Kennedy '10 to clerk for Alito

December 12, 2011Duke Law News

Emily Kennedy ’10 (formerly Emily Brown) will clerk for Supreme Court Associate Justice Samuel Alito during the Court’s next term.

Currently a litigator at Kellogg Huber in Washington, D.C., Kennedy has been charting a course towards a Supreme Court clerkship since she was a sophomore at Princeton.

“I took a class on civil liberties and that’s when I first had the idea of going to law school and of being a clerk on the Supreme Court. I had this abstract idea, ‘I’d like to work on these kinds of cases ones day.’ I knew almost nothing about it, least of all how unrealistic it was at that point.”

Kennedy previously clerked for Chief Judge Alice Batchelder on the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.

“I think that experience will be very helpful once I start at the Supreme Court,” she says. “I worked on a number of state and federal legal issues, a number of death penalty cases. It was a great experience and I loved it.”

Kennedy credits Dean David F. Levi and Professors Doriane Coleman and Ernest Young for helping her through the clerkship application and interview process.

“Dean Levi has been tremendously helpful and supportive throughout this process and I know that it wouldn’t have worked out without his help,” Kennedy says. “This has been a two-year process for me, and he guided me through the entire thing.”

Coleman, who taught Kennedy in her first-year Torts and upper-level Children and the Law classes, praises her former student’s “excellent analytical mind, deep knowledge of and facility with legal doctrine, and a balanced, thoughtful, and especially creative approach to complicated legal issues.”

Kennedy will be the sixth Duke Law graduate to clerk at the Supreme Court over three terms. Katherine Crawford Yarger ’08 will clerk for Associate Justice Clarence Thomas during the 2012-2013 term. Allison Jones ’07, Garrick Sevilla ’07, and Amy Mason Saharia ’05 clerked during the 2010-2011 term for Justices Thomas, Alito, and Sonia Sotomayor, respectively. Sarah Campbell JD/MPP ’09 is currently clerking for Alito.