Austin Raynor '13 to Clerk for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas

Austin Raynor '13 authored a note and an article while at the Law School. His article was later published in the Indiana Law Journal.

February 2, 2016

UVA Law alumnus Austin Raynor '13 has been selected to clerk for Justice Clarence Thomas of the U.S. Supreme Court during the 2016 term starting this fall.

Raynor joins fellow UVA Law alum Nicole Frazer '15, who will also be clerking at the Supreme Court during the upcoming term. Four graduates are clerking for the court currently. Virginia is fourth in contributing the most clerks to the U.S. Supreme Court from 2005-15, after Harvard, Stanford and Yale. (More)

"I feel very lucky because these sorts of things come along only once in a lifetime. … I was extremely grateful," Raynor said. "I have enormous respect for Justice Thomas, both as a person and a judge, and I think he's one of the most principled justices ever to sit the bench. There are lots of things to look forward to."

Raynor credited his professors with helping him navigate the difficult application process.  “This wouldn’t have happened without the support of many people at the Law School, several of whom I count as close friends and mentors. It’s humbling to realize how many people have invested in you to make something like this possible.”

While at the Law School, Raynor worked on the Virginia Law Review as an articles editor and was a member of the Federalist Society.

He wrote a note, working with Professor Julia Mahoney, on constitutional protections for economic liberty. He also completed a yearlong independent study with Professor Caleb Nelson, after which he wrote an article on the various ways states push back against federal law. The article was later published by the Indiana Law Journal.

"Austin's paper was spectacular — smart, informative and beautifully written. But Austin is not just a lawyer of exceptional ability; he's also a terrific person who is refreshingly modest and down to earth. He'll do a tremendous job, and I'm thrilled that he's getting the opportunity," said Nelson, who also clerked for Thomas.

Raynor clerked for Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson III '72, of the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in Charlottesville during the 2013 term. “Working for Judge Wilkinson was extremely rewarding,” Raynor said. “He’s one of the finest judges in the country but, on top of that, he also takes a genuine personal interest in his clerks.”

Currently he's working as an associate, doing both trial and appellate litigation work, at Sullivan & Cromwell in Washington, D.C.

Raynor, a Charlottesville native, earned a bachelor's degree in philosophy and religious studies at the College of William & Mary in 2010. Before that, he attended Western Albemarle High School.

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