Serra's Democracy Live Club welcomed former Supreme Court Clerk and former Facebook General Counsel Ted Ullyot as a guest speaker on February 28. Ullyot, a Serra parent and Mock Trial coach, captivated his Padre audience with stories of long days and nights working with Justice Antonin Scalia, who was demanding and generous with his law clerks. Clerks read through and summarized approximately 17,000 Supreme Court appeals annually for justices who ultimately chose to hear only 70 each year. Scalia relied on his clerks to research cases, analyze opinions and make valuable recommendations.
"It was exhausting, exhilarating, stressful and rewarding all at the same time," Ullyot reflected.
Ullyot was 41 when he interviewed with 24-year-old Mark Zuckerberg for the general counsel position at Facebook. Ullyot came to the interview with a resume that not only included his Supreme Court clerkship, but also a stint as associate counsel and deputy assistant to the president during the George W. Bush administration. While at the White House, he worked with Serra graduate Ruben Barrales '80, who was the director of intergovernmental affairs. Ullyot thoroughly enjoyed his work at Facebook, which involved complicated security, privacy and corporate issues. He also espoused his satisfaction with choosing law as a career, and encouraged the Padres in the audience to consider pursuing it.
Serra students peppered Ullyot with questions about his federal government positions, as well as his private sector jobs. Club President Nick Lochrie '19 asked him about the unitary executive theory. Petros Rosenbaum asked him to contrast constitutional originalists with loose constructionists. Others asked him to compare Bush's foreign policy with Trump's, and if he foresees changes to Roe v. Wade.
"I could have talked with him for hours," said Charles Cody '19. "He has so much experience!" Ullyot, who earned his undergraduate degree from Harvard and his law degree from the University of Chicago, currently is teaching a course at Stanford University entitled, "Lawyering for Innovation: The (ongoing) Facebook Case Study." It was clear to the audience of Serra students, however, that his most impressive job to date is his role as coach on the Serra Mock Trial Team!