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112 UVA Law Alumni To Clerk in 2021
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112 UVA Law Alumni To Clerk in 2021

For the third straight year, the University of Virginia School of Law alumni will be topping the law school’s record of the number of graduates undertaking judicial clerkships in a given year. This year, a total of 112 alumni of UVA Law are pursuing clerkships across different courts in the country. Last year, a total of 104 graduates pursued judicial clerkships across the country during the 2020 court term.

Out of these 112 graduates, one is clerking at the United States Supreme Court, 40 are clerking in federal appellate circuit courts, 58 are undertaking clerkships at federal district courts and other federal courts, and 13 are clerking at state appellate courts and other local courts. Libby Baird, a graduate of the Class of 2019 is clerking at the United States Supreme Court for Justice Amy Coney Barrett.


Among the 381 J.D. graduates from the class of 2021, 61 are undertaking clerkships out of which 15 are clerking at federal appellate circuit courts. This means that about 19% of the members of the Class of 2021 are serving in judicial clerkships nationwide. After including clerkships for future court terms, a total of 81 clerkships have been accepted by 71 graduates of the Class of 2021. Among these, 28 members will be clerking for a later term, and 18 will be undertaking a second clerkship in 2022 or 2023.

The American Bar Association (ABA) reports that UVA Law ranks fourth in the country when it comes to the percentage of graduates pursuing federal clerkships directly after law school, from the classes of 2018-2020. Since 2005, the law school has been occupying the fifth spot in the number of graduates clerking at the United States Supreme Court. Yale, Harvard, Stanford, and Chicago have been occupying the top four spots for the same since 2005.

Ruth Payne, Senior Director of judicial clerkships at UVA Law, said, “We’ve been gratified by the continued interest in clerking among both our students and alumni, which is continuing to fuel these strong numbers. I sincerely believe that UVA Law produces excellent clerks. We find many judges hire from us every year, and we are always thrilled when they tell us how happy they are with our graduates. Many clerks feel rewarded not only by the mentoring relationship with their judges, but by the experience of working on decisions that directly impact people’s lives.”

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