Susan S. Jang ’12 had all but made up her mind to accept an offer from the firm where she had worked as a patent litigation summer associate when Professor Daniel Capra emailed her to speak about clerkships. Jang, who had taken no classes with Capra, initially expressed skepticism at the idea of working for a judge, having already secured her job of choice. Capra insisted she reconsider, advising her that clerking would be an extraordinary learning opportunity if only she gave it a chance.
Ultimately, Capra’s persuasive arguments and Jang’s subsequent conversations with Professor Aaron Saiger convinced her to chart a different post-graduation course than she had originally planned.
“I started to realize what an opportunity clerking was, to see everything that happens behind the scenes and what happens in the courtroom,” Jang says. “It turns out they were right, and I was wrong. Clerking was the best experience ever.”
Jang targeted the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, one of two main patent districts, for her first clerkship. Under the Hon. Leonard P. Stark, she often encountered a “stack of briefs as tall as [she]was” in her office, compelling her to become a more efficient writer and researcher. Despite the district court’s breakneck pace, Chief Judge Stark urged her to decelerate so she could listen thoughtfully and consider carefully both sides of an argu- ment before reaching conclusions.
Capra once again provided a key assist when Jang applied for a second clerkship while still clerking for Stark. Professor Capra emailed the Hon. Denny Chin ’78 of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit to ask if he could send along her résumé, setting in motion an opportunity for a second clerkship Jang did not expect. Jang, who clerked for Judge Chin between 2014 and 2015, marvels at his legal writing mastery, his humility, and his time management.
“Judge Chin is a genius when it comes to producing concise writing that is very powerful,” Jang says. “I don’t know how he’s able to do everything he does.”
Since her time with Judge Chin, Jang has served as counsel for Exofix Labs LLC, a 3D printing startup focusing on human prosthetics and medical models.
Her work offers her the best of both worlds: schedule flexibility and a variety of interesting legal matters.
“My clerkships informed me that what I wanted in my professional career, at least at this point, wasn’t working at a firm,” shares Jang, who earlier this January attended a 10-year reunion lunch for Judge Stark along with her children.