William NachtriebIn 2021, William came to Santa Clara Law after working as a paralegal for a couple of years, gaining exposure to the law. Having considered teaching English as a profession, he found that many of the attorneys he worked with as a paralegal shared a similar passion for literature, sparking his interest in attending law school. “There was a point as a 2L where I was reading, and I realized I really enjoyed what I was doing… It was exciting for me… I found what was engaging,” noted William.

As for securing a federal clerkship, it began with aiming for a clerkship the day he started law school. ASP Fellows (2L students), now CLS Mentors, mentored William as a 1L and connected him with other students who had worked with judges. William notes, like many other recent Santa Clara Law students, the importance of being intentional with time, whether that is reaching out to professors or just how one approaches readings and studying. During law school, he participated in both Law Review and Moot Court, crediting them both for his current success. “You get to work on a note,” William commented about Law Review. “Especially for clerkships, judges really like to see the note… They like to see that you’ve engaged in some complex heavy lifting, some difficult legal controversy that is out there.” 1L Galloway Moot Court went on to be a highlight of his law school experience as his first venture into public speaking and oral advocacy. William also credits the support and instruction of Professor Procaccio-Flowers, Professor Polden, and Professor Yosifon, together with Dean Kaufman, who also teaches 1L classes.

Outside of law school, William undertook numerous internships, with four of them emanating from Santa Clara Law’s Office of Career Management. He went on to work with the Federal Trade Commission, California Department of Justice, Washington State Office of the Attorney General, United States Attorney’s Offices, and the Santa Clara County Superior Court.

After the upcoming clerkship, William hopes to go on to either the private sector, specifically litigation, or continue with a state program. His focuses included antitrust, securities, and bankruptcy law. His advice for future law students? “Law school seems really intimidating… You don’t have to be some superhuman genius to be a successful lawyer.” It’s “learning how to write a brief, learning how to take a law school exam.”