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Being a Law Clerk with Justice Elena Kagan

New York appellate attorney Joshua Rosenkranz of Orrick discusses what it was like being a law clerk with now Justice Elena Kagan.

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Sure. So I actually clerked with her for two years on the D.C. Circuit when I was with then Judge Scalia. She was clerking for Judge Mikva, who was a real leader of the liberal branch of the D.C. Circuit. That was the year that Judge Scalia was elevated to the Supreme Court. And then I went up to the Supreme Court to clerk for Justice Brennan and Elena Kagan went up to clerk for Justice Marshall. So I experienced her both as a formidable adversary on the D.C. Circuit and as an ardent ally. Throughout, she showed herself to be very much what we all view her as now. She was and still is brilliant, very thorough, very incisive. You could always count on her to get to the heart of a case. But also very affable, able to get along with all sides of the political spectrum, not at all judgmental. And the proof of the pudding is frankly not so much in what’s she doing on the Supreme Court, where I think she is and will continue to be a star and a leader, but what she did in the Harvard faculty. I mean anyone who can tame that faculty obviously has interpersonal skills.

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