A pair of Double Bears are among eight young lawyers serving as Georgia Supreme Court law clerks for the 2023-24 year. Jordan Lipp and Samantha Thompson Lipp, who married in fall 2022, earned Bachelor of Business Administration degrees at Mercer University prior to completing their Juris Doctor degrees at the School of Law in 2023.
Jordan is clerking for Chief Justice Michael P. Boggs, a 1990 Mercer Law graduate, and Samantha is working with Presiding Justice Nels S.D. Peterson.
“Jordan and Samantha were terrific Mercer Law students who focused on gaining the knowledge, skills and values necessary to become members of the legal profession,” said Mercer Law School Dean Karen J. Sneddon. “They are diligent, committed professionals who have all the skills necessary to be valuable law clerks. We are delighted that they have earned this opportunity, and we know they will do wonderful work.”
Jordan, who grew up in Pine Mountain Valley, graduated first in his law school class, was awarded the school’s prestigious Woodruff Scholarship, and interned on the Georgia Court of Appeals and the Chattahoochee Judicial Circuit Superior Court. As a law student, he was also a member of the Mercer Law Review and co-president of the Christian Legal Society.
“My Mercer education taught me to oscillate back and forth between the broad theory and the narrow application, a skill that is particularly useful as a clerk,” Jordan said.
Samantha, originally from Vidalia, spent a year working in business consulting before enrolling at Mercer Law School. She was named the inaugural recipient of the school’s Hugh B. McNatt Scholarship and interned on the Georgia Court of Appeals. In addition, she served as president of the Phi Delta Phi honor society and was a member of the Mercer Law Review and the William Augustus Bootle Inn of Court.
“My time at Mercer, both on the undergraduate and law school campuses, taught me the importance of applying what I learned in the classroom to benefit the individuals, businesses, and communities around me,” Samantha said. “I learned the importance of working hard, of solid leadership, and of using my career in a way that advances others.”
Lawyers chosen for the Georgia Supreme Court’s term clerk program assist judges with tasks such as legal research, drafting and reviewing opinions and briefs, and preparing for oral arguments.
Jordan said he discovered during law school the important role that state courts play in legal protections for citizens and how much those courts matter to the people. As a clerk now, he has the opportunity to see those aspects firsthand while learning critical reasoning and writing skills from the judges.
“Working with the fine jurists that make up the court is invigorating and stimulating,” he said. “Specifically, serving as a clerk for Chief Justice Boggs — who, like me, is a Mercer alumnus and originally from a small town — inspires me to represent my hometown well.”
Samantha said she applied for the clerkship because she wanted the chance to learn from Peterson as well as from courtroom observations and chamber collaborations. It will help lay the foundation for her legal career going forward.
“I knew this experience would provide an opportunity for me to refine my legal reasoning skills and to gain greater exposure to areas of the law before entering practice,” she said. “I am humbled by and thankful for this opportunity. To have been chosen for this opportunity, and to see how far the Lord has brought me in this time, inspires me to be a mentor to others, like those who helped me along the way.”
Working in the same field has made it easy for Jordan and Samantha to support, encourage and challenge each other in their work, they said.
“Throughout law school, we never had to explain our stress because we both understood and were able to encourage each other in the midst of it,” Samantha said. “This will carry over throughout our careers as we continue to cheer each other on and grow together.”
Their backgrounds also uniquely situate them to apply reason and logic to any situation that may arise.
“Sam helps me to reason through problems in a way that others do not,” Jordan said. “We make decisions well together because we are both accustomed to seeing a counterpoint to every perspective without getting our feelings hurt. We challenge each other to refine our ideas and reason through our conclusions.”