Amy Coney Barrett was born on January 28, 1972, in New Orleans, Louisiana to Linda and Michael Coney. Her father was an attorney for the Shell Oil Company, and her mother was a high school French Teacher. Barrett is the eldest of seven children.
Barrett was vice president of the student body while in high school, which she graduated in 1990. She then went on to Rhodes College, where she was an English major and was also nominated as the most outstanding English department graduate when she graduated magna cum laude in 1994. Due to her outstanding academic accomplishments, she then went on to Notre Dame Law School on a full scholarship, where she graduated first in her class with a Juris Doctor summa cum laude in 1997.
After earning her doctorate, Barrett worked for two years as a judicial law clerk for Judge Laurance Silberman of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit Court from 1997 to 1998. Her colleagues called her approach, “… principled and independent minded …”. Barrett also worked under Justice Antonia Scalia of the United States Supreme Court from 1998 to 1999. During this time she earned the reputation as diligent and dedicated worker.
From 1999 to 2002, Barrett practiced law at the boutique law firm of Miller, Cassidy, Larroca, and Lewin in Washington, D.C. In 2001, the Texas law firm of Baker Botts merged with her D.C.-based law firm, and she had the privilege of providing research and briefing assistance when her firm represented George W. Bush during the Bush v. Gore lawsuit stemming from the 2000 presidential election.
Barrett simultaneously served as a visiting associate professor at George Washington University Law School during her tenure with her law firm until 2002. When she returned to her alma mater, Notre Dame Law School, she taught federal courts, evidence, constitutional law, and statutory interpretation. While teaching at Notre Dame Law School, she received the distinguished “Professor of the Year” award three times because of her dedication to her students.
Barrett also served as a visiting professor from 2007 to 2017 at the University of Virginia School of Law, where she was later named a professor of law in 2010. In the same year, Chief Justice John Roberts appointed Barrett to serve on the Advisory Committee for the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure.
In 2017, Barret was nominated for a seat on the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit by President Donald Trump. Her nomination was supported by all of her faculty colleagues at Notre Dame Law School and 450 former students, who all signed a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee supporting her nomination. Every one of the law clerks that she had ever worked with also supported her nomination. This overwhelming support from those who knew and worked with Barrett made her the obvious choice for the position.
On September 26, 2020, President Donald Trump announced his intention to nominate Barrett as the 115th Associate Justice on the United States Supreme Court. The American Bar Association gave Barrett their highest rating based on their evaluations of the qualities deemed absolutely vital in the execution of judicial duties, which consisted of integrity, professional competence, and judicial temperament. Barrett was confirmed on October 26, 2020, and became the first mother of school-aged children to become a United States Supreme Court Justice.