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Penn Law alum selected for prestigious Bristow Fellowship

December 15, 2014

Parker Rider-Longmaid L’13 is one of four recipients nationwide to be named a 2015 Bristow Fellow by the Office of the Solicitor General in the U.S. Department of Justice. Recipients of the prestigious Bristow Fellowships, which are highly coveted and awarded annually, spend a year working in Solicitor General’s office, which conducts the federal government’s litigation in front of the U.S. Supreme Court.

“Parker is an outstanding young lawyer,” said Law School Professor Catherine Struve. “We at Penn are very proud that he will have the opportunity to assist in the work of the Solicitor General’s office.”

Rider-Longmaid is currently a law clerk for the Honorable Anthony J. Scirica of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, and he previously clerked for the Honorable Gene E.K. Pratter of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Before graduating summa cum laude from Penn Law, he served as an Executive Editor of the University of Pennsylvania Law Review and was a member of the Supreme Court Clinic.

“Penn is blessed with a lot of great students but Parker is among the very best,” said Stephanos Bibas, Professor of Law and Criminology and Director of the Law School’s Supreme Court Clinic.

Bibas praised Rider-Longmaid’s maturity, good judgment, and keen writing skills — important assets for a lawyer working in the Solicitor General’s Office.

“He’s someone you could hand a certiorari petition to,” Bibas noted, “and he’d come back in a couple of days with a beautiful draft — which is exactly what he’s going to have to do.”

As a Bristow Fellow, Rider-Longmaid will assist attorneys in a number of ways, including drafting briefs in opposition to petitions for certiorari filed against the government in the Supreme Court, helping draft petitions for certiorari and briefs on the merits in Supreme Court cases, making recommendations to the Solicitor General regarding the authorization of government appeals in lower courts, and helping prepare Supreme Court oral arguments. 

Longmaid is one of four Penn Law graduates in recent years to be selected for a Bristow Fellowship.

“Getting to think about these very complex, difficult issues and go up against opponents who are very intelligent and bring a lot of experience and insight to the table is a tremendous honor,” said Rider-Longmaid. “I can’t wait to learn from some of the nation’s finest appellate advocates at the Office of the Solicitor General next year.”

He added that the faculty members in the Supreme Court Clinic were critical in helping him develop the writing skills necessary for appellate work.

“It’s not just about what your arguments are,” said Rider-Longmaid, “it’s also about how to express them in the most convincing way.”

Along with Professor Bibas, Rider-Longmaid worked closely with James Feldman, who was an Assistant to the Solicitor General for 17 years, and Nancy Bregstein Gordon, who represented clients in front of the Supreme Court in private practice. He credits their insight and commitment with helping him grow as a lawyer.

Rider-Longmaid added that several Penn Law courses proved particularly helpful in both the Clinic and his clerkships, most notably Federal Courts with Professor Struve. Struve also offered her support during his clerkship and Bristow application. And his Evidence teacher, David Rudovksy, was as particularly skilled at helping students understand nuances and close cases, he noted.

He also said that the judges during his clerkships, Judge Scirica and Judge Pratter, offered him guidance and insight. Both Scirica and Pratter teach at Penn Law.

Before he enrolled at Penn Law, Rider-Longmaid taught math and science for the School District of Philadelphia as part of Teach for America.

Because he felt strongly drawn to government service, Rider-Longmaid also decided to earn an MPA from the Fels Institute of Government at Penn, in addition to his JD from Penn Law.

When Rider-Longmaid begins his fellowship this summer, he won’t be the only Penn Law graduate at the Solicitor General’s Office. One of the Assistant Attorneys he’ll be working with is Ilana Eisenstein L’04, a former federal prosecutor who recently joined the Solicitor General’s Office. She is also a former Bristow Fellow.