Two Alumni Named to Supreme Court Clerkships

The GW Law community congratulates Mark Taticchi (J.D. ’10) and Ryan Watson (J.D. ’07), who recently were hired to serve as U.S. Supreme Court clerks for the October 2012 term. Taticchi will clerk for Justice Anthony Kennedy, and Watson will clerk for Justice Samuel Alito. Both join the distinguished ranks of alumni and faculty who have clerked for Supreme Court justices over the years.

“Clerking at the U.S. Supreme Court is obviously an extraordinary opportunity to be part of law in action, and I am thrilled that two of our graduates will be clerking the same year,” said Dean Paul Schiff Berman, who himself clerked for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. “These two clerkships are part of GW’s overall strategy to help our students secure ever more clerkships around the country, in both state and federal courts and at either the trial or appellate level. I believe that there is no better experience for a young lawyer, and we are committed to going all-out to support our graduates seeking this path.”

Both alumni expressed gratitude and excitement about their future work.

“I am honored by the opportunity to serve Justice Kennedy, the Supreme Court, and the federal judiciary this coming year. That’s really what I’m most looking forward to—the chance to work with and learn from some of the most brilliant and insightful legal thinkers in the country, especially Justice Kennedy and my co-clerks,” Taticchi said.

Taticchi also said his GW Law education helped prepare him for his current success as an associate with Covington & Burling in Washington, DC, and added that the support of faculty and staff helped him secure this prestigious clerkship.

“A number of professors, including Jack Friedenthal and Josh Schwartz, wrote letters of recommendation on my behalf. Professors Greg Maggs and Renée Lettow Lerner reached out to Justice Kennedy personally. Professor Orin Kerr did a mock interview to help me prepare for the interview itself. And most instrumental was Professor Brad Clark. He and the Clerkship Committee guided the entire process, coordinating the faculty’s efforts, and doing a great deal more that I’ll probably never realize,” Taticchi said. “It’s wonderful that so many professors would give so generously of their time, even those who I never took classes with while I was a student at GW. The quality of the faculty and their dedication to their students is what drew me to GW in the first place; they have been even more wonderful and supportive than I could have hoped for.”

Watson is an associate in Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher’s Washington, DC, office, and has continued to engage with GW Law as an adjunct faculty member serving with the Scholarly Writing Program. He said he is excited about the privilege of clerking for Justice Alito.

“I am looking forward to discussing and analyzing the cases with Justice Alito prior to oral argument,” Watson says, noting that he also welcomes the chance to read briefs drafted by attorneys at the top of their profession. “That will be a treat, and I expect that my own analytical and writing skills will improve as a result of my exposure to such high-caliber briefs.”

Watson likewise credited his law school experience—particularly time spent as an editor and later as an adjunct faculty collaborator with the Law Review—as instrumental to helping him reach this achievement. He also expressed gratitude to the faculty and staff members who assisted him in the clerkship application process.

“Professors Brad Clark and Joshua Schwartz provided invaluable guidance throughout the process of applying for a Supreme Court clerkship. Not only were they excellent recommenders; they were also trusted advisers whose counsel I deeply appreciate. Their dedication far surpasses anything I could have expected,” Watson said. “During my last semester of law school, I assisted Professor Clark with research and writing pertaining to his proposal for interpreting the Eleventh Amendment. This project—which grappled with the interaction of constitutional text, structure, and history—served as a fascinating capstone for my law school experience.”

With these two new clerkships, six GW alumni will have clerked at the Supreme Court since Chief Justice Roberts joined the Court in 2005. Along with Taticchi and Watson, they are: Jonathan Bond, J.D. ’08, who clerked for Justice Scalia in 2009; Chantal Febus, J.D. ’02, who clerked for Justice Thomas in 2005; Jennifer Mascott, J.D. ’06, who clerked for Justice Thomas in 2008; and Ann O’Connell, J.D. ’04, who clerked for Chief Justice Roberts in 2005.

“The GW community is extremely proud that our alumni continue to land Supreme Court clerkships. This is a testament both to the quality of GW students and to the efforts of our faculty who take the time to mentor and support outstanding applicants,” Professor Clark said. “GW has always been committed to helping our students obtain clerkships at all levels, and is one of the few schools that has a dedicated Clerkship Office with a full-time Director to support students. As chair of the Clerkship Committee, I am particularly excited that Justice Alito and Justice Kennedy have now joined Chief Justice Roberts, Justice Scalia, and Justice Thomas in hiring clerks from GW in recent years.”


Spotlight Item: From left to right: Mark Taticchi (J.D. ’10) and Ryan Watson (J.D. ’07)

From left to right: Mark Taticchi (J.D. ’10) and Ryan Watson (J.D. ’07)

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