Four law students who lived together as first-years spurred each other on to success.
In fall 2008, four students rolled onto campus and into apartment F33 at the George Page Residential Complex across from the law school. F33 brought together first-years Blake Edwards, Samuel Green, Charles Cannizzarro, and William Glaser—a unique mix of personalities, each hailing from different states and each in different stages of life.
Green had graduated from college early and was only 19 when he moved into F33, while Cannizzarro had worked after college at World Vision International and was already 24. Three had found each other on a visit to campus and requested to live together while one did not select anyone on his housing application and had no idea who he would be rooming with. Despite their differences, the four students got along famously and encouraged each other in their studies—becoming leaders on campus and graduating with accolades. Each will go on to judicial clerkships this fall.
Cannizzarro remembers their time in F33 fondly. “Everyone always had some great joke or story from class to tell,” says Cannizzarro, who was the president of the Federalist Society on campus. “Even though we enjoyed living together, we all have somewhat different personalities. Our strengths and weaknesses complemented each other really well, though, and I think we ended up sharpening one another in terms of our personalities and in terms of our legal abilities.”
Their competitive natures also brought them together. “We all came into law school with the intent to work hard, and we all are pretty disciplined with our time, but the effect was just compounded when we were all in the same apartment,” says Glaser, who graduated salutatorian and was a highly decorated appellate advocate during law school. Glaser, who grew up in Scio, Oregon, will be a clerk to Judge Bobby R. Baldock on the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Mexico. “Just seeing the other three guys working hard and mastering the material spurred me on to work harder.”
Green, who finished first in the class, was impressed with his roommates from the beginning. “I definitely expected them to go do great things,” he reflects. “I was just amazed by how brilliant, dedicated, and adept they were in so many facets of life.” Growing up homeschooled with his siblings in Lancaster, in the Californian desert, Green will move out of California for the first time when he starts his clerkship with Justice Raymond Gruender of the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis, Missouri.
“I’m looking forward to developing a relationship with Judge Gruender,” explains Green. “I think that educationally it should be a really terrific experience because I’ll be exposed to so many different styles and get a better understanding of the internal functions of the court. It is rather daunting though because you’re playing a role in establishing law that will govern many states unless it’s overturned.”
“First year was a trial by fire,” reflects Edwards. “Living with the three of them helped set the bar for law school for me.” In addition to academic achievements, Edwards served as editor-in-chief of the Pepperdine Law Review, helped organize the university’s Veritas Forum during his second and third years, and led a men’s Bible study.
Edwards’ many accomplishments helped him land a clerkship with Judge Emilio M. Garza on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Antonio, Texas. “Judge Garza is a giant in his own right, so it’s going to be an honor to be able to study under him for a year,” he says. He’s also excited to move closer to his hometown in Arkansas.
As the four head out to different states, they look forward to the next chapter. Glaser is excited to dig into the law. “Often the Supreme Court and the federal appellate courts have woven a complex web of precedent, and it takes careful research and analysis to reach the correct result in a given case,” he says. “I am looking forward to the satisfaction of helping the judge find those answers.”
Cannizzarro, who will clerk for Justice James M. Johnson on the Washington Supreme Court, looks forwards to developing a good working relationship with the justice. “It will be a real honor to learn from everything he has to offer. The experience will give me a better perspective on the litigation process in general and specifically on the nature of appellate litigation. The Washington Supreme Court has the final say on matters of Washington state law, and it is an incredible responsibility to be helping Justice Johnson get the law right in each and every case.”
Three years later, the residents of apartment F33 are ready to make their mark on the legal profession