Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati Expands Litigation Practice

- Michael McConnell Joins the Firm's Palo Alto Office -

Alicia Towler White
Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati

PALO ALTO, CA (May 8, 2019) – Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, the premier provider of legal services to technology, life sciences, and growth enterprises worldwide, announced today that Michael W. McConnell has joined the firm's appellate practice of the litigation department as Senior Of Counsel.

McConnell is a constitutional law scholar, experienced appellate litigator, and former federal appellate judge. Since 2009, he has served as the Frances and Richard Mallery Professor and Director of the Constitutional Law Center at Stanford Law School. He has previously held chaired positions at University of Chicago Law School, and University of Utah Law School, and Visiting Professorships at Harvard Law School and NYU School of Law. He is also a Senior Fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution. Before joining Stanford, he served as Circuit Judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, from 2002 until 2009. Prior to joining WSGR, he was Of Counsel in Kirkland & Ellis' constitutional and appellate litigation practice, from 2010 to 2019, and at Mayer, Brown & Platt from 1989 to 2002. He has argued 15 cases before the United States Supreme Court. In government, he has served as a member of the President's Intelligence Oversight Board from 1988 to 1990; as Assistant to the Solicitor General, U.S. Department of Justice from 1983 to 1985, and as Assistant General Counsel at the Office of Management and Budget from 1981 to1983, where he was involved in regulatory oversight and reform. Before that, he was a law clerk for United States Justice William J. Brennan Jr., and for Chief Judge J. Skelly Wright, United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

His academic specialties include constitutional law and history and first amendment. A recent study found that he was the second most frequently cited constitutional law professors in Supreme Court opinions. He was elected a fellow of the prestigious American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1996, and has served as chair of the constitutional law section of the Association of American Law Schools. He has also served on the board of a low-income legal clinic in Chicago, a Presbyterian church, and the Laboratory Schools of the University of Chicago.

"Professor McConnell is a luminary in constitutional law and a respected authority on appellate matters and legal jurisprudence," said Doug Clark, managing partner at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. "In addition to his sterling and accomplished academic career which is associated with some of the best educational institutions in the world, his experience both as a sitting judge and before appellate courts adds compelling depth to our firm's litigation department and our appellate practice."

Although he was a George W. Bush appointee to the federal court, he is credited with recruiting Barack Obama to the University of Chicago law faculty. McConnell got to know Obama when the latter was a student at Harvard Law School and edited one of McConnell's law review articles.

McConnell received his J.D. from The University of Chicago Law School in 1979, with honors, where he was a recipient of the Order of the Coif, an editor for the University of Chicago Law Review, and a Floyd R. Mechem Scholar. He earned his B.A. degree from James Madison College at Michigan State University in 1976, with high honors, Phi Beta Kappa. He also received honorary doctor of laws degrees from University of Notre Dame in 2008 and Michigan State University College of Law in 2009.

About Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati
For more than 50 years, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati has offered a broad range of services and legal disciplines focused on serving the principal challenges faced by the management and boards of directors of business enterprises. The firm is nationally recognized as a leader in the fields of corporate governance and finance, mergers and acquisitions, private equity, securities litigation, employment law, intellectual property, and antitrust, among many other areas of law. With deep roots in Silicon Valley, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati has offices in Austin; Beijing; Boston; Brussels; Hong Kong; London; Los Angeles; New York; Palo Alto; San Diego; San Francisco; Seattle; Shanghai; Washington, D.C.; and Wilmington, DE. For more information, please visit