Alumnus Named Bristow Fellow

David Goldman ’19 To Help With Appeals in Solicitor General’s Office
David Goldman

David Goldman ’19 is currently clerking for Judge Amul R. Thapar of the Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Contributed photo

April 15, 2021

David Goldman, a 2019 graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law, will serve as one of five Bristow Fellows in the Office of the Solicitor General at the U.S. Department of Justice starting this summer.

As a Bristow Fellow, Goldman will help attorneys draft briefs in Supreme Court cases and prepare for oral arguments there. Fellows, who serve for one year, also make recommendations to the solicitor general about government appeals in lower federal courts. The fellowships are highly competitive and are often steppingstones to clerkships at the U.S. Supreme Court.

Goldman is currently clerking for Judge Amul R. Thapar of the Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. (Thapar is also a UVA Law lecturer.) Goldman previously clerked for Judge David Stras of the Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and was a law clerk with the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel. He begins his fellowship in July.

“The Bristow Fellowship is an amazing opportunity to learn from some of the very best appellate litigators in the country and work on the cases with the greatest stakes for the federal government,” Goldman said. “I look forward to returning to the DOJ; my brief time in the Office of Legal Counsel involved providing legal advice on tough (and fascinating) issues to the executive branch. This time around, I will move from advising to litigating. I am curious to compare the two roles.”

UVA Law is tied for No. 2 nationally in the number of graduates named Bristow Fellows since the 2012 term, with five.

Goldman said his experience clerking has developed his abilities as a writer. He noted that even the best legal arguments are worthless if no one else can understand them.

“My co-clerks and I have traded relentless edits and constructive criticisms on our writing for almost two years,” he said. “My judges have not been stingy with their feedback either, of course.

“I may have feared criticism when I started clerking; now I seek it out.”

At UVA Law, Goldman received the Rosenbloom Award, and was articles development editor of the Virginia Law Review, a Legal Writing Fellow, clerkship chair of the Federalist Society, and a William Minor Lile Moot Court competitor and vice president of rules for its board. He was also a research assistant to Professors Anne Coughlin, Rachel Harmon and Saikrishna Prakash, and a participant in the Supreme Court Litigation Clinic.

Goldman earned a B.F.A. from New York University.

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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