Tuesday, March 16, 2004

WRITER: Heidi Murphy, 706/542-5172, hmurphy@uga.edu CONTACT: Anne P. Dupre, 706/542-5294, adupre@uga.edu Heidi Murphy, 706/542-5172, hmurphy@uga.edu


ATHENS, Ga. – It is often referred to as one of the best jobs a young lawyer can have, and earlier this year, John H. Longwell learned he had been chosen from a pool of hundreds of top-notch law school graduates to clerk for a U.S. Supreme Court justice. His coveted clerkship will begin in October 2005, and he will work for Associate Justice Stephen G. Breyer. In the University of Georgia School of Law’s distinguished 145-year history, only five alumni have been selected for a U.S. Supreme Court clerkship.

“It [the clerkship] is a great opportunity, and I am very fortunate to have it,” Longwell, a 1999 Georgia Law graduate, said. “With all the excellent candidates, one can’t help but recognize that a lot of luck comes into play.”

Former Supreme Court clerk, Georgia Law alumna and current law professor Anne P. Dupre says clerkships on the nation’s highest court are very selective and are actively competed for by the country’s top law graduates. “A clerkship provides an exceptional learning opportunity for those in the early stages of their legal career. This experience will truly benefit John in his future,” she said.

Longwell currently specializes in telecommunications and appellate litigation at the Washington, D.C., office of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP. He clerked for Chief Judge Douglas H. Ginsburg of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and Judge Vaughn R. Walker of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. He also practiced with the D.C. law firm of Kellogg, Huber, Hansen, Todd & Evans, PLLC.

While studying at Georgia Law, Longwell participated in the school’s accomplished advocacy program, was senior articles editor of the Georgia Law Review, and served as a research assistant to then-Georgia Law professor Richard A. Nagareda. He credits Nagareda and professors R. Perry Sentell Jr., C. Ronald Ellington, and Michael L. Wells with “vastly enriching” his law school experience.

Originally from Short Hills, N.J., Longwell earned his bachelor’s degree with high distinction in 1993 from the University of Virginia. He was a reporter for the Athens (Ga.) Daily News/Banner-Herald before attending law school. He and his wife Natalie have two daughters, Lily and Dorothy.

By statute, each of the nine U.S. Supreme Court justices can have up to four clerks per term. A typical appointment is for a period of one year.

To date, only 32 law schools in the country and only four in the Southeast (Duke University, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, University of Virginia, and Washington and Lee University) can boast that five or more of their graduates have been selected for U.S. Supreme Court clerkships. Longwell’s selection elevates Georgia Law into this elite group.

The other four Georgia Law alumni who have assisted justices sitting on the nation’s highest court are: Benna R. Solomon, a 1978 graduate who clerked for Associate Justice Bryon R. White in 1980; Bruce P. Brown, a 1984 graduate who clerked for Chief Justice Warren E. Burger in 1986; Glen M. Darbyshire, a 1984 graduate who clerked for Associate Justice Thurgood Marshall in 1985; and Dupre, a 1988 graduate who clerked for Associate Justice Harry A. Blackmun in 1989.