Ben Aguiñaga, a 2015 graduate of the LSU Law Center, has been selected to serve as a law clerk to United States Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito for the 2018-19 term of the Court.
“We at the LSU Law Center are extremely proud of Ben and his selection to clerk on the U.S Supreme Court,” LSU Law Dean Tom Galligan said. “This is a great moment for Ben and LSU Law.”
Aguiñaga becomes just the second LSU Law graduate to serve as a Supreme Court law clerk. Michelle Stratton, a 2009 graduate, clerked for Justice Clarence Thomas for the 2011-12 term.
“This is a dream come true. But it is also a dream that would not—indeed, could not—have come true without mentors like Michelle Stratton who made history by becoming LSU Law’s first Supreme Court clerk. She, along with many faculty members, judges, and friends, spent hours with me over coffee and lunch as we discussed next steps. I owe them all a great deal of gratitude,” Aguiñaga said.
After graduating from LSU Law in 2015, Aguiñaga, a native of Pearland, Texas, worked for Texas Sen. Ted Cruz’s Senate Judiciary Committee staff. He then clerked for then-Justice Don R. Willett of the Supreme Court of Texas — now judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit — and for Judge Edith H. Jones of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.
After completing those clerkships, Aguiñaga became Chief of Staff and Counsel in the Civil Rights Division at the U.S. Department of Justice.
“Judicial clerkships have been some of the most important experiences in my career thus far,” Aguiñaga said. “I have been fortunate to work for two judges who have become invaluable mentors and have shaped how I think and write about the law. I cannot overemphasize the benefits of working in close quarters with legal giants who can teach you their craft and offer career advice and support for the years to come.”
Aguiñaga graduated summa cum laude and The Order of the Coif at LSU Law. He served as production editor of the Louisiana Law Review and was board member of the Moot Court program. He won the LSU Law Opening Statement Competition and Tullis Moot Court Competition in 2013, and in 2015, he presented oral arguments to the Louisiana Supreme Court as a member of the Law Clinic.
“I am indebted to many faculty members for shaping my law school education,” Aguiñaga said. “In particular, I am indebted to those faculty members who made law come alive for me and inspired me to read more, think more, and write more critically about legal principles.”
Aguiñaga credited administrative and constitutional law classes of professor Michael Coenen and international law classes of professor Scott Sullivan as helping push him to become a better student and attorney, and shaped his legal career.
“Ben made a wonderful impression on the LSU Law Center during his time here, and his positive reputation continues to grow,” Galligan said. “He inspires our students to accomplish great things.”
“I hope that this news will open doors for many other LSU Law graduates and will inspire them to pursue similar opportunities on the national level,” Aguiñaga said.
Aguiñaga earned his bachelor’s degree from Baylor University in 2012, with majors in political science and philosophy and minors in mathematics and history.