UVA Law Second in Lawyers Arguing at Supreme Court This Term

Clinic Argued Two Cases, While Bamzai Made Debut as Amicus
Supreme Court
May 7, 2018

The University of Virginia School of Law is tied for second in the number of lawyers from an organization arguing before the U.S. Supreme Court this term, excluding the U.S. Office of the Solicitor General, and first among law schools. The school also is tied for sixth in the total number of cases before the court.

Three UVA Law professors argued three cases at the court. Outside of the U.S. Office of the Solicitor General, only a handful of firms and few law schools make more than one argument at the U.S. Supreme Court in a given term.

“It’s a credit to the school that it has such a leading presence before the court,” said Professor Dan Ortiz, the director of the Supreme Court Litigation Clinic. “Its appearances — whether by individual professors or by the clinic — bring the best of both practice and the academy together to serve clients, to challenge students with cutting-edge cases and to aid the court in developing American law.”

Two of the arguments involved cases with the clinic. City of Hays v. Vogt, a Fifth Amendment case from Kansas, was argued in February by Professor Toby Heytens ’00, who has since taken leave from UVA Law to serve as Virginia’s solicitor general. Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis, a labor arbitration case, was argued in October by Ortiz.

Separately, Professor Aditya Bamzai made his debut at the U.S. Supreme Court in January as a rare independent amicus in three consolidated cases involving the Supreme Court’s jurisdiction to review cases from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces.

“This is just the most visible presence of the Law School before the court,” Ortiz said of the arguments, noting contributions UVA Law faculty have made behind the scenes in writing amicus briefs or collaborating with counsel of record.

Excluding the Solicitor General’s Office, the law firm Orrick topped the oral argument list with four different attorneys, according to data compiled by the Arthur J. Morris Law Library. UVA Law shared the No. 2 spot with four law firms, and was first among law schools.

The law firm Kirkland & Ellis presented the most arguments, with seven. UVA Law was tied for No. 6 with four law firms and was second among law schools, after Stanford.

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.

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