Site Navigation Page Content

Clerk of the Supreme Court of the United States William K. Suter to speak at the WFU School of Law Hooding Ceremony on May 15

Clerk of the Supreme Court of the United States William K. Suter is the speaker for the Wake Forest University School of Law Hooding Ceremony on Sunday, May 15.

The ceremony will be held at 1:45 p.m. in Wait Chapel, followed by the Dean’s Hooding Reception at 3 p.m. at the Forsyth Country Club.

“It is a great honor to be this year’s hooding speaker,” Suter said at a  May 2 reception for Wake Forest law school alumni at the Supreme Court. “I’m going to talk about leadership, the practice of law and the responsibilities of lawyers and citizens.”

Graduation exercises are scheduled for 9 a.m. on Monday, May 16, at Hearn Plaza. Tickets are required for guests. Learn more about hooding and graduation here.1 Suter will receive an honorary doctor of laws degree from Wake Forest at the graduation ceremony.

Suter is the 19th Clerk of the Supreme Court, a position he has held since 1991. The clerk attends all oral arguments at the Court. The clerk’s responsibilities include managing the Supreme Court‘s docket and calendar and overseeing the Supreme Court Bar.

According to Wikipedia, Suter is a retired major general in the United States Army. At the time of his retirement from the Army in 1990 he had served for over a year as the acting Judge Advocate General. He had previously served as the Assistant Judge Advocate General of the Army, Chief Judge of the U.S. Army Court of Military Review (now called the U.S. Army Court of Criminal Appeals), Commander of the U.S. Army Legal Services Agency, and Commandant of the Judge Advocate General’s School. During his military service, General Suter was awarded the Bronze Star for his service during the Vietnam War and the Distinguished Service Medal. Suter obtained a bachelor’s degree from Trinity University and his law degree from Tulane University. He was admitted to the bar in 1962.

As a captain in the mid-1960s, Suter was a popular instructor of administrative law to hundreds of new judge advocates attending their initial training at the Judge Advocate General’s School in Charlottesville, Va. Before moving on to his next assignment in Thailand, he attended airborne training at Fort Benning, Ga., and won his parachutist badge. His other military assignments included service as the Chief of Personnel, Plans, and Training, for the Judge Advocate General’s Corps, and Staff Judge Advocate for the 101st Airborne Division, where his division commander was future Army Chief of Staff John Wickham. General Suter has been a leader among retired judge advocates and a mentor to hundreds of lawyers.

Dean Blake D. Morant said General Suter, who was then Colonel Suter when Morant joined the JAG Corps, was the head of the JAG Corps’ Personnel Plans and Training Office, which assigned JAG officers to Army posts all over the world.  

“He assigned me to Fort Bragg,” Morant said with a laugh. “He later rose to become the top lawyer in the U.S. Army and someone with whom I had the privilege of working when I was ultimately assigned to the Pentagon.”   

Morant continued: “Having known General Suter throughout my professional career, I cannot think of a more stellar legal figure to inspire our graduates.  He combines insightful brilliance and integrity with a charming wit that would engage any audience.  He has always held Wake Forest in high regard, and it will be my honor and privilege to welcome him back to our community.”