Overview

Aaron Nielson is of counsel in the Washington, D.C., office of Kirkland & Ellis LLP, focusing primarily on appeals, antitrust, and administrative law matters, as well as other questions of law arising in complex litigation. Aaron has particular experience regarding petitions for review of agency rulemakings and the intersection of antitrust and intellectual property. He has participated in litigation matters in courts throughout the country, including before the United States Supreme Court. Aaron serves as a public member of the Administrative Conference of the United States, a federal agency that studies the administrative process and makes recommendations on ways to improve it. He also serves on the Council of the American Bar Association’s Section of Administrative Law & Regulatory Practice. Previously he chaired or co-chaired the Section's Rulemaking and Antitrust & Trade Regulation Committees.

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Thought Leadership

Recent Law Review Articles

The Minor Questions Doctrine, 169 University of Pennsylvania Law Review _ (forthcoming 2021).

Deconstruction, Not Destruction, Daedalus: The Journal of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences (forthcoming 2021).

Three Wrong Turns in Agency Adjudication, 28 George Mason Law Review _ (forthcoming 2021).

Narrowing Chevron’s Domain, 70 Duke Law Journal 931 (2021) (with Kristin E. Hickman).

Foreword: The Future of Chevron Deference, 70 Duke Law Journal 1015 (2021) (with Kristin E. Hickman).

How Agencies Choose Whether to Enforce the Law: A Preliminary Investigation, 93 Notre Dame Law Review 1517 (2018).

Optimal Ossification, 86 George Washington Law Review 1209 (2018).

Sticky Regulations, 85 University of Chicago Law Review 85 (2018).

Chevron Step One-and-a-Half, 84 University of Chicago Law Journal 757 (2017) (with Daniel Hemel).

Clarence Thomas the Questioner, 111 Northwestern University Law Review 1185 (2017) (with RonNell Andersen Jones).

Confessions of an “Anti-Administrativist”, 131 Harvard Law Review Forum 1 (2017).

Beyond Seminole Rock, 105 Georgetown Law Journal 943 (2017).

Other Publications

Developments in Administrative Law & Regulatory Practice 2014: Antitrust, American Bar Association (2015) (with Marin Boney & Varnitha Siva)

Rethinking Formal Rulemaking, Mercatus Research Paper (May 2014) (peer reviewed)

Developments in Administrative Law & Regulatory Practice 2014: Antitrust, American Bar Association (2014) (with Marin Boney & Brad Masters)

The Law Clerk Hiring Plan is Dead, National Law Journal (Feb. 11, 2013)

Whither Harmonization? India’s Draft Combination Regulations, CPI Antitrust Chronicle (2011) (with Christine Wilson & Ellen M. Jakovic)

Memberships & Affiliations

Public Member and Chair of the Administrative and Management Committee, Administrative Conference of the United States

Council, American Bar Association’s Section of Administrative Law & Regulatory Practice

Credentials

Admissions & Qualifications

  • 2016, Utah
  • 2010, District of Columbia
  • 2008, Arizona (inactive)

Courts

  • Supreme Court of the United States
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
  • District of Columbia Court of Appeals

Education

  • Harvard Law SchoolJ.D.magna cum laude2007
  • Faculty of Law, University of CambridgeLL.M.First Class Honors2006

    Elected a Bateman Scholar of Trinity Hall

  • University of PennsylvaniaB.A.summa cum laude2003

    Robert Holtz Memorial Award as Most Outstanding Graduating Senior in Political Science