Clerkships, Diarmuid O'Scannlain, Fabulosity, Federal Judges, Feeder Judges, SCOTUS, Supreme Court, Supreme Court Clerks

Supreme Court Clerk Hiring Watch: The Changing of the Guard

July has arrived. At law firms, partners leave early on Friday, so they can beat the traffic out to the Hamptons (or the Eastern Shore, or the Cape).

At the Hollister store across the street from the Above the Law offices, hot shirtless men stand outside, trying to lure shoppers into the darkened, heavily perfumed, previously bedbug-ridden space. At 7-11 stores, they are giving away 7.11-ounce Slurpees (because today is 7-11 — geddit?).

And at One First Street, home of the Supreme Court of the United States (aka “SCOTUS”), clerk classes are transitioning. July is when outgoing Supreme Court clerks leave the marble palace — do pass go, do collect a $250,000 signing bonus — and their replacements arrive. The arrivals and departures are staggered over the entire month, so the departing clerks can train the newest members of the Elect.

July is a good time for an update on Supreme Court law clerk hiring. Let’s have a look….

Yes, we know: we have been very, very delinquent in our coverage of SCOTUS clerks. It seems that our last hiring update appeared in October 2010. We apologize for the delay.

(It’s sort of like an email backlog: when you’re delinquent, you stay away, because you’re ashamed of your delinquency. But staying away just makes the problem worse, of course. By the way, if we owe you an email, we apologize. Feel free to email us again — you might get lucky.)

It has been long enough; let’s cut right to the chase. The lists of SCOTUS clerks for October Term 2011 and October Term 2012 appear below. We’ll provide more detailed commentary on the hires, looking at such things as top feeder law schools and top feeder judges, in a future post.

(Exception: I’d like to give a quick shout-out to my former boss, Judge Diarmuid F. O’Scannlain (9th Cir.), who maintains his track record as a feeder judge (see list below). Congratulations on your 25th year on the bench, Judge! I look forward to seeing you and my fellow former DFO clerks at the reunion this fall.)

If you have any additions or corrections, please email us, subject line “SCOTUS Clerk Hiring,” or text us. As you can see, there are pieces of information we are missing here and there. Thanks!

OCTOBER TERM 2011 SUPREME COURT CLERK HIRES (as of July 11, 2011)

Chief Justice John G. Roberts
1. Christoper DiPompeo (U. Penn. 2009 / Niemeyer)
2. Frederick Liu (Yale 2008 / O’Scannlain / Colloton)
3. Colleen Roh (Harvard 2010 / Garland)
4. Hagan Scotten (Harvard 2010 / Kavanaugh)

Justice Antonin Scalia
1. Donald Burke (UVA 2008 / Kethledge)
2. Rebecca Krauss (Yale 2010 / Kavanaugh)
2. John Moran (UVA 2010 / Sutton)
4. Carl Marchioli (Harvard 2010 / Colloton)

Justice Anthony M. Kennedy
1. Ishan Bhabha (Harvard 2009 / Garland)
2. Leah Litman (Michigan 2010 / Sutton)
3. Eric Nguyen (Harvard 2009 / Kozinski)
4. Justin Walker (Harvard 2009 / Kavanaugh)

Justice Clarence Thomas
1. Liam Hardy (Georgetown ? / Sentelle)
2. Brian Lea (UGA 2009 / Carnes)
3. Matt Nicholson (UVA 2009 / Wilkinson)
4. Michelle Shamblin (LSU 2009 / E. Jones / Bristow)

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
1. Benjamin Beaton (Columbia 2009 / Randolph)
2. Jennifer Clark (Georgetown 2008 / Tatel Tot)
3. Gerry Sinzdak (Berkeley 2008 / Berzon)
4. Rachel Wainer Apter (Harvard 2007 / Katzmann / Rakoff)

(We’ve heard a rumor that one of the RBG hires listed above might be incorrect (and should be replaced by a U. Penn. grad)? If that’s the case, please let us know.)

