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Alum shares experience as legal clerk for Supreme Court Justice

Mirela Turc

Issue date: 4/24/09 Section: News
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On Thursday, Arun Subramanian, a 2001 alumnus of Case Western, came to campus to speak about his experiences clerking for Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Although Subramanian now works as an attorney at the firm of Susman Godfrey in New York City, he is the only CWRU alum to have succeeded in obtaining a clerkship at the highest court in the nation.

Given the justices' caseload (approximately 70 to 100 suits per term), legal clerks act as their eyes and ears doing legal research, giving advice, and assisting the Justices in drafting opinions. In their free time, the clerks hang out around Washington, D.C. and play basketball on the second floor of the Supreme Court building.

Subramanian graduated from CWRU summa cum laude with degrees in English and computer science, and attended Columbia Law School where he graduated with a J.D. in 2004. After his graduation, Subramanian secured two prestigious clerkships, first with the Honorable Dennis Jacobs on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and then with the Honorable Gerard E. Lynch on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

He describes his clerkships as invaluable, and "one of the greatest experiences you can ever have."

When applying for a clerkship, Subramanian advises that students have strong recommendations from law school professors. In order to apply for a clerkship at the Supreme Court, candidates usually must have at least a year of clerking experience. The competition is especially challenging at this level because each of the nine justices only takes four clerks per term.

In the 2006-2007 term, during which Subramanian was clerking at the Court, the Supreme Court decided numerous important and controversial cases. For example, Gonzales v. Carhart (2006) upheld the Federal Partial-Birth Abortion Ban. Subramanian remembers Justice Ginsburg's dissent, where she emphasized that the Court had parted course from its prior decisions in Roe v. Wade (1973) and Planned Parenthood of Pennsylvania v. Casey (1992). Her dissent concluded by noting: "In candor, the Act, and the Court's defense of it, cannot be understood as anything other than an effort to chip away at a right declared again and again by this Court-and with increasing comprehension of its centrality to women's lives."
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In This Issue


  • Alum shares experience as legal clerk for Supreme Court Justice
  • Forgotten legends: the blockade of Euclid Avenue
  • Hudson Relays
  • Planning ahead with life insurance
  • Second annual Relay For Life raises over $88,000
  • Showing off: Research ShowCASE provides opportunity to present latest research
  • Source of success: fifth annual SOURCE Symposium celebrates students' research

The Buzz

  • The Buzz

USG Briefs

  • USG Brief

Worst Case Scenario

  • Worst Case Scenario: 2009-10 preview


  • Baseball: Spartans lose to Wooster at Progressive Field
  • Seven-to-five job
  • Softball: Spartan bats silent against Bluffton
  • Spartan Spotlight: Allen Ye
  • Top 10 Spartan sports stories of 2008 - 2009
  • What to watch for this summer

Fun Page

  • Crossword Answers
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  • Case Culture: Summer break shouldn't break your back
  • Editorial: Semester grades
  • Global Scorning: Earth Day: Don't assume it's only about "flower power"
  • Red, White, and Skewed: So many crises, so little time


  • Alternative Press editor offers disappointing analysis of scene culture
  • Case alumnus Girl Talk returns for end-of-year blowout
  • Cleveland Museum of Art hosts unique exhibition of powerful African artwork
  • Juggling Club's end of year spectacular wows audience with skill
  • Sex and Dating: Remembering those who matter
  • Spartans of Style: What not to wear
  • Stand-up comedy show tonight
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