Fifth UGA School of Law graduate in seven years selected to clerk for the U.S. Supreme Court


Writer/Contact: Cindy H. Rice, 706/542-5172, cindyh@uga.edu

Athens, Ga. - University of Georgia School of Law 2009 graduate Brian C. Lea will serve as a judicial clerk for Justice Clarence Thomas of the U.S. Supreme Court for the October 2011 term. Lea's selection means that five former Georgia Law students have been selected in the last seven years to clerk for the U.S. Supreme Court.

"This is a tremendous achievement for Brian, and we are extremely proud of him. A U.S. Supreme Court clerkship is considered one of the most elite appointments a law school graduate can obtain." Dean Rebecca H. White said. "Brian's selection is a testament to his outstanding academic ability and accomplishments, and I am confident he will do an outstanding job. Our students have had great success in recent years in being chosen for these very prestigious positions. It is gratifying to see their talent, hard work and dedication recognized and to know that the school provided them with an excellent foundation in the law."

Lea graduated first in his class from Georgia Law, where he received numerous awards and honors for his academic achievements, served as an articles editor of the Georgia Law Review and was inducted into the Order of the Coif. He served as a judicial clerk for Judge Ed Carnes of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit before joining DLA Piper as a litigation associate in the firm's Atlanta office. He plans to remain with the firm until his Supreme Court clerkship begins next year.

"I cannot think of a greater honor and privilege than clerking for our nation's highest court," Lea said. "I am humbled to have this opportunity and am thoroughly looking forward to working for Justice Thomas as he addresses the most important legal issues in our nation."

Lea added that this opportunity would not have been possible without the help and guidance of Carnes, White and Georgia Law professors Peter B. "Bo" Rutledge and Lonnie T. Brown, among others. "Each of those people really stepped up to the plate to help me, and I am extraordinarily grateful. I very much enjoyed my time at Georgia Law. The quality of the educational experience at the school is outstanding and the faculty regularly goes above and beyond the call of duty for students. It was a terrific three years."

Earlier this fall, The New York Times examined the schools from which U.S. Supreme Court clerks obtained their law degrees, and it ranked Georgia Law third among public law schools and 11th overall for the time period 2005-10.