Matthew G. Aiken
Managing Editor, Vol. 18; Associate Editor, Vol. 17
Juris Doctor, University of Pennsylvania, 2016
Master of Education, 2012
Bachelor of Arts, Washington University in St. Louis, 2010
Current Career Placement/Highlights:
I am currently a law clerk for Judge Gregg Costa on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Following the conclusion of my clerkship, I will be joining the Missouri Democratic Coordinated Campaign as the Deputy Voter Protection Director through the election; afterward I will be working for Gibson, Dunn and Crutcher in Washington D.C. Previously I clerked for Judge Carol Jackson on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri. Before attending Penn Law, I joined Teach for America in St. Louis where I taught algebra, served as the math department chair and coached varsity football.
What Do You Miss Most About Serving on the Journal of Constitutional Law:
The office/people. I was fortunate enough to develop great relationships with people in the journal who came before, during and after I served on the journal. A large part of that was how much time I spent in the office working with members of the journal on various projects for the journal. A number of my best friends from law school came from my time on JCL largely based on the amount of studying/working/playing late-night Jenga that occurred. I was also well-served by the mentors I developed on the journal as both an associate editor and during the time on the board, both in terms of my job as managing editor but also in the clerkship application process.
Favorite Experience While on the Journal of Constitutional Law:
Definitely our symposium--it was a great experience working with our Symposium Editor and Committee on a topic that was very timely--Race, Crime, and the Constitution. The symposium occurred when race and policing was a hot topic nationally and allowed us to bring in a number of experts. The conversation was relevant to Philadelphia but could also be extrapolated nationally. We had great engagement from the community and a number of discussions that were started during the symposium continued through the rest of my time at Penn Law.
Reflection on Penn Law Experience:
Penn Law was an incredible learning and growing experience in part because of my experience outside of the classroom. While at Penn I was involved with both the Civil Rights Law Project (CRLP) and the Criminal Record Expungment Project. I was a member of the Black Law Students Association and participated in the Fredrick Douglass Moot Court Competition. In each of these activities, I was able to take the things I had learned in my classes and pair them with my passions to better develop myself as a young lawyer.