NCLA Internship Spotlight

Aaron Gordon

Summer Law Clerk


Law School: Yale

Expected Graduation: 2020

Hometown: Atlanta, GA

Campus Activities: Federalist Society, Law Revue band member

Hobbies: Writing, guitar

What were your duties as an NCLA intern?

Mainly legal research and drafting memoranda, but really could include almost anything from drafting parts of actual filings to writing blog posts for the NCLA website.

What did you most enjoy about your internship?

I love getting to see the product of my research or writing used in real litigation. It’s reassuring to know that what I’ve worked on here is making a difference.

What interesting thing(s) did you learn about Administrative Law?

I didn’t realize how many hoops someone has to jump through to challenge an agency’s action in court. Most of the time, there’s some requirement that you first have to go through all of an agency’s internal procedures before you can get before an Article III judge; this is especially true in the tax context.

How might you use what you’ve learned later in your professional career?

This was the first time I worked in a firm (last summer I was at a state SG’s office), and with NCLA I’m getting a better sense of the skills necessary to find clients and cases. You have to find a plaintiff who wants your help, and whose case has facts that allow you to actually litigate the issues you want to litigate. Case selection is a real skill.

Any advice for other students who want to intern at NCLA in the future?

Really brush up on your knowledge of procedure and federal courts. Administrative law and con law are both important too, but when it comes to identifying potential litigation and actually litigating, nearly every case you work on at NCLA is going to require a really solid knowledge of pleading, motions, standing, mootness, jurisdiction, etc.