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UVA Law Setting School Clerkship Records
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UVA Law school

Summary: University of Virginia Law School places a high importance on getting clerkships lined up for the graduates, understanding the experience gained from them can carry a career forward.

Only fourth to Harvard, Yale, and Stanford in contributing clerks to the Supreme Court since 2005, the University of Virginia School of Law is making its way to be number one. There are 102 graduates currently clerking for the 2015 court term with four for the U.S. Supreme Court and 62 in U.S. district courts.


This is the third year since 2011 that the school has had over 100 alumni in clerkships. Last year was a record setting year with 35 clerkships in the U.S. courts of appeals and 105 total graduates in clerkships. Director of Clerkships at the school, Ruth Payne, said, “Our students make great clerks – our judges are happy and come back for more. Every year about 75 percent of our hires are from judges who’ve hired our graduates before.”

The number of judges keeps growing, with at least 58 that have been appointed by Obama hiring UVA Law graduates. The alumni and faculty at the school play a big part in helping students get these clerkships, “Our faculty both are generous about helping students, but also are well-connected,” Payne said. It also helps that many of the schools alums are judges.

Many law firms hold clerkships in high regard and will give new hires that completed a clerkship before joining the firm a bonus and starting status as a second-year associate. Professor Micah Schwartzman, chair of the Clerkships Committee said, “Clerking is a great way to start your legal career, both in terms of gaining valuable experience and in opening doors to future career paths.”

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