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Posted Dec. 14, 2009

Nicholson ’09 Named Solicitor General’s Office Bristow Fellow

Matt Nicholson '09

Matt Nicholson ’09 has been named a Bristow Fellow for the Office of the Solicitor General, one of the most prestigious positions available to recent law school graduates.

“I’m excited and frankly overwhelmed by the opportunity to work with some of the most talented lawyers in the country,” Nicholson said.

Bristow Fellows work for one year at the Solicitor General’s Office in the U.S. Department of Justice, drafting briefs in opposition to petitions filed against the government in the U.S. Supreme Court and monitoring cases in lower courts for appeal. Four Bristow Fellows are named each year.

Nicholson said taking the Supreme Court Litigation Clinic sparked his interest in working for the Solicitor General.   

“The cases we dealt with in the clinic involved challenging legal issues that divided the lower courts, and the prospect of continuing to work on such interesting cases attracted me to the Bristow Fellowship,” he said. 

Nicholson, a Tallahassee, Fla., native who also earned his B.A. in political science from the University of Virginia, served as an articles editor for the Virginia Law Review. He is currently clerking for Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson III ’72 on the Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

“Clerking for Judge Wilkinson is a great experience.  He is a talented writer with a real knack for crafting arguments,” he said. “I’ve learned a lot from working with him, and I expect those lessons will serve me well as a Bristow Fellow and throughout my career.”

Nicholson will take the Virginia bar in July and start his job at the Solicitor General’s Office in August.

“I’m thankful to the faculty and Judge Wilkinson for all they’ve done to make this possible,” he said.