 clerks for OT 2018 come from 41 completely different lower-court judges. The judges with multiple clerk on the Court docket for the upcoming Time period are Judges Kavanaugh (5), Griffith (3), Srinivasan (3), Tatel (3), Garland (2), Pryor (2), Feinerman (2), Oetken (2), and Sullivan (2). Out of these 9 judges, a whopping 5 sit on the Most Holy D.C. Circuit. Three are district judges: Judges Feinerman (N.D. Unwell.), Oetken (S.D.N.Y.), and Sullivan (S.D.N.Y., however on his option to the Second Circuit).

By way of feeders of the long run, and taking a look at each the OT 2018 and OT 2019 lists, observe the feeder-judge debuts of Judges Elrod (fifth Cir.), Hamilton (seventh Cir.), Hardiman (3d Cir.), Tymkovich (10th Cir.), Willett (fifth Cir.), Chhabria (N.D. Cal.), Friedrich (D.D.C.), Moody (M.D. Fl.), and Cuéllar (Cal.). Going ahead, I’d be curious to see if we see extra feeding from Choose Hardiman, who raised his profile as a two-time SCOTUS finalist, and Choose Willett, who raised his profile by tweeting (@JusticeWillett, reflecting his former place as a justice of the Texas Supreme Court docket; alas, since becoming a member of the Fifth Circuit, his Twitter feed has gone silent).

Though they’ve despatched clerks to SCOTUS previous to OT 2018, so that they don’t depend as “debut” feeder judges, I’d additionally regulate Judges Barron (1st Cir.), Ikuta (ninth Cir.), Moss (D.D.C.), and Brinkema (E.D. Va.). All besides Choose Brinkema clerked for the Court docket themselves, which is more and more widespread amongst feeder judges.

3. Feeder corporations. It’s fairly widespread as of late for clerks to reach at SCOTUS from non-public observe, given the various paths taken to succeed in the Court docket these days (a departure from the old style “legislation faculty to feeder decide to SCOTUS” path). I’ve written earlier than about so-called “feeder firms”, locations like Williams & Connolly and Gibson Dunn that excel at minting SCOTUS clerks.

To this record, add Munger Tolles. Its California places of work are already standard locations for SCOTUS clerks who go west post-clerkship, and now its D.C. workplace — which is less than three years old, and has solely a dozen or so lawyers — is sending two associates, Yale Legislation Faculty grads Celia Choy and Dahlia Mignouna, to Justice Breyer for OT 2019.

Former U.S .Solicitor Common Donald Verrilli Jr., one of many founding companions of MTO’s Washington outpost, described Choy and Mignouna to Tony Mauro as “sensible attorneys” who additionally mirror the values of “variety and inclusiveness and fairness” which might be essential to the workplace. Choy is an Asian-American girl and Mignouna is an African-American girl, which implies they match proper in at Munger D.C. — greater than half of its 12 attorneys are girls, and a 3rd are minorities.

David Casazza (by way of Claremont Institute)

4. Mr. Irrelevant. Annually — per our little tradition right here at ATL, impressed by the NFL draft’s Mr. Irrelevant — we give further publicity to the final SCOTUS clerk whose hiring we discover out about. This yr, Mr. Irrelevant is David Casazza. Congratulations, David!

Casazza is a 2015 graduate of Harvard Legislation Faculty and a former legislation clerk to Choose Jennifer Elrod of the Fifth Circuit (who’s, as mentioned above, one to observe as a future feeder decide). As famous on the web site of the Claremont Institute, which awarded him a John Marshall Fellowship — Claremont fellowships should not unusual amongst SCOTUS clerks, particularly the conservative clerks — David has an A.B. in Historical past from Princeton, an M.A. in Historical past from Johns Hopkins, and a J.D. from Harvard Legislation Faculty (magna cum laude, natch). At HLS, he served as executive vice president of the Federalist Society and managing editor of the Harvard Journal of Legislation & Public Coverage. (That’s HLS’s conservative legislation overview, aka “the nation’s main discussion board for conservative and libertarian authorized scholarship,” which boasts such notable alumni as Justice Gorsuch, Senator Ted Cruz, Senator Tom Cotton, and the aforementioned Judges Barron and Elrod).

On a extra private degree, David has been described to me as a “terrific individual,” with abilities that transcend authorized analysis and writing. Throughout his time as a Fifth Circuit clerk, he participated in his Inn of Court docket’s annual costumed manufacturing, replete with singing and dancing. That yr, the Inn did a tribute to Shakespeare; David wrote a lot of the script, then performed the Bard himself. For the roast or skit that the SCOTUS clerks carry out on the finish of every Time period, David appears like he’d be a wonderful performer to recruit.

