In this episode I speak with Kannon Shanmugam who is a Partner at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP where he is both the Chair of the Supreme Court and Appellate Practice Group and the Managing Partner of the Washington D.C. office. Kannon is one of our generations most prominent and prolific Supreme Court advocates. He was recently named 2021 Appellate Litigator of the Year by Benchmark Litigation and has argued 32 cases before the United States Supreme Court. Prior to joining Paul Weiss, he spent ten years as a Partner at Williams & Connolly LLP and more than four years as an Assistant to the Solicitor General. Kannon clerked for Judge J. Michael Luttig (Fourth Circuit) and Justice Antonin Scalia. He is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School as well as Oxford where he earned an M.Litt. in Classics as a Marshall Scholar.
In our conversation we discuss his path to appellate and Supreme Court advocacy, the role that his clerkships play in his approach to advocacy, how he prepares for and conducts oral argument, and how to stand out both as a young associate and as a more senior lawyer tasked with transforming the work of others into his own.
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