112 Alumni To Clerk in 2021, Setting a School Record

Number of Clerks Hits Milestone for Third Straight Year
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September 7, 2021

This story was updated Sept. 8 to reflect additional clerkships.

A record 112 alumni of the University of Virginia School of Law are clerking across the country during the 2021 court term. Graduates have topped the school’s record for the number of clerks for three straight years.

Overall, 40 alumni are clerking in federal appellate circuit courts, 58 are clerking at federal district courts and other federal courts, one is clerking at the U.S. Supreme Court, and 13 are clerking for state appellate courts and other local courts.

“We’ve been gratified by the continued interest in clerking among both our students and alumni, which is continuing to fuel these strong numbers,” said Ruth Payne ’02, senior director of judicial clerkships. “I sincerely believe that UVA Law produces excellent clerks. We find many judges hire from us every year, and we are always thrilled when they tell us how happy they are with our graduates.”

A large portion of the clerks are members of the Class of 2021, of whom 19% will be serving in judicial clerkships this fall nationwide. Out of 318 J.D. graduates in the class, 61 are clerking, including 15 in federal appellate circuit courts.

When clerkships for future terms are included, 71 members of the class have accepted a total of 81 clerkships. Twenty-eight of these graduates have accepted clerkships for a later term, and 18 have already accepted a second clerkship in 2022 or 2023.

At the U.S. Supreme Court, Libby Baird ’19 is clerking for Justice Amy Coney Barrett. The Law School is fifth after Yale, Harvard, Stanford and Chicago in the number of graduates clerking on the U.S. Supreme Court since 2005.

The Law School is No. 4 in the percentage of graduates from the classes of 2018-20 going directly to federal clerkships after law school, according to American Bar Association data.

Payne said clerking gives law school graduates an inside perspective on how courts make decisions, a strong network and relationships with judges and fellow clerks, and an opportunity to build their legal research and writing skills at the start of their careers.

“Many clerks feel rewarded not only by the mentoring relationship with their judges, but by the experience of working on decisions that directly impact people’s lives,” Payne said.

Alumni Clerkships for the 2021 Term

U.S. Supreme Court 

Federal Appellate Circuit Courts 

U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit (3)
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit (5)
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit (8)
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit (6)
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit (4)
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (4)
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit (3)
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit (3)
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit

Federal District Courts and Other Federal Courts 

U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama
U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona
U.S. District Court for the District of Arkansas
U.S. District Court for the Central District of California
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California
U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia (4)
U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut
U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware
U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida
U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana
U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kansas
U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi (2)
U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York (4)
U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina (3)
U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina (2)
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania (2)
U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas (2)
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas (3)
U.S. District Court for the District of Utah
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia (9)
U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia (4)
U.S. Court of Federal Claims

State Appellate Courts and Other Local Courts 

Colorado Supreme Court
District of Columbia Court of Appeals
Supreme Court of Hawaii
Court of Appeals of Maryland (2)
Minnesota Supreme Court
New Mexico Court of Appeals
North Carolina Business Court
Rhode Island Supreme Court
Supreme Court of Texas (2)
Norfolk (Va.) Circuit Court
Fairfax (Va.) Circuit Court

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.

Media Contact

Mike Fox
Director of Media Relations
mfox@law.virginia.edu / (434) 982-6832

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