Erin Brown, a 2021 graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law, will clerk for Justice Brett Kavanaugh at the U.S. Supreme Court for the 2024 term, becoming the second UVA Law alumna to line up a high court clerkship for that term.
“If you had told me at the beginning of law school that I would clerk at the Supreme Court, I wouldn’t have believed you,” Brown said. “The amazing professors and classmates that I had along the way put that goal within reach.”
The Law School is fifth after Harvard, Yale, Stanford and Chicago in placing clerks on the U.S. Supreme Court from the 2007 through 2022 terms. Rachel Daley ’21 will clerk for Justice Neil Gorsuch, also for the 2024 term. Henry Dickman ’20 and Michael Corcoran ’17 are currently clerking for Justices Amy Coney Barrett and Clarence Thomas for the 2022 term.
Brown is now clerking for Judge Carl J. Nichols of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia and previously clerked for Judge Britt C. Grant of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.
At UVA Law, Brown was a Karsh-Dillard Scholar, recipient of the Bracewell LLP Appellate Advocacy Award, executive editor of the Virginia Law Review and a participant in the Supreme Court Litigation Clinic. She was also a research assistant to Professors A. E. Dick Howard ’61 and Saikrishna Prakash, who both advised Brown on her Virginia Law Review note, “The Lost Judicial Review Function of the Speech and Debate Clause.”
“[Howard and Prakash] taught me a great deal about how to research and explore different perspectives in the process,” she said. “Those are skills that I apply daily as a clerk, and I know that I’ll continue to strengthen them.”
Brown also credits Professors Aditya Bamzai, George Cohen, Anne Coughlin, John Harrison, Caleb Nelson and Daniel Ortiz, clinic instructors James Dawson and Jeremy Marwell, and former professor Molly Brady for contributing to her success.
She said the clinic “hit the ground running” with students churning out research and memo writing. She added that the clinic taught her about Supreme Court advocacy, cert petitions and analyzing circuit court splits through her research, all of which she expects to be an asset for her clerkship.
“Erin is the total package — brilliant, industrious, indefatigable. She’s the epitome of the legal eagle,” Prakash said. “To top it off, she is a wonderful, enthusiastic and energetic person.”
Brown said she looks forward to seeing justices with differing perspectives tackle the difficult issues that have divided circuit courts with the aim of finding the right result under the law.
“Being exposed to the high caliber of advocacy at that level will help me become a better lawyer when I am an advocate myself,” she said. “I couldn’t be more grateful for this opportunity to continue to develop skills that I will put to use for the rest of my career, all while learning directly from Justice Kavanaugh.”
Brown earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of South Carolina.
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.