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Supreme Ambitions: David Lat Launches SCOTUS 'Clerk Lit' Serial

By Robyn Hagan Cain on September 07, 2012 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

There's a good chance you know of David Lat, even if you don't know David Lat.

Lat is the mastermind behind the (dearly departed) Underneath their Robes, and the founder of the legal blogging juggernaut Above the Law.

Now, he's a serial fiction writer, too.

Well, almost...

Sunday, Lat is publishing the first installment of Supreme Ambitions, a web-serial he’s creating about a young lawyer determined to claw her way up the federal appellate food chain to a Supreme Court clerkship.

The tag line? One First Street … or die trying.

Here’s his description of the project:

Supreme Ambitions is the story of Audrey Coyne, a bright young lawyer in pursuit of her dream job: a clerkship with the Supreme Court of the United States. After graduating from Yale Law School, Audrey moves out to California to clerk for the Honorable Christina Wong Stinson, a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Judge Stinson, a prominent and well-regarded conservative on a predominantly liberal court, is a “feeder judge” — a judge with the ability to feed Audrey into a Supreme Court clerkship, provided that Judge Stinson is pleased and impressed by Audrey’s work as her law clerk.

So Lat, a Yale Law grad and a former clerk for Ninth Circuit Judge Diarmuid O’Scannlain, (a conservative appointee on the famously left-learning court), is writing about a Yale Law grad who’s clerking … for a noted conservative on the famously left-leaning court.

And doesn’t Audrey sound a bit like Article III? (Write what you know, folks.)

From a numbers perspective, Audrey has a decent shot at her dream. Yale Law School consistently claims a substantial share of each term’s clerk class. YLS produced four clerks for the 2011 Term, and eight for the 2012 Term. Then again, that’s only a small percentage of the total number of Yalies who apply to clerk for the Nine.

If you want to find out whether Audrey beats the odds, Lat is planning to publish updates to Supreme Ambitions on Sundays and Wednesdays.

Above the Law may be known for its snarky take on legal life, but the man behind it is truly one of the nicest guys around. We wish David all the best with this project.

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