For the fifth consecutive year, RWU Law alums were treated to a special professional honor: being admitted to the bar of the Supreme Court of the United States. As in years past, alums and their faculty sponsor (this year Professor Emily Sack), plus friends and family toured the stately Court building posing for pictures in front of portraits of professional heroes.
We gathered for breakfast in the West Conference Room; everyone was abuzz over this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and the reality really hit when the Clerk of the Court, General William Suter, dropped by to prepare Professor Sack and the admittees for the swearing-in ceremony, which is the Court’s first item of business. A very engaging man, decked out in the traditional “morning coat” worn by advocates for centuries of Court appearances, he was as usual, full of Court lore, spiced with the occasional wisecrack. He also mentioned that this would be his last term as Clerk, en track to retirement after a very successful 22 year run. http://www.scotusblog.com/2012/07/bill-suter-marches-on-and-on/
Then, we filed into the Court’s chamber, with the guests sitting “behind the bar” (the structure that separates judges and lawyers from the public), where Professor Sack moved the admission of Kimberly Ahern ‘09, Alexandra Capachietti ‘06, Jessica Cleary ‘00, Daniel Connors ‘01, Amy Crane ‘08, Elizabeth Duffy ‘97, Keri Ebeck ‘03, Megan Maciasz ‘08, Sally McDonald ‘09, April McHeffey (Ross) ‘01, Meredith Rainey ‘01, and Kevin Rolando ’07 and the Court granted the motion (no surprise there!). Just moments later, the Chief called for the day’s arguments, which, while really technical, enabled us to see two of the top appellate lawyers in the country match wits, Solicitor General of the United States Donald Verrilli http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/05/us/politics/solicitor-generals-predicament-on-gay-marriage.html?_r=0 and Tom Goldstein, who has appeared and argued in a remarkable 28 cases before the Court. http://ghrfirm.com/attorney-profiles/thomas-goldstein
After the arguments, we reassembled in the conference room and enjoyed a visit from Justice Samuel Alito, who reminiscenced about the terrific visit he had to our campus last fall, http://law.rwu.edu/blog/another-supreme-opportunity-justice-samuel-alito-rwu-law-v-1; http://law.rwu.edu/blog/justice-alito%E2%80%99s-day-campus-v-2 and graciously posed for pictures and answered questions about the day’s proceedings. All in all, a great day for RWU Law!