Following her 1L year at Fordham Law School, Lauren F. Louis ’00 applied to some 400 clerkship positions. Her break came when, unbeknownst to her at the time, then Dean John Feerick ’61 submitted her resume to Kevin Michael Moore ’76, district judge for the Southern District of Florida. Judge Moore invited her to Miami for an interview. Acing that, Louis was welcomed in the clerkship position following her graduation from Fordham Law.
Now, nearly 20 years later, Louis has returned to the same court, having recently been appointed a magistrate judge. Her appointment, which finds her working again with Moore (now chief judge of the court), testifies to both the brilliance of Fordham-trained lawyers and the robustness of the alumni community.
Louis first realized her judicial ambitions in college. During her junior year at Towson State University, her Constitution Law class read the notorious bench memorandum authored by William Rehnquist to Justice Robert Jackson for the U.S. Supreme Court case Brown v. Board of Education. Impressed by the role a recent law school graduate had in advising the Supreme Court justice, Louis decided to pursue a clerkship with a federal judge.
As Judge Moore’s clerk, Louis researched substantive and statutory laws, reviewed the documents that came to the court, and made recommendations to Judge Moore about how to proceed. Louis stressed that no two days were alike, save her and a fellow law clerk’s daily meetings, during which they discussed some of their thornier challenges over tea. Louis said that she learned a lot during the clerkship that energized her fruitful legal career, and she recognized Judge Moore’s mentorship as invaluable.
“He was the perfect judge to clerk for,” said Louis, emphasizing her former mentor’s fairness, patience, and encouragement, along with his lessons about preserving one’s reputation. “He’s a great leader.”
Following her clerkship, Louis served as assistant U.S. attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida from 2001 to 2006. In this role, she worked on special prosecutions and against violent repeat offenders. From 2006 to 2018, Louis worked as counsel at Boies Schiller & Flexner. While at the firm, the U.S. district court appointed her to serve as a Criminal Justice Act Panel attorney for indigent criminal defendants.
Louis described her recent appointment as magistrate judge as a homecoming. “It was like rejoining a family,” she said, eager for the opportunity to work again with Judge Moore and other judges before whom she has practiced over the course of her career.
In her new position, Louis cited mentorship as a top priority. “Mentorship is near and dear to me,” she said. In addition to instructing law clerks, Louis is a volunteer teacher for Legal Up!, an agency through which judges and attorneys teach the law to students from at-risk populations.
Louis said she is excited, grateful, and proud to have been given the opportunity to serve the public in a court where fairness and professionalism reign.
“It’s amazing to want something your whole life, and then once you get it, to find out that it lives up to your expectations,” she said.