Covenant College Alumna Selected for SCOTUS Clerkship
Covenant College alumna Kathryn Kimball ’09 has been selected to clerk for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. Kimball’s clerkship will run during the 2018 Supreme Court term. Around thirty-six law clerks are annually chosen to serve with the Supreme Court.
"I'm deeply honored to have the opportunity to clerk for Justice Thomas, a man I respect as both a jurist and person,” said Kimball. “I credit the rigorous academics at Covenant College for preparing me for law school and my current job as a criminal prosecutor, and I'm incredibly thankful for the many professors and friends who encouraged me along the way."
After graduating with highest honors from Covenant in 2009 with a BA in economics, Kimball went on to receive her JD from the Fredric G. Levin College of Law in 2012, where she graduated first in her class. Kimball currently serves as a prosecutor at the Department of Justice in Washington, DC.
“Kat was a fantastic student,” said Dr. Kelly Kapic, professor of theological studies. “She became a friend and spent time in our home. Kat was always very thoughtful and well organized. It’s not a surprise to me that she’s had this opportunity. She’s worked very hard and it’s wonderful to see this happen.”
Kimball was among the first graduating class of economics majors at Covenant College. Dr. Lance Wescher, associate professor of economics, recalls discussing the fledgling major with Kimball in his first year as a professor at Covenant. He explained to Kimball that certain decisions needed to be made before the College could officially offer the major. The very next day, Wescher received emails from professors letting him know that they had talked with Kimball and wanted to help move the major forward in time for Kimball to graduate with a degree in economics.
“That story provides a glimpse into the kind of person Kathryn is,” said Wescher. “Her work ethic is evident, you can see her ability to make compelling arguments, and it’s clear that she was not at all intimidated by meeting with professors to help make the major a reality. I’ve always been proud of Kathryn, and I would have been just as proud of her had she not received this position. But it’s exciting to see the Lord open these doors for her.”
Kimball was a Maclellan Scholar during her time at Covenant. The Maclellan Scholars Program equips students for faithful leadership and encourages them to live out their callings for the good of the church and the world. During her senior year at Covenant, Kimball served as student body president.
“Kathryn always approached her studies with faithfulness, diligence, and poise and it's no surprise to hear that she has carried these characteristics into her career,” said Sarah Huffines, associate professor of English and co-director of the Maclellan Scholars Program. “I'm obviously thrilled for the experience that she will have, and I am confident that those around her will benefit from her presence.”
As a student at Covenant, Kimball participated in the Character of Leadership course offered through the Maclellan Scholars Program. The course was led by then Covenant President Niel Nielson and his wife, Dr. Kathleen Nielson, and took Maclellan Scholars through biographies of great leaders throughout history. Through reading, debate, and discussion, the class helped students connect practical leadership skills with Christian thinking.
"Kathryn's extraordinary attention to detail as a student was exceeded only by her passion for Jesus Christ,” said Dr. Brian Fikkert, professor of economics and community development. “It is an incredible joy to see God putting her in this position."
During her clerkship, Kimball will be deeply involved in the daily work of the Supreme Court, researching issues presented in petitions, writing memoranda about pending cases, and assisting Justice Thomas as he prepares for oral arguments and writes opinions.
“Anyone who has known Kathryn Kimball, or has seen her work, knows that she brings energy and insight to all she does,” said Dr. Richard Follett, professor of history and pre-law advisor. “Securing a clerkship for any federal judge is a competitive process, but those for the Supreme Court Justices are highly sought after and, accordingly, even more prestigious. Ms. Kimball's selection certainly reflects her well-developed knowledge and skills, and I am thrilled that her education at Covenant has helped prepare her for this opportunity. We will look forward to following her career, as she helps to shape the interpretation and application of our country's laws.”