Wake Forest Law is the only ranked law school in the country that is also home to a working business court. When the North Carolina Business Court heard its first case in January 2017 in its newest court located in the Worrell Professional Center, it came to light that Wake Forest Law alumni are currently working as clerks within each of the four state business court locations in Raleigh, Charlotte, Greensboro as well as Winston-Salem. A Wake Forest Law alumni works within each of the state business courts, in Raleigh, Charlotte, Greensboro and now Winston-Salem. Brinson Taylor (JD ‘15) is the Judicial Law Clerk to the Honorable Greg McGuire at the North Carolina Business Court in Raleigh. Taylor, who is a Winston-Salem native and previously clerked in the North Carolina Court of Appeals, says he has been surprised by the amount of practical experience he has gained as a business court clerk. His advice to current law students who think they want to clerk in the business court? “Start early.” Following is an interview with Taylor about his clerkship.
Why did you want to be a clerk in the North Carolina Business Court?
In addition to my Wake Forest Law degree, I have BSBA from University of North Carolina and a MBA from Wake Forest. The Business Court presented me with the perfect opportunity develop my interest in business in a legal setting. Additionally, the Business Court is a trial court so I have gotten practical experience reading briefs and watching oral arguments from some of the best attorneys in the state.
What is a typical day like?
Arrive early, check e-mails, make a list of pressing issues, begin reading and understanding the issues that I will need to discuss with Judge McGuire and that the Court will ultimately have to rule on. Additionally, Business Court clerks answer phones and often times communicate directly with law firms to solve electronic filing issues so some days are spent putting out fires while others are spent researching, writing and honing analytical skills.
What are some of the most important courses you took that have helped you in your current clerkship?
Business Organizations with Professor Alan Palmiter s
tands out as the most helpful. Civil Procedure and Contracts are important as well.
What is one of the most interesting thing you have had a chance to work on?
A two-week long trial in Wilmington, North Carolina. Although I inherited the case (and the summary judgment motion) from the previous clerk, it was interesting to see the case go before a jury. Also, Wilmington in the fall is not a bad place to spend two weeks.
What is the most surprising thing that has happened in your clerkship?
The amount of practical experience I have received.
What do you wish you had known that you know now?
Lexis. The Business Court does not have Westlaw.
Do you have any advice for someone who wants to try to get a clerkship in the business court?
Start early. If you are interested in one day clerking for the Business Court, try to intern as a 1L and either intern or extern during your 2L year so that the judge knows you and the quality of your work. Also, express to the judge an interest in becoming a clerk upon graduation. When the judge knows who you are, the quality of your work and your interest in a Business Court position, it will make hiring you full time an easy decision.