Justice Stephen G. Breyer
1. Jonathan Bressler (Harvard 2010 / Boudin)
2. Rachel Bloomekatz (UCLA 2008 / Calabresi / Margaret Marshall (Mass.))
3. Andrew Dawson (Stanford 2008 / W. Fletcher / C. Breyer)
4. Rebecca Stone (NYU 2009 / Posner)

(We’re not certain if Jonathan Bressler has been hired for OT 2011 or OT 2012.)

Justice Samuel Alito
1. Sarah Campbell (Duke 2009 / Pryor)
2. William Levi (Yale 2010 / Scirica)
3. ?
4. ?

Justice Sonia Sotomayor
1. Michael Bern (Harvard 2008 / McConnell)
2. Scott Grinsell (Yale 2009 / Pooler)
3. Daniel Habib (Yale 2010 / W. Fletcher)
4. Mark Hiller (UVA 2009 / Sack)
5. Charlotte Taylor (NYU 2008 / Rakoff (S.D.N.Y.) / Katzmann)

(The Wise Latina has confused us (and our tipsters) thoroughly: we don’t know who has been hired for which Term. So we’re listing all of the clerks we have down for her and asking you, our readers, to help us figure out who will clerk in OT 2011 and who will clerk in OT 2012. Some of this confusion may stem from the fact that Justice Sotomayor has made SCOTUS clerkship offers to various people whom she originally hired to clerk for her at the Second Circuit, but with somewhat unclear timing. Thanks in advance for your help.)

Justice Elena Kagan
1. Jeff Johnson (Harvard 2010 / Wilkinson)
2. Rakesh Kilaru (Stanford 2010 / Wilkinson)
3. Erica Ross (Stanford 2009 / Tatel / Bristow Fellow)
4. Jonathan Schneller (Harvard 2010 / Reinhardt)

Justice John Paul Stevens (retired)
1. Dina Mishra (Yale 2009 / Boudin)

Justice Sandra Day O’Connor (retired):
1. Candice Chiu (Harvard 2008 / Kavanaugh)

Justice David H. Souter (retired):
1. Matthew Tokson (Chicago 2008 / Randolph)


OCTOBER TERM 2012 SUPREME COURT CLERK HIRES (as of July 11, 2011)

Chief Justice John G. Roberts
1. ?
2. ?
3. ?
4. ?

Justice Antonin Scalia
1. Eric Tung (Chicago 2010 / Gorsuch / Bristow)
2. ?
3. ?
4. ?

Justice Anthony M. Kennedy
1. ?
2. ?
3. ?
4. ?

Justice Clarence Thomas
1. Robert Dunn (Chicago 2010 / O’Scannlain)
2. Kenton Skarin (Northwestern 2009 / Wilkinson)
3. ?
4. ?

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
1. Thane Rehn (Columbia 2009 / Posner)
2. ?
3. ?
4. ?

Justice Stephen G. Breyer
1. Kwaku Akowuah (Harvard 2004 / Garaufis (E.D.N.Y.) / Katzmann)
2. Jonathan Bressler (Harvard 2010 / Boudin)
3. Joshua Geltzer (Yale 2011 / Kozinski)
4. ?

(We’re not certain if Jonathan Bressler has been hired for OT 2011 or OT 2012.)

Justice Samuel Alito
1. ?
2. ?
3. ?
4. ?

Justice Sonia Sotomayor
1. Michael Bern (Harvard 2008 / McConnell)
2. Scott Grinsell (Yale 2009 / Pooler)
3. Daniel Habib (Yale 2010 / W. Fletcher)
4. Mark Hiller (UVA 2009 / Sack)
5. Charlotte Taylor (NYU 2008 / Rakoff (S.D.N.Y.) / Katzmann)

(The Wise Latina has confused us (and our tipsters) thoroughly. For the explanation of why five clerks are listed here, see supra.)

Justice Elena Kagan
1. Samantha Bateman (Stanford 2010 / Brinkema / Garland)
2. ?
3. ?
4. ?

Justice John Paul Stevens (retired)
1. ?

Justice Sandra Day O’Connor (retired):
1. ?

Justice David H. Souter (retired):
1. ?

If you notice an error or omission, have a fun tidbit about any of these clerks, or know about a hire we haven’t already reported, please email us (subject line: “SCOTUS clerk hiring”). Thanks!

Earlier: Prior ATL coverage of Supreme Court clerks (scroll down)

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