Three Northwestern Law Professors Named to List of Most Influential Attorneys to Supreme Court

December 11, 2014

A recent Reuters special report named three Northwestern Law professors to its list of the most influential attorneys to the Supreme Court. Sarah O’Rourke Schrup, Jeffrey Green, and Carter Phillips (JD ’77)— all co-directors of the Bluhm Legal Clinic’s Supreme Court Clinic—were identified in “The Echo Chamber,” a three-part report which examines the inner workings of the Supreme Court of the United States and the lawyers that lead in appealing and arguing cases before the high court.

Reuters assembled the list by sifting through nine years of cases, 8,000 law firms, and 17,000 attorneys. Ultimately, 66 attorneys were winnowed down from this list representing the strongest petitioners and oral advocates to the Supreme Court. Top petitioners had a success rate four times above the average for getting an appeal accepted. Sarah O’Rourke Schrup was identified as a top petitioner filing 28 times and successfully granted four. Schrup is also the founder and director of Northwestern’s Appellate Advocacy Center helping students prepare briefs and participate in appeals for the Seventh Circuit and for Supreme Court cases. Adjunct professor Jeffrey Green, partner at Sidley Austin, also made the list as a top petitioner with 34 filed and six granted. Green argued two cases in front of the Supreme Court, successfully winning once and has served as a trusted mentor to Northwestern Law students in the Supreme Court practicum.

Finally, Carter Philips (JD ’77) earned a spot on the list by being a top oral advocate and petitioner, filing 107 petitions and being granted 15, and leading 36 oral arguments and winning 13. Phillips clerked for Chief Justice Warren E. Burger, was an assistant to the Solicitor General, and has achieved a record for arguing the most cases —79 — of any attorney in private practice. Phillips is a partner at Sidley Austin and an instructor in the Supreme Court clinic, guiding students to successfully writing briefs and arguing cases in moot court.  

Northwestern Law’s Appellate Advocacy Center offers a unique mix of practical experience in federal, intermediate, and Supreme Court proceedings to students.