Court: U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit
Judge: The Honorable Lavenski R. Smith
A NOTABLE CASE I WORKED ON: I loved working on cases where we had the opportunity to interpret the Constitution. It is so interesting to consider the different ways it can be viewed—from a historical context or a more textual one, for example. I enjoyed discussing different points with Judge Smith to help prepare him for what he might hear during oral arguments.
TAKEAWAYS FROM THE EXPERIENCE: It was a great experience and I would highly recommend it to anyone graduating from law school. I would advise someone considering a clerkship to be open about where you go; research the judge to get background; and then, once you’ve started, really dive in, appreciate the entire process and value the opportunity. Judge Smith was wonderful to work for—he wanted to hear a critique of everything and encouraged us to bring rigorous analyses and well-constructed arguments to him. His philosophy is to be open-minded, humble and considerate to all those around you—working for someone like him gave me faith in the judicial system.