Law professor and alumna start as clerks at US Supreme Court

Author: Kevin Allen

Supremecourt Closeup

Two members of the Notre Dame Law School community are serving as clerks at the U.S. Supreme Court for 2021-22 term, which began last week.

Notre Dame Law Professor Stephanie Barclay is clerking for Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch. Notre Dame Law School graduate Alexa Baltes ’17 J.D. is clerking for Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

“Professor Barclay’s service to the nation’s highest court will benefit her students and her scholarship immensely,” said G. Marcus Cole, the Joseph A. Matson Dean and Professor of Law at Notre Dame Law School. “Her experience as a U.S. Supreme Court clerk will be reflected in her teaching and her scholarship for the rest of her career.”

Barclay Stephanie
Professor Stephanie Barclay

Barclay joined the Law School’s faculty in 2020 and has served as director of the new Religious Liberty Initiative. Her research focuses on the role democratic institutions play in protecting minority rights, particularly at the intersection of free speech and religious exercise. She clerked previously for Judge N. Randy Smith of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Barclay is one of 14 current faculty members at Notre Dame Law School who have clerked at the Supreme Court. That equals one-third of the Law School’s tenure-track faculty members.

Baltes is the third Notre Dame Law School graduate in three years to clerk for a Supreme Court justice. Laura Wolk ’16 J.D. and Audrey Beck ’17 J.D. clerked during 2019-20 term.

Alexabaltes Square
Alexa Baltes ’17 J.D.

Baltes clerked previously for Judge Raymond Gruender of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit and for then-Judge Amy Coney Barrett of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Barrett, a Notre Dame Law School alumna and longtime faculty member, was appointed as an associate justice of the Supreme Court in 2020.

The 37 lawyers clerking at the Supreme Court this term are alumni of just 12 law schools.

Notre Dame is the only law school that has a faculty member and a graduate on this year’s roster of clerks.

Originally published by Kevin Allen at on Oct. 12.