Erin Morrow Hawley has been busy since graduating from Texas A&M University with a degree in Animal Science in 2002. A 2005 graduate of Yale Law School, Erin joined the University of Missouri School of Law in 2011 following several years as an associate in the national appellate practice at King & Spalding LLP in Washington, D.C. Prior to this, she worked at the Department of Justice as counsel to Attorney General Michael Mukasey and at Kirkland & Ellis LLP. Erin is a former clerk to Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. of the Supreme Court of the United States and Judge J. Harvie Williams III of the U.S Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. Erin has briefed cases in the Supreme Court of the United States as well as numerous federal courts of appeals and state courts of last resort. She has twice argued before the D.C. Court of Appeals and also represented the United States in oral argument before the U.S. Court of Appeals in the Seventh Circuit.
Tell us what you currently are doing?
I am teaching at the University of Missouri’s School of Law. I am delighted to be at a place that combines my love for legal theory, students, and agriculture. I am teaching, among other things, agricultural law and hope to pass on the love for learning and for agriculture that my professors at Texas A&M instilled in me while a student there.
Do you feel your degree in Animal Science and your time at Texas A&M helped you get to where you are today?
Absolutely. My experience at A&M could not have been more rewarding or better preparation for my future career, no matter how far that career seemed to take me from agriculture at times. My professors at Texas A&M encouraged, challenged, and believed in me. The information I learned in their courses, in addition to their friendship and genuine interest in my success, were invaluable gifts.
Is there anything specific about your time in Animal Science that shaped your career?
I participated in the TAMU-Washington program during the summer of 2001 and interned for Congressman Thornberry. Congressman Thornberry asked me to sit in on the farm bill hearings; those hearings were a window into how laws and regulations affect farmers and ranchers on a daily basis. That experience prompted my interest in agricultural law.
What activities did you participate in as an undergraduate student?
I was a member of the 2001 Texas A&M University Livestock Judging Team. Livestock judging and the reputation of the Animal Science program were the primary reasons I attended A&M — and I was not disappointed. Dr. Chris Skaggs was a fantastic coach and mentor. I was always proud to represent Texas A&M and its commitment to excellence in the classroom and beyond. The knowledge, confidence, and lifelong friendships that livestock judging gave to me are irreplaceable. I also participated in the MARC Judging Team, Saddle & Sirloin Club, and the Ag Quiz Bowl.
One of the most rewarding aspects of my career thus far has been the opportunity to serve as a law clerk to Chief Justice John Roberts at the Supreme Court of the United States. My responsibilities included preparing the Chief Justice for cases, drafting opinions, and writing memorandums to the Justices about cases where a party sought the Court’s review. It was fun to see the nuts and bolts of Supreme Court litigation and an honor to serve at the Court and for Chief Justice Roberts.