Record Number of Alumni Clerking for Federal Appellate Judges
A record number of University of Virginia School of Law alumni are clerking for federal appeals court judges during the 2018-19 judicial term.
Among the 85 alumni serving in clerkships for 2018-19, a previously unsurpassed 38 are working for federal appellate courts. The Law School is No. 5 in federal judicial clerkship placement for the classes of 2013-17, according to American Bar Association data.
One alumna, Katie Barber ’15, is clerking at the U.S. Supreme Court for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg this term. UVA Law ranks No. 4 after Yale, Harvard and Stanford in placing clerks on the U.S. Supreme Court from 2005-18.
In addition, 42 graduates are clerking at federal district courts, and four at state courts.
Ruth Payne ’02, senior director of judicial clerkships at UVA Law, said one reason for the uptick is an increased number of students and alumni pursuing clerkships. Another, she said, is how well UVA Law has done with judges newly appointed to the federal judiciary, which has also seen a recent uptick.
Payne said applying for a clerkship requires patience, but patience can pay off.
“I think the most important message we have for students is to stick with the process, and that we will stick by them as long as they are willing to engage,” Payne said. “The clerkship market can be chaotic with many different hiring timelines, but every student who wants to clerk can be successful if they follow through.”
Forty-five candidates among the Class of 2018 were accepted for clerkships this term, including 18 for appellate courts — up from 13 last year.