Michigan Law alumna named a Supreme Court Fellow

By Lori Atherton
U-M Law

Elizabeth Jones, a 2017 graduate of the U-M Law School, has been named one of four 2018–2019 Supreme Court Fellows by the Supreme Court Fellows Commission. She will begin the one-year appointment in September.

“I was surprised and excited when I got the phone call,” said Jones. “This is a unique opportunity, and I’m pleased that it comes at the beginning of my career. I’m excited to make connections, meet new people, and be exposed to the judiciary in a way that I haven’t been before.”

Jones is thought to be the first Michigan Law graduate to be appointed a Supreme Court Fellow, according to Greta Trakul, judicial clerkship adviser in Michigan Law’s Office of Career Planning.

The Supreme Court Fellows Program, founded in 1973, offers mid-career professionals, recent graduates, and doctoral degree holders in law and political science the opportunity to learn about the judicial system through placements at one of four federal judiciary agencies. Jones has been assigned to the Federal Judiciary Center, the education and research agency for the federal courts.

As part of her Fellowship, Jones will be required to write a research paper on a topic relevant to her agency placement. “I’ll focus on bankruptcy law, and about 25 percent of my time will be allocated to developing my research agenda,” Jones said. She and other Fellows will present their final research paper to federal judges during a meeting of the Judicial Conference next spring.

Jones will join the Supreme Court Fellows Program after completing a clerkship with The Hon. Elizabeth S. Stong at the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of New York. The clerkship has allowed Jones to gain courtroom experience, which she has greatly enjoyed.

“I love being in and out of court,” she said. “It’s been fun to work on different types of bankruptcy cases, including corporate and consumer bankruptcy cases, and to do real, substantive work only a year out of law school.”

After her Supreme Court Fellowship, Jones will return to New York to practice bankruptcy law. Her long-term goal is to teach bankruptcy law through clinical practice.