Andrew Ferguson '12 to Clerk for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas
University of Virginia School of Law alumnus Andrew Ferguson '12 will clerk for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas during the 2016 term.
Ferguson will join Austin Raynor '13 in Justice Thomas’ chambers starting this fall. Virginia is fourth in contributing the most clerks to the U.S. Supreme Court from 2005-15, after Harvard, Stanford and Yale; four graduates are clerking for the court currently. (More)
Ferguson, who hails from Harrisonburg, Virginia, is currently an associate at the law firm Bancroft in Washington, D.C., where he works as an appellate litigator. He previously practiced antitrust and competition law at Covington & Burling in Washington, and previously worked as an intern for Norman K. Moon '62 of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia and as a clerk for Karen LeCraft Henderson of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.
Ferguson described his clerkship with Henderson as a formative experience.
"Judge Henderson is a deeply thoughtful judge and writer, and an incomparable mentor," he said. "I’ve learned much from her, and am grateful for all the help and support she provided throughout the application process."
At UVA Law, he worked on Supreme Court cases as part of the Supreme Court Litigation Clinic and as an articles editor for the Virginia Law Review. He was also a research assistant for Professors A. E. Dick Howard and Saikrishna Prakash.
Despite his accomplishments, Ferguson gave credit for his selection to those who championed his application.
"Obtaining this clerkship had very little, if anything, to do with me," Ferguson said. "My recommenders at the Law School and, in particular, Judge Henderson, really went to bat for me. I imagine that's what separated me from the hundreds of other applications, so many of which are so highly qualified. What separates me — and all UVA students — from the pack are the steps that others are willing to take to push the application along."
Ferguson said that push included strong recommendations from professors Prakash, Howard and Supreme Court Litigation Clinic lecturer John Elwood; advice from professors Micah Schwartzman and Toby Heytens on the Faculty Clerkship Committee; and mock interview preparation with a team of faculty members.
"They could have been home with their families," Ferguson said of the time the professors donated to him. "Instead, they volunteered to help me prepare for the interview. I think the faculty really care about our career trajectories." Ferguson also said that his parents were an important source of support throughout law school and the application process.
He said practical exercises during law school also served as a foundation for his selection.
In the Supreme Court Litigation Clinic, "brief-writing was a great introduction to the way the court works," Ferguson said. "Clinic Director Dan Ortiz gave me practical writing tips that I still use almost every day."
Ferguson said the clinic experience, as well as the brief-writing he has done professionally, will directly relate to his work next term.
In addition to his law degree, which he earned after transferring from William & Mary, Ferguson earned his bachelor's in history from UVA. He graduated with highest distinction.
Prakash, one of Ferguson's faculty recommenders who also clerked for Thomas, said Ferguson was an outstanding student who will bring a lot of positive attributes to the clerkship.
"Andrew is a wonderful writer, is incredibly smart and has a razor-sharp wit," Prakash said. "He came to UVA as a transfer, hit the ground running and simply excelled at everything."
Founded in 1819, the University of Virginia School of Law is the second-oldest continuously operating law school in the nation. Consistently ranked among the top law schools, Virginia is a world-renowned training ground for distinguished lawyers and public servants, instilling in them a commitment to leadership, integrity and community service.