It seems that Supreme Court clerks are having a moment right now. They’ve made the pages of New York Magazine. They’re getting profiled by Thomson Reuters. They’re being nominated for ambassadorships (before even hitting age 40). They’re the subject of a new book edited by Todd Peppers and Artemus Ward, In Chambers: Stories of Supreme Court Law Clerks and Their Justices (affiliate link; I have a review copy and am looking forward to reading it).

And why are SCOTUS clerks in the limelight? One reason is that they are privy to some serious secrets. The entire nation is eagerly anticipating the Obamacare decision — and they know how it’s going to come out.

No wonder a “no guests” policy has been instituted at the SCOTUS clerk happy hours. The pressure to keep the Obamacare secret — but also to spill it! — must be mind-blowing.

Some of the current clerks are married; do you think they’ve been able to resist telling their spouses? If a clerk goes out for drinks with friends and gets a little tipsy, might he spill the beans? If a clerk has brunch with her parents on Sunday for Father’s Day, and Dad speculates about how the case will come out, could the clerk’s telling facial expression reveal the ruling? [FN1]

If I were one of the Elect this Term, I’d never leave my apartment except to go to work, and I’d set my email auto-reply and voicemail greetings to say the following: “Please be advised that I will be completely unavailable — for in-person meetings, telephone conversations, or any other type of contact — until June 25, 2012. Thank you for your understanding.”

This brings us to today’s topic: the latest news in Supreme Court clerk hiring. Which lucky (and brilliant) young lawyers will find themselves at One First Street for October Term 2012?

The Supreme Court law clerk lists for October Term 2012 and October Term 2013 appear below. If a clerk’s name is hyperlinked, the link most likely goes to a news item about the hiring or a bio. We have collected several of these news items at the very end of this post.

If you have any additions or corrections — we’re missing the identity of one of the Chief Justice’s clerks, but we understand that JGR has hired all his clerks for OT 2012 (and even one for OT 2013) — please email us, subject line “SCOTUS Clerk Hiring.” We will fix any errors as soon as possible. Thank you.

[FN1] Thomson Reuters recently interviewed some parents of current SCOTUS clerks — including Homi Bhabha, the eminent literary scholar and father of Kennedy clerk Ishan Bhabha, and David Levi, dean of Duke Law School and father of Alito clerk William Levi — and the parents denied pressing their kids for inside info.

UPDATE (4:30 PM): Congratulations to the fourth Roberts clerk for OT 2012, Benjamin Snyder (Harvard 2011 / Sutton). And congrats to Anthony Vitarelli (Yale 2009 / Griffith), who will be clerking for Justice Souter next Term. We’ve added their names to the list below.

UPDATE (5:00 PM): We’ve been advised that two Sotomayor clerks, Scott Grinsell and Fred Smith, recently switched the years of their clerkships. We’ve made this change to the lists.

UPDATE (5:10 PM): Katherine Yarger is moving to October Term 2013. She’s being replaced in October Term 2012 by Janet Galeria (Berkeley 2011 / Griffith).

OCTOBER TERM 2012 SUPREME COURT CLERK HIRES (as of June 14, 2012)

Chief Justice John G. Roberts
1. Caroline Edsall (Yale 2010 / Brody (E.D. Pa.) / Kavanaugh)
2. Jonathan Ellis (Penn 2010 / Randolph / Bristow)
3. Sina Kian (Stanford 2010 / Griffith / Tatel)
4. Benjamin Snyder (Harvard 2011 / Sutton)

Justice Antonin Scalia
1. Adam Klein (Columbia 2011 / Kavanaugh)
2. Ian Samuel (NYU 2008 / Kozinski / Bristow Fellow)
3. Danielle Sassoon (Yale 2011 / Wilkinson)
4. Eric Tung (Chicago 2010 / Gorsuch / Bristow Fellow)

Justice Anthony M. Kennedy
1. David Denton (Harvard 2011 / Wilkinson)
2. Josh Patashnik (Stanford 2011 / Sutton)
3. Mark Taticchi (GW 2010 / Ikuta)
4. Lauren Willard (UVA 2011 / Kozinski)

Justice Clarence Thomas
1. Robert Dunn (Chicago 2010 / O’Scannlain)
2. Janet Galeria (Berkeley 2011 / Griffith)
3. David Morrell (Yale 2010 / E. Jones)
4. Kenton Skarin (Northwestern 2009 / Wilkinson)

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
1. Martine Cicconi (Stanford 2010 / Garland / Bristow Fellow)
2. Joshua Johnson (Yale 2009 / Tatel Tot / Gertner (D. Mass.))
3. Julie Kobick (Harvard 2010 / Saylor (D. Mass.) / Chagares)
4. Thane Rehn (Columbia 2009 / Posner)

