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12th & High

A new class of professors joins Moritz Three bring wealth of experience in the Supreme Court, civil rights defense, and nonprofit leadership. BY JAY CLOUSE, MONICA DEMEGLIO, AND BARBARA PECK

n As sure as the leaves on the trees lining 12th Avenue and High Street turn from green to gold each autumn, new faces emerge in Drinko Hall – and not just with the incoming class of first-year students. The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law welcomed three new faculty members this academic year: Assistant Professor of Law Christopher J. Walker, Visiting Professor of Law Amna Akbar, and the newest Langdon Fellow in Dispute Resolution, Erin Archerd. Former Supreme Court clerk teaches ‘dream’ class at Moritz Walker learned quickly that sometimes the stars just align. One day, while quietly working away at his clerk’s desk in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, the U.S. Supreme Court called: Associate Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wanted to see Walker in Washington, D.C. in a week to talk about a clerkship position there. While struggling to decide whether to

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T H E O H I O S TAT E U N I V E R S I T Y

choose Harvard or Stanford for graduate school, Walker figured out that one can, in fact, attend both. And, when his favorite boyhood football team – the Florida Gators – was just starting to fade ever so slightly, it turns out Walker and his beloved former head coach, Urban Meyer, were interviewing to be Buckeyes at just about the same time. “To this day I don’t know for sure how the Supreme Court thing happened,” Walker said. At the time, he was clerking for Chief Judge Alex Kozinski in the Ninth Circuit. The year before, Walker had applied to all of the U.S. Supreme Court justices, as is etiquette; but he did not receive a single interview. So, he dove into his work with Kozinski. He also applied for and was accepted to work on the civil appellate staff at the U.S. Department of Justice after the clerkship ended. The job at the DOJ was a career position. But, then one day the phone rang in chambers. Or, maybe it was a private outgoing call? “I don’t know who called who. It wasn’t

interview season,” Walker said. “All I know is that Judge Kozinski walked into my office and said Justice Kennedy wanted to see me in Washington, D.C. the following week to interview for a clerkship position for October Term 2008. The judge and the justice know each other, and I had been working closely with Judge Kozinski on some important projects. I was obviously completely surprised.” Walker spent a couple of hours with current clerks, “being grilled on substantive issues.” He then spent an hour with Kennedy, who expressed concern about whether the public understood the Supreme Court’s rulings. “Justice Kennedy’s concern for transparency and public understanding is something I’ve always admired,” Walker said. He spent a year with the DOJ before heading to Justice Kennedy’s chambers, where he spent a year in the inner sanctum of the court. “Obviously, very few people know about how the Supreme Court works. They see oral arguments, and then they read opinions. But there is

All Rise Winter 2013  

All Rise Winter 2013 - The Creepy Factor

All Rise Winter 2013  

All Rise Winter 2013 - The Creepy Factor

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