Charlottesville Native To Clerk For U.S. Supreme Court Justice David H. Souter
April 4, 2005 --
Charlottesville native and University of Virginia School of Law graduate Allison Orr (Class of 2004) has secured a clerkship with United States Supreme Court Justice David H. Souter for the 2005-2006 term.
Orr begins her term this summer. She is now a law clerk for Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson III (U.Va. Law alumnus ’72), who sits on the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals and is often named as a potential Supreme Court candidate,.
Wilkinson scored an unusual trifecta this year; Orr joins other Wilkinson clerks Michael Passaportis (U.Va. Law alumnus’04), who will clerk for Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, and Yale Law School graduate Evan Young, who will clerk for Justice Antonin Scalia. Supreme Court justices typically hire lawyers who have clerked for circuit court judges — meaning as many as 600 clerks vie for the 35 coveted high court opportunities each year.
“I think it’s going to be an unbelievable challenge,” Orr said. “I’m looking forward to learning more everyday than I probably could even imagine. I’ve heard it’s an amazing experience that’s exhilarating and exhausting and something that you’ll always remember as a highlight of your life. I just can’t believe I’m going to get to experience it.”
Orr, a College of William & Mary graduate, earned the U.Va. Law School’s Margaret G. Hyde Award, given by faculty to an outstanding graduating student, and the Z Society Shannon Award, presented to the student with the highest overall academic record. She was Notes Development Editor for the Virginia Law Review and volunteered for the student-organized Rape Crisis Advocacy Project.
Orr praised her experience clerking for Wilkinson.
“Some of the most interesting, stimulating cases are ones that other people might call boring — ones that are a little bit more under the radar,” she said, pointing to cases involving the Employment Retirement Income Security and Federal Arbitration acts. “You just sort of learn as you go and figure out whatever puzzle you happen to have on your plate at the time,” she said.
Orr is the daughter of Dr. William A. and Elizabeth M. Orr of Charlottesville.