The latest edition of the University of Virginia Law School alumni magazine
catches up with five of its alumni who wound up together at McGuireWoods via
clerkships at the U.S. Supreme Court. Former U.S. Supreme Court clerks Brian
Schmalzbach, Rebecca Gantt and Katherine Mims Crocker accepted positions at the
beginning of the year with McGuireWoods, joining fellow UVA Law and U.S. Supreme
Court alums John Adams and Matt Fitzgerald.
Under the headline “Five
Alumni – Five Former Supreme Court Clerks – One Firm,” the 1,330-word piece
in the magazine’s spring 2015 issue notes the recruitment coup for our
McGuireWoods. It highlights the fact that UVa ranks fourth in contributing the
most clerks to the Supreme Court from 2005 through 2014, trailing only Harvard,
Stanford and Yale. McGuireWoods’ most recent hires have joined the firm’s
appellate practice, with Brian Schmalzbach and Katherine Mims Crocker working
out of the Richmond office and Rebecca Gantt based in Norfolk.
So, given their credentials, why did they choose McGuireWoods?
For all three, it meant coming home to Virginia. For Katherine, the daughter
of Virginia Supreme Court Justice William C. Mims, McGuireWoods gave her an
opportunity to work with fellow alums and mentors John Adams and Matt
Fitzgerald. Rebecca, a former Navy lieutenant deployed during the wars in Iraq
and Afghanistan, said she saw an opportunity that afforded her both autonomy and
responsibility. Brian emerged from his clerkship knowing he wanted the
sophisticated appellate practice of a Washington, D.C., firm but in a location
like Richmond that afforded him the small-city lifestyle he wanted.
“There’s been a lot of conventional wisdom in the past that you had to go to
a big D.C. firm in order to get the most sophisticated work and have good
opportunities moving forward in your career, but that’s really not necessarily
true,” McGuireWoods associate Matt Fitzgerald told the magazine. “McGuireWoods
is a good example of a firm with a major national presence [that’s] every bit as
sophisticated as many of the big D.C. firms, and so the clerks realize that.”
John Adams, hiring partner at McGuireWoods as well as chair of the firm’s
Government Regulatory and Criminal Investigations Department, tells the
publication that the firm systematically recruits former Supreme Court clerks.
“There’s something about the young people who make it all the way to the
Court—they really love the law,” he told the magazine. “They attack assignments
with intensity because of their passion for the law.”
For more details on the three former clerks’ arrival at the McGuireWoods, see
our press release.