Meet the Supreme Court’s 38 clerks. They’ve got one of Washington’s most coveted jobs and are the future lawyers, judges, politicians, and business leaders of America

The Supreme Court, Wednesday, July 8, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Summary List Placement

A Supreme Court clerkship is one of the most prestigious jobs a young lawyer can take. It can fast-forward careers and open doors to the highest levels of power.

Every year, the court chooses just a few dozen people out of the tens of thousands of the nation’s law students, lower-court clerks, and fledgling lawyers.

Clerks at the high court have gone on to become CEOs, senators, high-powered attorneys, and even returned as Supreme Court justices. Amy Coney Barrett — President Donald Trump’s nominee to replace Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg — clerked for Justice Antonin Scalia.

“This is like the top .1% you could think of of the legal profession,” said David Lat, a lawyer who diligently tracked this term’s clerk hirings on the website Above the Law and on his Twitter feed at @SCOTUSAmbitions.

This year’s class of clerks includes a history-making editor of the Harvard Law Review, an Army vet, and a former White House and Justice Department counsel who defended the Trump administration against Democratic congressional oversight that spilled out of special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.

Nearly all the clerks in this term have held at least one clerkship with a lower-court judge, a stepping stone to the nation’s highest court.

Winning a clerkship puts a young lawyer on a fast track to partnerships, plum law-firm assignments, and, in some cases, $400,000 bonuses.

Clerks play a vital role in keeping the court moving. They help justices choose which cases to take up, write early drafts of decisions, and help prepare their bosses for oral arguments.

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“You can kind of think of them like Santa’s elves if the justices are Santa,” Lat said. “They’re integral to the process, but they work behind the scenes.”

Here are the 38 clerks of the 2020-21 session that started in October, listed in order of their justice’s seniority. In a few years, they could be the ones making headlines.

Clerks for Chief Justice John Roberts

Stephen Hammer

After serving in Afghanistan with the Army, Hammer went on to attend Harvard Law School. He was a summer associate at the DC-based Cooper and Kirk PLCC and the international law firm Jones Day before winning a clerkship with the Supreme Court’s leading justice.

All eyes will be on Chief Justice John Roberts and every decision he makes as the court solidifies its conservative majority once Coney Barrett is confirmed by the GOP-controlled Senate, which is just about certain to happen. With Justice Ginsburg’s death, only three reliable liberal votes — Sonya Sotomayor, Stephen Breyer, and Elena Kagan — remain.

Since Brett Kavanaugh’s appointment in 2018, Roberts has appeared to strike a balance between the liberals and conservatives on the court. But the addition of Barrett would push the court further right with a 6-3 conservative majority.

Roberts, with Hammer working behind the scenes, has an even more complicated job in keeping the court’s decisions as close to the middle as possible.

Leslie Arffa

This Yale Law School alum held two lower-court clerkships before arriving at the Supreme Court. She clerked for Debra Ann Livingston, chief judge …read more

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Source:: Businessinsider – Politics


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