I have a new Article out in the Journal of Legal Metrics entitled Top Supreme Court Advocates of the Twenty First Century. You can download the article here here.
This Article identifies the Supreme Court litigators who have argued at least five times since October 2000, making them — by some measures — “expert Supreme Court litigators.” It identifies all members of this elite tier and then breaks them down by demographics such as gender, ethnicity, law school, past clerkships, and experience in the Office of the Solicitor General.
Identifying the members of today’s elite Supreme Court bar reveals several interesting trends. The members skew overwhelmingly white, although there are several young, minority members of the Supreme Court bar who have the potential to argue many cases in the near future. The elite bar also contains more men than women but, like with minorities, several women in recent years have taken positions that place them before the Supreme Court with increasing frequency. Predictably, top law schools are the best represented, although their presence may be smaller than some suspect. The best predictor of a law school’s presence in the elite Supreme Court bar is it’s Supreme Court clerkship potential, not it’s U.S. News & World Report ranking — although those two measures closely track one another.
For a quick glimpse at the list, here are the ten advocates who have argued most frequently since October 2000:
|Rank||Name||Current Position||21st Cent. Args.||All-Time Args.|
|1||Paul D. Clement||Bancroft PLLC||62||62|
|2||Edwin S. Kneedler||Deputy SG||47||116|
|3||Michael R. Dreeben||Deputy SG||45||83|
|Theodore B. Olson||Gibson Dunn||45||58|
|Carter G. Phillips||Sidley Austin||45||76|
|6||Malcolm L. Stewart||Deputy SG||39||54|
|7||Gregory G. Garre||Latham & Watkins||35||35|
|8||Seth P. Waxman||WilmerHale||34||61|
|9||David C. Frederick||Kellogg Huber||29||37|
|10||Patrica M. Millet||Akin Gump||24||31|
|Matthew D. Roberts||Ass’t to the SG||24||30|
Of those advocates, only Clement and Garre have argued all of their cases during the past twelve years. Kneedler is most prolific advocate currently practicing, although he trails Clement by fifteen arguments since the beginning of October Term 2000.
My Article breaks down the advocates by several demographic factors, including race, gender, law school, and Supreme Court clerkship. But I think one of the most interesting charts is the Table H, which features the top Supreme Court advocates who have never served in the Office of the Solicitor General (with fellowships and internships excepted):
|Rank||Overall Rank||Name||21st Cent. Args.||All-Time Args.|
|1||12||Thomas C. Goldstein||22||25|
|2||19||Jeffrey L. Fisher||17||17|
|3||41||G. Eric Brunstad, Jr.||9||10|
|R. Ted Cruz||9||9|
|5||47||Gregory S. Coleman||8||8|
|Paul M. Smith||8||14|
|Laurence H. Tribe||8||35|
|8||52||Jonathan S. Franklin||7||7|
|E. Joshua Rosenkranz||7||7|
|Kevin K. Russell||7||7|
|Eric D. Schnapper||7||16|
Here are the top advocates from other categories:
- Top Female Advocate: Patricia Millett (24 appearances since OT 2000) (31 cases appearances all-time)
- Top Minority Advocate: Sri Srinivasan (20) (20)
- Top Advocate from a non-top 10 law school: Gregory Garre (35) (35)
The Article is largely based on the Decade Advocate Scorecard that I have been developing and releasing for the last few years.