Law clerks have assisted the justices of the United States Supreme Court in various capacities since the first one was hired by Justice Horace Gray in 1882. Each justice is permitted to have between three and four law clerks per Court term. Most persons serving in this capacity are recent law school graduates (and typically graduated at the top of their class). Among their many functions, clerks do legal research that assists justices in deciding what cases to accept and what questions to ask during oral arguments, prepare memoranda, and draft orders and opinions. After retiring from the Court, a justice may continue to employ a law clerk, who may be assigned to provide additional assistance to an active justice or may assist the retired justice when sitting by designation with a lower court.
Table of law clerks
The following is a table of law clerks serving the associate justice holding Supreme Court seat 8 (the Court's eighth associate justice seat by order of creation), and one of two established (along with the later abolished seat 7) on March 3, 1837 by the 24th Congress through the Eighth and Ninth Circuits Act of 1837 (5 Stat. 176). This seat is currently occupied by Justice Samuel Alito.
- Peppers, Todd C. (2006). Courtiers of the Marble Palace: The Rise and Influence of the Supreme Court Law Clerk. Stanford University Press. p. 1. ISBN 0-8047-5382-2.
- "Supreme Court Procedures". uscourts.gov. Washington, D.C.: Administrative Office of the United States Courts. Retrieved December 23, 2018.
- Ward, Artemus; Weiden, David L. (2006). Sorcerers' Apprentices: 100 Years of Law Clerks at the United States Supreme Court. New York, New York: New York University Press. pp. 1–5. ISBN 978-0-8147-9404-3.
- "Landmark Legislation: Eighth and Ninth Circuits". Washington, D.C.: Federal Judicial Center. Retrieved December 22, 2018.
- "Justices 1789 to Present". supremecourt.gov. Washington, D.C.: Supreme Court of the United States. Retrieved December 25, 2018.
- Baier, Paul R. (1973). "The Law Clerks: Profile of an Institution," Vanderbilt L. Rev. 26: 1125–77.
- "Georgia Law Alumni Who Have Clerked for a U.S. Supreme Court Justice," Advocate, Spring/Summer 2004 (listing 6 names).
- Judicial Clerkship Handbook, USC Gould Law School, 2013-2014, p. 33, Appendix B.
- Newland, Charles A. (June 1961). "Personal Assistants to the Supreme Court Justices: The Law Clerks," Oregon L. Rev. 40: 306–07.
- News of Supreme Court clerks. University of Virginia Law School, list of clerks, 2004-2018.
- University of Michigan clerks to the Supreme Court, 1991-2017, University of Michigan Law School Web site (2016). Retrieved September 20, 2016.
- Ward, Artemus and David L. Weiden (2006). Sorcerers' Apprentices: 100 Years of Law Clerks at the United States Supreme Court. New York, NY: New York University Press. ISBN 978-0814794203, ISBN 0814794203.