Third Annual Judicial Reception Caps Clerkship Weekend at Baylor Law

November 27, 2018

Third Annual Judicial Reception Caps Clerkship Weekend at Baylor Law

Picture of a full and active Third Annual Judicial Reception

Students, faculty, and visiting judges enjoy the Third Annual Judicial Reception in the Gibson Gayle Jr. and Uriel Dutton Reading Room at Baylor Law.

WACO— November, 2018

Baylor Law hosted its Third Annual Judicial Reception as part of its 'Clerkship Weekend' on Friday, November 16, 2018. The event, which is attended each year by judges from the Federal Bench in Texas, is Baylor Law's way of thanking the judges for the important work they do hiring and mentoring Baylor Law students and graduates as judicial law clerks and interns. The annual reception also provides a unique opportunity for current students to interact and network with judges in a less-formal setting than a traditional courtroom, while learning about the benefits of becoming a clerk and the unique opportunity a clerkship offers to have a front-row seat to observe judicial decision making.

Hon. Jeffrey Cureton, U.S. Magistrate Court Judge for the Northern District of Texas; Hon. J. Rodney Gilstrap, U.S. District Court Chief Judge for the Eastern District of Texas; Hon. Andrew S. Hanen, U.S. District Court Judge for the Southern District of Texas; Hon. Ed Kinkeade, U.S. District Court Judge for the Northern District of Texas; Hon. Amos L. Mazzant, U.S. District Court Judge for the Eastern District of Texas; Hon. Christine A. Nowak, U.S. Magistrate Judge for the Eastern District of Texas; and Hon. Christopher H. Steger, U.S. Magistrate Judge for the Eastern District of Tennessee; and Dean Brad Toben offered remarks and insight into day-to-day work of judicial clerks and their important role in the legal system. The more than 50 Baylor Law students present were encouraged to apply for these prestigious roles.

Judicial Clerkship Panelists in a group photo

Federal Judical Clerkship Panelists (L-R) Kelsey Ferrari, Professor Jim Underwood, Stephen Burbank, and Sameer Hashmi

Baylor Law's Clerkship Weekend kicked off with a one-hour Professional Development Session on Thursday November 15th at 4pm entitled, 'Why You Should Consider a Federal Judicial Clerkship,' a panel discussion moderated by Professor Jim Underwood. The panelists were Baylor Lawyers Kelsey Ferrari, former clerk for the Honorable J. Rodney Gilstrap, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas; Sameer Hashmi, former clerk for the Honorable Andrew Hanen, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas; and Stephen Burbank, current clerk for the Honorable Alan Albright, U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas. They shared insight into the value of a post-graduate federal judicial clerkship, why Baylor Law students should consider applying, and how to navigate the application process.

Clerkship Weekend ended with an intimate breakfast and dialogue for judges hosted by Dean Brad Toben on ways Baylor Law can better prepare our students for roles as judicial clerks.

Participants in the breakfast dialog in a group photo

Participants at the breakfast dialog, left-to-right, Hon. Christopher H. Steger, Hon. Amos L. Mazzant, Hon. Jeffrey C. Manske, Hon. Alan Albright, Hon. J. Rodney Gilstrap, Dean Brad Toben, Professor Liz Fraley, Hon. Jeffrey Cureton, Hon. Ed Kinkeade, Professor Jim Wren.

"Our goal with Clerkship Weekend is to recognize and honor members of our judiciary and to encourage our Baylor Law students to consider clerking," said Angela Cruseturner, Assistant Dean of Career Development, who added "a clerkship offers an invaluable mentoring experience but the competition to obtain a clerkship is fierce and Baylor Law's Career Development Office is fully committed to guiding students through the judicial clerkship application process."

According to online legal news organization, Baylor Law ranks #26 in the nation for law schools that have the highest percentage of students accepted to federal judicial clerkships.

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Established in 1857, Baylor Law School was one of the first law schools in Texas and one of the first west of the Mississippi River. Today, the school has more than 7,400 living alumni. It is accredited by the American Bar Association and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools. Baylor Law School has a record of producing outstanding lawyers, many of whom decide upon a career in public service. The Law School boasts two governors, members or former members of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, two former directors of the FBI, U.S. ambassadors, federal judges, justices of the Texas Supreme Court and members of the Texas Legislature, among its notable alumni. In its law specialties rankings, U.S. News & World Report ranked Baylor Law's trial advocacy program as one of the top 5 in the nation. Baylor Law School is also ranked #50 in the magazine's 2019 edition of "America's Best Graduate Schools." The National Jurist ranks Baylor Law as one of the "Best School for Practical Training," and in the top 15 "Best Law School Facilities" in the country. The Business Insider places Baylor Law among the top 50 law schools in the nation. Baylor Law School received the 2015 American Bar Association Pro Bono Publico Award, making it only the third law school in the nation to be honored with the award since the award's inception in 1984. Learn more at

Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 17,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions. Learn more at

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