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Four students from the 2009 graduating class of UofL’s Brandeis School of Law accepted federal clerkships this year. They are Caroline Pieroni, Megan Renwick, Jennifer K. Weinhold and Sarah Mikowski. Judicial clerkships on all levels can act as a bridge between law school and law as a career. Pieroni points to the legal experience she would gain as a key reason for applying.

Four law grads get federal clerkships

Four students from the 2009 graduating class of UofL’s Brandeis School of Law accepted federal clerkships this year. They are Caroline Pieroni, Megan Renwick, Jennifer K. Weinhold and Sarah Mikowski.

Judicial clerkships on all levels can act as a bridge between law school and law as a career. Pieroni points to the legal experience she would gain as a key reason for applying.

"Every person I know who has clerked absolutely raves about the experience," she says. "Even the lawyers at the firm I worked for during the summer—and will go back to work to after my clerkship—encouraged me to apply, saying that clerking offers valuable experience that you won’t get in your first few years in a big firm."

Gavel Students who wish to apply for clerkships must have high academic marks, but to stand out and be recognized by the interviewing judge, a law student needs more. Weinhold, an excellent student who is an editor for the University of Louisville Law Review and works as a research assistant to Associate Professor Susan Duncan, believes that her success came not only from her academic achievements but also from her summer employment and volunteer work, which helped set her apart from other candidates.

"In the two years I worked as a summer associate, I worked on two high-profile cases," she says. "One in a Boston law firm (the Charlie Weis case) and one in a Louisville law firm (the Comair litigation). My experience on these cases is something I emphasized in my cover letter to the judge.

"I also highlighted my volunteer experience as president of my condo association, which was a position that carried with it extreme responsibility. For me, it was important to emphasize my ability to succeed in high-pressure situations and my confidence in exercising sound judgment."

Clerkships offer prestige and opportunities to learn that serve any young lawyer well, says Jim Chen, dean of the UofL law school. Consequently, competition for these positions is fierce.

"Clerks receive access to and knowledge about the judicial process not found anywhere else," Chen says. "Judicial clerks are able to experience a wide range of legal issues and better understand the judicial decision-making process, and they have the opportunity to forge relationships with members of the judiciary that other young lawyers may never have."


UofL’s federal clerks

  • Sarah Mikowski - Judge Thomas B. Russell
  • Caroline Pieroni - Chief Judge John G. Heyburn, II
  • Megan Renwick - Judge Danny Reeves
  • Jennifer Weinhold - Judge David L. Bunning
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