insignes graphic word over building

Recognizing significant legal clerkships, fellowships, and honors
Fall 2021

Shelby Baird

Shelby Baird JD/MA ’18 is serving as a clerk to Supreme Court Associate Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr., for the 2021-2022 term of the Court. She began her clerkship in July. She is the fifth Duke Law graduate to clerk for Justice Alito.

Baird met Justice Alito while taking his Duke Law seminar, Current Issues in Constitutional Interpretation, which he has taught since 2009. She  credited her faculty mentors and James B. Duke and Benjamin N. Duke Dean Kerry Abrams with supporting her application for the Supreme Court clerkship, as well as David F. Levi, the Levi Family Professor of Law and Judicial Studies and director of the Bolch Judicial Institute, who was dean during her three years at Duke Law.

A Mordecai Scholar at Duke Law, Baird graduated magna cum laude with a Master of Arts in bioethics and science policy along with her JD, and was elected to Order of the Coif. Following graduation, she clerked for Judge Thomas M. Hardiman of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Prior to beginning her clerkship with Justice Alito she was an associate with Cooper & Kirk, a boutique appellate litigation firm.

During law school Baird served as notes editor for the Duke Law Journal and received the Duke Bar Association’s Outstanding Student Organization Leader Award for her work as president of the Federalist Society. She also served as a student leader for the Cancer Pro Bono Clinic and earned a Client Service Award for her work in the Health Justice Clinic.

Abigail Frisch

Abigail Frisch ’18 is serving as a Bristow Fellow in the U.S. Department of Justice. Bristow Fellows work in the Office of the Solicitor General, drafting briefs for cases before the Supreme Court, preparing recommendations to the solicitor general regarding government appeals in the lower courts, and assisting with oral argument preparation for the Court. 

Prior to beginning her fellowship, Frisch clerked for Judge Don Willett JD/MA ’92 LLM ’16 on the U.S. Court of Appeals for Fifth Circuit. She was previously a Coleman Fellow in the Texas solicitor general’s office and a clerk for Judge William Q. Hayes of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California.

Frisch, who is also a CPA, was an executive editor of Duke Law Journal and co-president of the Business Law Society, and participated in Guardian ad Litem and Volunteer Income Tax Assistance. She served as a research assistant to then-Dean David F. Levi in her third year and credits him with encouraging her to “dream big” with her goal of pursuing a career in public service. Frisch graduated magna cum laude and Order of the Coif and won the Justin Miller Award for Leadership. She is a member of the Law School’s Alumnae Leadership Council. 

Frisch is one of five lawyers selected for the prestigious yearlong fellowship this year, and the third Duke Law graduate to be a Bristow Fellow in the last nine years.

Karen Huber

Karen Huber JD/LLM ’21 is spending the fall in a clerkship with Europe’s highest court, the Court of Justice for the European Union (EU), as a participant in the Dean Acheson Legal Stage Program.

The Luxembourg-based court interprets EU law to ensure it is applied the same in all member countries and settles disputes between national governments and EU institutions. The clerkships, which are offered to a small number of U.S. law students annually, are designed “to promote mutual understanding between the peoples of the U.S. and the European Union in the context of the legal profession,” according to the program’s website. 

Huber, who was a professor of European history at Wesleyan College before attending law school, has been assigned to the chambers of Judge Inga Reine of Latvia and assists her on cases before the General Court, where each member country is represented by two judges. 

At Duke, Huber was a board member of the International Law Society and the Human Rights Law Society, served on the board of the Public Interest Law Foundation, volunteered with the Women Law Students Association, and was a student representative on the Entry-Level and Lateral Faculty Appointments Committees. She also worked at the Irish Centre for Human Rights at the National University of Ireland, Galway, and Shearman & Sterling in New York, which she will join as an associate in January.

Rohit Asirvatham

Rohit Asirvatham ’21 spent his postgraduate summer as a Phillips Fellow in the U.S. Department of Justice, supporting attorneys in the Office of the Solicitor General. Only two Phillips Fellowships are awarded each year to law school graduates who are bound for federal clerkships.

Asirvatham, who plans to pursue appellate law as a career, is now clerking for Judge David R. Stras on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. During his fellowship he engaged in various research and writing tasks, including assisting with the preparation of briefs on the merits in Supreme Court cases. 

Asirvatham was a Duke Law Journal articles editor, a member of the Lateral Faculty Hiring Committee and the South Asian Law Student Association, and a research assistant for Professor Matthew Adler, the Richard A. Horvitz Professor of Law and Professor of Economics, Philosophy and Public Policy. He also served as a teaching assistant for Clinical Professor Sean Andrussier’92, and Sara Sun Beale, the Charles L. B. Lowndes Professor of Law.

Mary Beth Reed

As the inaugural recipient of the Keller Fellowship that supports public interest work, Mary Beth Reed ’21 is spending a year at JusticeMatters in Durham, an organization that provides legal services to protect children and help survivors of human trafficking and other traumas.

Members of the Class of 1987 created the fellowship, that funds work in a U.S. public interest organization, to honor their classmate John Keller and his long career with Legal Aid of North Carolina.

At JusticeMatters, which was founded by Libby Magee Coles ’08, Reed works primarily with undocumented children who have been abandoned, abused, or neglected to find a caregiver and obtain legal status, as well as with local organizations to equip them to find children eligible for immigration relief, including legal and other services. Reed worked for JusticeMatters as an immigration legal intern during her second year at Duke Law.

Along with congratulations to Reed, James B. Duke and Benjamin N. Duke Dean Kerry Abrams expressed the Law School’s gratitude to the Class of 1987 for their generous support of the scholarship and to Keller for the example and inspiration his career offers students. “I am delighted to be able to offer the Keller Fellowship to deserving graduates who aspire to serving the public,” she said.

Andrew Lindsay

Andrew Lindsay ’21 was selected by the American Constitution Society in April as one of its 2021 cohort of Next Generation Leaders. He is among 28 individuals nationwide chosen for the program, which identifies talented ACS student chapter members through a competitive process and helps cultivate their careers through special programs, opportunities, and networking.

Lindsay served as president of the Duke Law chapter of the ACS, which welcomed such guests as White House counsels, solicitors general, and civil liberties activists. He also served as co-president of the Duke Law & Technology Society, and chief of staff of the Black Law Students Association. He was editor-in-chief of the Duke Law & Technology Review and was a special staff editor of the Duke Journal on Gender and Law Policy. He also served as a research assistant for Dean Kerry Abrams, Jerome M. Culp Professor of Law Trina Jones, and Clinical Professor Kate Evans, who directs the Immigrant Rights Clinic.

Share this article:

Magazine Cover, Fall 2021

Fall 2021
Volume 40 No. 2