Press Release

Michael McConnell Joins Kirkland & Ellis as Of Counsel

Kirkland & Ellis LLP is pleased to announce that former U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Michael W. McConnell has joined the Firm as of counsel in the Litigation Practice Group. A widely respected authority on constitutional law, Mr. McConnell brings a wealth of experience to the Firm, including arguing 12 cases in the U.S. Supreme Court.  His accomplishments include successfully arguing the landmark Supreme Court cases: Mitchell v. Helms and Rosenberger v. University of Virginia.  He is currently a professor at Stanford Law School, where he is the director of the Stanford Constitutional Law Center.  He will continue to teach full-time at Stanford.

Mr. McConnell is one of the foremost scholars on religious freedom and liberty and freedom of speech, and various other aspects of constitutional history and constitutional law.  He is a frequent columnist in the Wall Street Journal and is regularly quoted on legal matters in leading newspapers around the country.  Mr. McConnell has testified before Congress on many occasions, including with regard to the qualifications of several Supreme Court nominees.

"Michael's impeccable reputation and encyclopedic knowledge of constitutional law will greatly benefit our appellate practice and the clients we represent in state and federal courts of appeal, as well as the Supreme Court. We are very pleased to welcome Michael to the Firm," said Jeffrey Hammes, Chairman of Kirkland's Global Management Executive Committee.

Mr. McConnell was previously on the faculty at the University of Chicago Law School and the S.J. Quinney College of Law at the University of Utah, and regularly serves as a visiting professor at the Harvard Law School.  He served as a judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, and remains the only federal judge who went on to become a full-time professor. 

Mr. McConnell was a law clerk to former Chief Judge J. Skelly Wright of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District Court of Columbia Circuit and to Justice William J. Brennan, Jr., of the U.S. Supreme Court.  He served as an assistant general counsel at the Office of Management and Budget, and an assistant to the solicitor general in the U.S. Department of Justice under President Ronald Reagan.  He is also a senior fellow in the Hoover Institution.

"I am enthusiastic about contributing to the Firm's top-notch appellate and Supreme Court practice," said Mr. McConnell.

Kirkland & Ellis LLP ( is a 1,500-attorney law firm representing global clients in complex litigation and dispute resolution/arbitration, intellectual property and technology, corporate and tax and restructuring matters. The Firm has offices in Washington, D.C., Chicago, Hong Kong, London, Los Angeles, Munich, New York, Palo Alto, San Francisco and Shanghai.