Justice Stephen G. Breyer
1. Kwaku Akowuah (Harvard 2004 / Garaufis (E.D.N.Y.) / Katzmann)
2. Emily Rebecca Gantt (UVA 2011 / Boudin)
3. Joshua Geltzer (Yale 2011 / Kozinski)
4. Susannah Weaver (Georgetown 2008 / Kennedy (D.D.C.) / Katzmann)

Justice Samuel Alito
1. Brian Barnes (Yale 2010 / Griffith)
2. Emily Kennedy (Duke 2010 / Batchelder)
3. Claire McCusker Murray (Yale 2009 / Kavanaugh)
4. Ryan Watson (GW 2007 / J. Brown)

Justice Sonia Sotomayor
1. Brian Goldman (Stanford 2010 / Reinhardt)
2. Brian Burgess (NYU 2009 / Calabresi / Tatel / Quasi-Bristow (special assistant to SG))
3. Scott Grinsell (Yale 2009 / Pooler)
4. Charlotte Taylor (NYU 2008 / Rakoff (S.D.N.Y.) / Katzmann)

Justice Elena Kagan
1. Samantha Bateman (Stanford 2010 / Brinkema / Garland)
2. Brad Garcia (Harvard 2011 / Griffith)
3. Zach Schauf (Harvard 2011 / Garland)
4. David Zimmer (Harvard 2010 / W. Fletcher)

Justice Sandra Day O’Connor (retired):
1. Eric Citron (Yale 2007 / Robertson (D.D.C.) / Tatel Tot)

Justice David H. Souter (retired):
1. Anthony Vitarelli (Yale 2009 / Griffith)

Justice John Paul Stevens (retired)
1. Eduardo Bruera (Cornell 2011 / C. King (5th Cir.))

OCTOBER TERM 2013 SUPREME COURT CLERK HIRES (as of June 14, 2012)

Chief Justice John G. Roberts
1. Morgan Goodspeed (Harvard 2012 / Kavanaugh)
2. ?
3. ?
4. ?

Justice Antonin Scalia
1. Ryan Walsh (Chicago 2012 / O’Scannlain)
2. ?
3. ?
4. ?

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

Justice Clarence Thomas
1. Katherine Yarger (Duke 2008 / Gorsuch / Eid (Colo.))
2. ?
3. ?
4. ?

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
1. Kelsi Brown Corkran (Chicago 2005 / Tatel)
2. Daniel Rubens (Harvard 2008 / Rakoff (S.D.N.Y.) / Katzmann)
3. Burden Walker (Harvard 2010 / S. Williams)
4. ?

Justice Stephen G. Breyer
1. ?
2. ?
3. ?
4. ?

Justice Samuel Alito
1. Zina Bash (Harvard 2007 / Kavanaugh)
2. ?
3. ?
4. ?

Justice Sonia Sotomayor
1. Fred Smith (Stanford 2007 / Thompson (M.D. Ala.) / Parker)
2. ?
3. ?
4. ?

Justice Elena Kagan
1. Sophia Brill (Yale 2011 / Garland)
2. ?
3. ?
4. ?

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

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

Justice John Paul Stevens (retired)
1. ?

Do you have a hire we haven’t reported yet, or an addition or correction to any of this information? Please email us (subject line: “SCOTUS clerk hiring”). Thanks.

In Chambers: Stories of Supreme Court Law Clerks and Their Justices [Amazon (affiliate link)]
Know-It-Alls Who Say Nothing [New York Magazine]
U.S. Supreme Court: Never mind the 9. Meet the 36. [Thomson Reuters News & Insight]
Jonathan Ellis L’10 to clerk for SCOTUS Chief Justice Roberts [Penn Law News & Stories]
Six Stanford Law School Alumni Clerking at Supreme Court OT 2012 [Stanford Law School News]
Three NYU Law alumni to clerk at Supreme Court in upcoming term [NYU Law School News]
A Supreme Honor [GW Law School Magazine]
Two GW Law Graduates to Clerk for U.S. Supreme Court During October 2012 Term
[20th & H: GW Law Dean's Blog]
Yarger ’08 secures clerkship with Justice Clarence Thomas [Duke Law News & Events]
Kennedy ’10 to clerk for Alito [Duke Law News & Events]
Gantt ’11 to Clerk for Justice Breyer [Virginia Law News]
Willard ’11 to Clerk for Supreme Court Justice Kennedy [Virginia Law News]
A Love for the Law: From Academia to a Supreme Court Clerkship [Cornell Law School]

Earlier: The Obamacare Opinion Will Be Disappointing
Supreme Court Clerk Hiring Watch: OT 2012 and OT 2013
Supreme Court Clerk Hiring Watch: The Updated Official List for OT 2011, and a Request for Tips
Prior ATL coverage of Supreme Court clerks (scroll down)


comments sponsored by

13 comments (hidden for your protection) Show all comments