Patrick Sandman ’07 knew that clerking for Judge Robert Kugler ’68 of the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey would be a difficult job to get, so he was sure to mention his Peddie connection in his cover letter.
That, and a call to Director of Alumni Relations Brian Davidson to ask him if he could flag his application got Kugler’s attention.
“Some years I’ve received 800 or 900 applications,” said Kugler of the coveted clerkship at the Camden, N.J. federal courthouse. “He [Patrick] had just outstanding credentials and the Peddie connection,” said Kugler. “I decided, well, I need to talk to this guy to see if we have a fit here.”
Sandman impressed Kugler and began a one-year judicial clerkship with the judge last August.
The Cornell Law School graduate said he handles an “amazing range of things” for Kugler. “I have to research and write on subjects from police brutality to contract cases,” he said.
Kugler was nominated to the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey by President George W. Bush in 2002. He also serves on the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which oversees requests for surveillance warrants against foreign spies inside the United States.
One of Kugler’s favorite parts of the job is working with his law clerks.
“I like talking to them about cases, listening to how they analyze and try to figure out where the law will take us,” he said.
Both Kugler and Sandman said that Peddie motivated them to choose a career in public service.
“There was that sense on campus of giving to others, giving back and service,” said Kugler. Sandman also recalled a culture of service at Peddie. “I remember Annenberg’s quote about striving for the highest quality of citizenship. That emphasis on service broadened my horizons, and that naturally led me to want to be a lawyer.”
Kugler and Sandman reminisce about their days at Peddie
PS: Judge still somehow recalls what was served in the dining hall.
RK: That’s the kind of impression that Peddie has made on me. I’ll tell you what was on the menu on a particular Friday and Saturday and Sunday.
PS: The facilities are incredible. Whatever wasn’t perfect when I was there has been revamped since I left.
RK: You never had the experience of Wilson Hall.
PS: I know we’re both super pumped that the football team is kicking butt. We had a tough football four years when I was there, Judge.
RK: We were OK. My sophomore year baseball team, we were state champs.
PS: Mine too!