Enhancing the resources available to help graduates clerk for judges in California and around the country, UCLA School of Law has hired Kerry O’Neill to serve as its first director of judicial clerkships.
An 11-year veteran of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles, O’Neill is a former litigator at O’Melveny & Myers with deep roots in the California legal community. After earning her undergraduate degree at Princeton University and J.D. at Stanford Law School, she clerked for UCLA Law alumna Judge Dorothy Nelson ’53 on the U.S Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in Pasadena.
In her new role, O’Neill will engage with judges and lawyers to identify clerkship opportunities for UCLA Law graduates, work with students to help them apply, and collaborate with faculty members in helping students hone the skills required of judicial clerks.
More than 300 alumni of UCLA Law have become judges in trial and appellate courts around the country.
“A judicial clerkship is the best apprenticeship that a young lawyer could hope for: It helps recent graduates develop skills and subject-matter expertise and elevates them to high-level networks that enrich their legal careers,” O’Neill says. “This was certainly my experience as a judicial law clerk, and I’m eager to open the experience to an even greater number of UCLA Law’s terrific graduates.”
Professor Kristen Eichensehr, who chairs UCLA Law’s clerkship committee, says, “We are excited to have Kerry on board to strengthen UCLA Law’s ties to the judiciary and give students the tools they need to land top clerkships. These are coveted positions in the legal profession, and our graduates have never been better situated for success.”