Three Berkeley Law graduates will clerk for U.S. Supreme Court Justices in the same term, a school record
Individually exceptional and collectively historic, three Berkeley Law graduates will clerk at the U.S. Supreme Court during the 2019-20 Term—the school’s highest single-year total.
Jordan Bock ’17 will clerk for Justice Elena Kagan, Matt Rice ’16 for Justice Clarence Thomas, and Anuradha Sivaram ’14 for Justice Sonia Sotomayor. All were clerks at the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and research assistants for Professor Amanda Tyler.
“With each of them, it was like having another law professor help me—their work was that good,” says Tyler, who chairs the Berkeley Law Faculty Clerkship Committee and is a former Supreme Court clerk for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. “Their achievement is a reflection on our incredibly talented student body.”
Indeed, the school set a record for most judicial clerkships in one term—104 alums are currently clerking in 32 states.
Bock (rowing at Harvard) and Rice (baseball at Western Kentucky) were Division I college athletes and each finished first in their class at Berkeley Law. Rice, who graduated summa cum laude in mechanical engineering, played two successful seasons in the Tampa Bay Rays’ minor-league system before shifting gears.
Bock won the Harvard Astronomy Department’s Goldberg Prize for best senior thesis, probing various explanations for the dearth of women in the physical sciences. After college, she joined Teach for America and taught middle school science in Maryland and California while earning a master’s degree in education.
Rice (Williams & Connolly) and Sivaram (WilmerHale) are both associates in Washington, D.C. A Stanford graduate, Sivaram was an honors paralegal in the U.S. Department of Justice’s Environmental Enforcement Section before law school, where she graduated Order of the Coif.
Bock, Rice, and Sivaram all credit their prior clerkships for elevating their thinking, writing, and analytical skills. Their judges gave them ringing endorsements.
Federal judge Vince Chhabria ’98 (Northern District of California) says Bock “has all the tools to be a great Supreme Court clerk, but the best thing about her is that she never flaunts those tools. That too will serve her well.”
“Appellate judges like to brag about their former clerks, and I expect to have many opportunities to brag about Matt in years to come,” says Ninth Circuit Judge Sandra Ikuta, who noted his “off-the-charts legal skills.”
Sixth Circuit Judge Amul Thapar ’94 calls Sivaram “a fantastic law clerk and lawyer because she’s tireless, selfless, and dedicated. She is also a wonderful person and a good friend to all who are lucky enough to get to know her.”
Bock, Rice, and Sivaram all praised Berkeley Law’s faculty, staff, and alumni for devotedly helping them navigate the clerkship application process.
“I’m so proud to be a part of the Berkeley Law community,” Bock says. “It feels quite special to represent the school during the term with our largest number of clerks.”