And now, in the end, the clerk lists — one for October Time period 2018, and one for October Time period 2019. We’ve got a handful for October Time period 2020 hires (and unconfirmed rumors of even some October Time period 2021 hires), however not sufficient to interrupt out a separate record simply but, so that they’re listed within the OT 2019 record.

When you’ve got any corrections to the knowledge showing under, or you probably have any hiring information we’ve not but reported, please attain out by email or textual content (646-820-8477). Please embody the phrases “SCOTUS Clerk Hiring” in your e mail or textual content message, maybe as the topic line of your e mail or the primary phrases of your textual content, as a result of that’s how I find the following pointers in my overwhelmed inbox (which, reality be advised, I don’t test as diligently as I used to since shifting from managing editor to editor at large). Thanks!


Chief Justice John G. Roberts
1. Evelyn Blacklock (Harvard 2016 / Sullivan (S.D.N.Y.) / Kavanaugh)
2. Cole Carter (Harvard 2016 / Sutton / Feinerman (N.D. Unwell.))
3. Julie Siegal (Northwestern 2014 / Feinerman (N.D. Unwell.) / Kavanaugh / Bristow)
4. Mike Clemente (Yale 2016 / Hamilton / Griffith)

Justice Clarence Thomas
1. Russell Balikian (Yale 2012 / Sykes / Katsas)
2. Kathryn Kimball (U. Florida 2012 / W. Pryor / Moody (M.D. Fla.) / Katsas)
3. Madeline Lansky (Chicago 2016 / W. Pryor)
4. Christopher Mills (Harvard 2012 / Sentelle)

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
1. Katie Barber (UVA 2015 / Brinkema (E.D. Va.) / Owens)
2. Rachel Bayefsky (Yale 2015 / Rakoff (S.D.N.Y.) / Katzmann)
3. Rebecca Lee (Yale 2016 / Wilkinson / Moss (D.D.C.)
4. Matt Rubenstein (Yale 2014 / Gwin (N.D. Oh.) / Tatel)

Working in Justice Ginsburg’s chambers after being employed by Justice Kennedy: Conrad Scott (Yale 2015 / Watford / Garaufis (E.D.N.Y.)).

Justice Stephen G. Breyer
1. Will Haveman (Stanford 2013 / Motz)
2. Jo-Ann Karhson (Harvard 2014 / Ok.B. Jackson (D.D.C.) / Kavanaugh)
3. Janine Lopez (Harvard 2014 / Garland)
4. Alec Schierenbeck (Stanford 2015 / Oetken (S.D.N.Y.) / Tatel)

Justice Samuel Alito
1. J. Benjamin Aguiñaga (LSU 2015 / Willett (Tex.) / E. Jones)
2. David Casazza (Harvard 2015 / Elrod)
3. Whitney Downs Hermandorfer (GW Legislation 2015 / Kavanaugh / Leon (D.D.C.))
4. Sherif Girgis (Yale 2016 / Griffith)

Working in Justice Alito’s chambers after being employed by Justice Kennedy: Aimee Brown (Chicago 2014 / Griffith).

Justice Sonia Sotomayor
1. Samiyyah Ali (Vanderbilt 2016 / Thapar (E.D. Ky.) / Srinivasan)
2. Michael Skocpol (Stanford 2016 / Feinerman (N.D. Unwell.) / Pillard)
3. Rachel Wilf-Townsend (Yale 2017 / Garland)
4. Michael Zuckerman (Harvard 2017 / Ok.N. Moore)

Justice Elena Kagan
1. Robert Niles (Harvard 2016 / Oetken (S.D.N.Y.) / Tatel)
2. Ashley Robertson (Stanford 2016 / Srinivasan / Boasberg (D.D.C.))
3. Zach Savage (NYU 2013 / Scirica / Furman (S.D.N.Y.))
4. Reema Shah (Yale 2015 / Srinivasan / Bristow Fellow)

Justice Neil M. Gorsuch

1. Ethan Davis (Yale 2008 / O’Scannlain)
2. Paul Mezzina (Harvard 2008 / Kavanaugh / Scalia)
3. Jeff Quilici (Texas 2012 / Gorsuch)
4. Tobi Younger (Mississippi 2003 / Holmes)

Working in Justice Gorsuch’s chambers after being employed by Justice Kennedy: Alex Kazam (Yale 2016 / Kethledge / Sullivan (S.D.N.Y.)).

