Hon. Paul D. Clement

Partner, Kirkland & Ellis LLP
Paul Clement

Paul Clement is a partner in the Washington, D.C., office of Kirkland & Ellis LLP. Paul served as the 43rd Solicitor General of the United States from June 2005 until June 2008. Before his confirmation as Solicitor General, he served as Acting Solicitor General for nearly a year and as Principal Deputy Solicitor General for over three years.

He has argued over 80 cases before the United States Supreme Court, including McConnell v. FECTennessee v. LaneRumsfeld v. PadillaCredit Suisse v. BillingUnited States v. BookerMGM v. GroksterABC v. Aereo, and Hobby Lobby v. Burwell. He has argued before the Supreme Court 30 times in just the last five terms. Paul has argued more Supreme Court cases since 2000 than any lawyer in or out of government. He has also argued many important cases in the lower courts, including Walker v. CheneyUnited States v. Moussaoui, and NFL v. Brady.

Paul’s practice focuses on appellate matters, constitutional litigation, and strategic counseling. He represents a broad array of clients in the Supreme Court and in federal and state appellate courts. Last year, for example, he successfully argued Supreme Court cases involving significant issues of energy regulation, religious liberty, state sovereign immunity and labor law, and successfully argued an arbitration appeal to the Second Circuit, a preemption appeal to the Eighth Circuit, a constitutional appeal before the en banc Third Circuit, and secured the reversal of an adverse jury verdict in the Eleventh Circuit.

Paul focuses on high-stakes appeals. In recent years, he successfully defended a $1.2 billion jury verdict for clients in a Tenth Circuit case, while securing the reversal of an over $2 billion jury verdict for another client in the Seventh Circuit and the approval of a nearly billion dollar class action settlement in the Third Circuit. He has initiated major administrative law challenges and constitutional litigation against the federal government, such as the airlines’ challenge to fee increases and the First Amendment challenge in Allergan v. United States. He also counsels clients on a variety of strategic legal questions, whether arising from pending legislation, government inquiries or ongoing litigation.

He has undertaken substantial pro bono engagements in the Supreme Court, such as twice successfully representing the defendant in Bond v. United States and successfully representing the Omaha Tribe in Nebraska v. Parker, the guardian ad litem in Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl, and the defendant in Sekhar v. United States.

Following law school, Paul clerked for Judge Laurence H. Silberman of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and for Associate Justice Antonin Scalia of the U.S. Supreme Court. After his clerkships, he went on to serve as Chief Counsel of the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on the Constitution, Federalism and Property Rights.

Paul is a Distinguished Lecturer in Law at the Georgetown University Law Center, where he has taught in various capacities since 1998, and a Distinguished Lecturer in Government at Georgetown University. He also serves as a Senior Fellow of the Law Center’s Supreme Court Institute.

  • M.Phil., with distinction
    University of Cambridge, UK
  • J.D., magna cum laude
    Harvard University
  • B.S.F.S., summa cum laude
    Georgetown University

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Publications and Multimedia
Keynote Address by Paul Clement - Event Audio/Video
2016 National Student Symposium
March 04, 2016
The Electorate and the Courts - Event Audio/Video
2013 National Lawyers Convention
November 25, 2013
Federalism and Federal Power - Event Audio/Video
2012 National Lawyers Convention
November 19, 2012
Supreme Court Preview: What Is in Store for October Term 2010? - Event Audio/Video
Washington, DC - Event Audio/Video
September 29, 2010
U.S. Supreme Court Review featuring Paul D. Clement - Event Audio/Video
Madison Lawyers Chapter and University of Wisconsin Student Chapter
September 17, 2010
The Roberts Court and Federalism - Event Audio/Video
2008 National Lawyers Convention
November 21, 2008
Interpreting the Constitution: The Founders and Today - Event Audio/Video
The Presidency and the Courts
October 06, 2008
A Supreme Court Preview: What's on Tap for the 2006-07 Term - Event Audio
Boston Lawyers Chapter, Suffolk Student Chapter, Boston Student Chapter, Northeastern Student Chapter, New England Student Chapter, Maine Student Chapter, and Vermont Student Chapter
November 30, 2006
Paul Clement Address - Event Audio
2006 National Lawyers Convention
November 16, 2006