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Totzke named U.S. Supreme Court clerk

Totzke

For the Press Times

DE PERE – Elizabeth Totzke, a 2019 graduate of St. Norbert College, has been named clerk for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett for the 2024-25 term.

“Elizabeth is one of those rare students you encounter while teaching,” said Charley Jacobs, professor of political science at St. Norbert.

“She arrived on campus incredibly well-prepared for college work and continued to grow and develop intellectually during her four years at St. Norbert College. She will be an immense asset to Associate Justice Barrett and to the United States Supreme Court.”

Each Supreme Court justice has four clerks who generally serve one-year terms.

Clerks are primarily responsible for reviewing the record, researching the applicable law and drafting legal memoranda and court opinions. Clerks also attend oral arguments before the court.

 “I feel so honored to have been selected for a clerkship with Justice Barrett,” said Totzke. “She is a brilliant jurist, and we have all benefited from her presence on the court. I have long admired her approach to the law, and I can’t think of a better role model as I begin my legal career.” 

Totzke will begin her clerkship this summer.

A 2022 graduate of Notre Dame Law School, Totzke received the Dean Joseph O’Meara Award, one of the law school’s three highest academic awards, presented annually to a member of the graduating class for outstanding academic achievement.

After graduating, Totzke clerked for Chief Judge Diane Sykes of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit during the 2022-23 term.

Totzke is currently completing her second clerkship with Judge David Stras of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.

Circuit Court Judge Marc Hammer, who has taught business law, media law and trial advocacy at St. Norbert College since 1995, said this about Totzke’s appointment.

 “Being selected as a clerk for the United States Supreme Court is the highest honor any law school graduate can hope to attain. Each year, over 1,000 of the best and brightest law school students from the top-tier law schools across the country compete for 36 clerk positions. Only those with the highest cumulative GPA and letters of reference from distinguished law school faculty make the initial cut. Clerks are focused on significant and contentious issues that ultimately affect all Americans and can have a long-lasting effect on our rights and freedoms,” Hammer stated.

Totzke has fond memories of her undergraduate experience at St. Norbert College.

“I am immensely grateful for St. Norbert College; it is such a special place. I owe so much to the faculty—particularly professor of political science Dr. Charley Jacobs and Judge Marc Hammer—for teaching me and investing in me. My interest in the law blossomed in their classrooms, and their guidance in the pre-law and mock-trial programs helped make it possible for me to pursue law as a career. It is so rare to receive this kind of mentorship, especially at the undergraduate level,” she said.

Totzke’s husband, Hunter Van Asten, is also a 2019 St. Norbert College grad and a 2022 graduate of Notre Dame Law School.

He is currently a litigation attorney for Godfrey & Kahn in Milwaukee.

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