Justice John Paul Stevens (retired)
1. Sarah Sloan (Columbia 2016 / Friedland / Nathan (S.D.N.Y.))

Justice Anthony M. Kennedy (retired):
1. ?

Justice David H. Souter (retired):
1. Sundeep Iyer (Yale 2016 / Kavanaugh)


Chief Justice John G. Roberts
1. Zaki Anwar (Harvard 2017 / Sutton / Srinivasan)
2. David Beylik (Harvard 2018 / Kavanaugh)
3. Megan Braun (Yale 2016 / Brinkema (E.D. Va.) / Katzmann / Bristow)
4. Joseph Falvey (Yale 2017 / D. Friedrich / Griffith)

Justice Clarence Thomas
1. Caroline Prepare dinner (Chicago 2016 / Sykes / Katsas)
2. Brian Lipshutz (Yale 2015 / Pryor / Katsas)
3. Matt Rice (Berkeley 2016 / Ikuta)
4. Laura Wolk (Notre Dame 2016 / J.R. Brown / Hardiman)

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
1. Alyssa Barnard (Columbia 2015 / Nathan (S.D.N.Y.) / Katzmann)
2. Marco Basile (Harvard 2015 / Watford / Barron)
3. Susan Pelletier (Harvard 2016 / Garland)
4. Michael Qian (Stanford 2016 / Garland / Bristow Fellow)

Employed by Justice Ginsburg for OT 2020: Jack Boeglin (Yale 2016 / Srinivasan / Calabresi) and David Louk (Yale 2015 / Boasberg (D.D.C.) / Katzmann).

Justice Stephen G. Breyer
1. Celia Choy (Yale 2012 / Rakoff (S.D.N.Y.) / Katzmann)
2. Dahlia Mignouna (Yale 2016 / Srinivasan)
3. Nicholas Rosellini (Stanford 2016 / C. Breyer (N.D. Cal.) / Friedland / Cuellar (Cal.))
4. Eugene Sokoloff (Yale 2012 / Sack)

Justice Samuel Alito
1. ?
2. ?
3. ?
4. ?

Justice Sonia Sotomayor
1. ?
2. ?
3. ?
4. ?

Justice Elena Kagan
1. Jordan Bock (Berkeley 2017 / Friedland / Chhabria (N.D. Cal.))
2. Alex Miller (Harvard 2017 / Moss (D.D.C.) / Griffith)
3. Mica Moore (Chicago 2017 / Fletcher / Chhabria (N.D. Cal.))
4. Zayn Siddique (Yale 2016 / D. Pregerson (C.D. Cal.) / Tatel)

Employed by Justice Kagan for OT 2020: Peter Davis (Stanford 2017 / Srinivasan / Boasberg (D.D.C.)).

Justice Neil M. Gorsuch

1. Michael Francisco (Cornell 2007 / Tymkovich)
2. Kelly Holt (Chicago 2017 / Wilkinson)
3. ?
4. ?

Employed by Justice Gorsuch for OT 2020: Trevor Ezell (Stanford 2017 / Sutton).

Justice John Paul Stevens (retired)
1. ?

Justice Anthony M. Kennedy (retired):
1. ?

Justice David H. Souter (retired):
1. ?

Have you learnt a few rent not beforehand reported, or do you will have an addition or correction to any of this information? Please share what you recognize by email or textual content (646-820-8477). Please embody the phrases “SCOTUS Clerk Hiring” in your e mail or textual content message, as the topic line of your e mail or the primary phrases of your textual content, as a result of that’s how I find the following pointers in my inundated inbox. Thanks!

Kennedy’s Retirement Leaves His Future Law Clerks in Limbo [National Law Journal]
Sotomayor Says She’s Optimistic About New Law Clerk Hiring Plan [National Law Journal]
Federal Judicial Clerkship Report of Recent Law School Graduates – 2018 Edition [SSRN]
Two Munger Tolles Associates Are Heading to SCOTUS for Clerkships [National Law Journal]


DBL square headshotDavid Lat is editor at massive and founding editor of Above the Legislation, in addition to the creator of Supreme Ambitions: A Novel. He beforehand labored as a federal prosecutor in Newark, New Jersey; a litigation affiliate at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz; and a legislation clerk to Choose Diarmuid F. O’Scannlain of the U.S. Court docket of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. You possibly can join with David on Twitter (@DavidLat), LinkedIn, and Facebook, and you may attain him by e mail at [email protected].



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