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Clerkship Experience Is Opportunity to Hone Skills and Learn About the Judicial System

Early in her time as a law student, Kacey Marr ‘13 learned in a seminar put on by the college’s Center for Professional Development (CPD) that working for a judge is one of the best things a law student could do during their time in school.  Heeding this advice, she worked in the summer between her first and second year for both Justice Will T. Scott of the Supreme Court of Kentucky and for the Honorable Eugene Siler, Jr. of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.  “I learned more from my summer experience than I could have imagined, not only about the law and the court systems, but about what makes a good attorney and judge,” Marr said. She also took advantage of UC Law’s judicial externship program and spent a semester working for the Honorable David Bunning in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky.

Today Marr works as a clerk for Judge Siler, working on appeals from the federal district courts in the Sixth Circuit and also habeas petitions from their state courts.  She explained that Judge Siler also sits by designation on other courts when invited, so they also will be working on cases from the Eleventh Circuit this summer. 

“Our cases run the gamut and we see a good mix of civil and criminal appeals, including death penalty cases,” Marr shared.  This variety is one aspect of her job that she finds especially interesting, particularly the opportunity to engage with constitutional law and criminal procedure questions and issues. 

Marr says she enjoys the freedom Judge Siler has given her in arguing aspects of law.  “It is an interesting experience to be able to look at two sides of the argument, understand them both, and decide which argument I think is correct,” she said.  “I have been able to hone my advocacy skills by appreciating and arguing both sides of a case.”

“There are many opportunities to intern and/or to extern through UC’s judicial externship program, and even to shadow,” Marr noted.  She advises that anyone interested in pursuing a clerkship should take advantage of any opportunities to connect with a judge and to talk to another student, faculty or alum who has clerked to get a glimpse of what working as a clerk is like.

About Kacey Marr ‘13

  • From Corbin, Kentucky, Marr attended the University of Kentucky.
  • She studied economics and marketing. 
  • After graduating from UK, she came straight  to law school here at UC.