Classics Student lands Supreme Internship!


This summer I have spent the last eight weeks interning at the Supreme Court of the United States in the Office of the Clerk. Throughout my time there I have been participating in the annual archival project, which involves collecting and cataloguing all the documents of the cases decided during the 2016 term and preparing them for binding. Once bound they will be stored in the Supreme Court Library, where they will serve as reference for future jurists and lawyers. The library maintains cases that date back to the 1800’s, and it has been an incredibly rewarding experience to participate in the process of recording and preserving this history.

My studies in the Classics Department have uniquely prepared me for this task and have been instrumental in making my time at the Court more meaningful. As a Latin student, I have developed a greater and more immediate understanding for the types of documents that I deal with on a daily basis. Whether I might be collecting writs of mandamus, writs of certiorari, and writs of habeas corpus, or cataloguing one of hundreds of Amicus Curiae briefs, I have found myself constantly interacting with the Latin language. The exposure to Roman history and architecture that I received as a Classical Studies student has allowed me to answer a myriad of questions that interns have fielded throughout our internships. Questions like”What contributions did Justinian make to law that made him significant enough to be featured on the East Frieze inside the courtroom chamber?” or “What does the bound bundle of sticks next to the allegorical representation of the Power of Government mean?” and “What is the difference between Doric and Corinthian columns?”

Most of all the Classics Program has instilled in me a passion for learning about our past and using that knowledge to inform the present. As I continue my internship that desire for knowledge will inspire me to consider questions and seek out answers that I might not have otherwise encountered.

-Matthew Beers (Classical Studies Minor, Class of 2018)