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Neal Katyal

Washington, D.C.

Neal Katyal

Neal Katyal, the former Acting Solicitor General of the United States, focuses on appellate and complex litigation. He has extensive experience in matters of patent, securities, criminal, employment, and constitutional law. Neal has orally argued 32 cases before the Supreme Court of the United States, with 30 of them in the last 8 years. Even though the 2016-2017 Supreme Court Term is only partway done, he is already scheduled to be arguing at least 6 Supreme Court cases in 5 separate oral arguments (indeed, he and his Hogan Lovells team are lead/arguing counsel in an astounding 9 argued Supreme Court cases this Term). At the age of 46, he has already argued more cases in U.S. history than has any racial minority attorney with the exception of Thurgood Marshall.

Full profile

As Acting Solicitor General, Neal represented the federal government in all appellate matters before the Supreme Court and the Courts of Appeals nationwide. He argued major Supreme Court cases, such as his successful defense of the constitutionality of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, his victorious defense of former Attorney General John Ashcroft for alleged abuses in the war on terror, and his unanimous victory against eight states that sued the nation's leading power plants for contributing to global warming. He served as Counsel of Record hundreds of times in the Supreme Court. He was the only head of the Solicitor General's office to argue a case in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, on the question of whether aspects of the human genome were patentable.

Neal is well-known for winning the landmark decision Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, which challenged the policy of military trials at Guantanamo Bay. The Supreme Court sided with him by a 5-3 vote, finding that President Bush's tribunals violated the constitutional separation of powers, domestic military law, and international law.

In 2011 Neal received the highest award given to a civilian by the U.S. Department of Justice, the Edmund Randolph Award. The Chief Justice of the United States has twice appointed him to the Advisory Committee on Federal Appellate Rules.

Neal has also served as a law professor for nearly two decades at Georgetown University Law Center, where he was one of the youngest professors to have received tenure and a chaired professorship in the university's history.

"One of the finest lawyers who has argued before the Court."

Chief Justice of the United States John Roberts

Education and admissions


  • J.D., Yale Law School, 1995
  • A.B., with highest honors, Dartmouth College, 1991

Bar admissions and qualifications

  • District of Columbia

Court admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit
  • U.S. Supreme Court


One of the top 500 Lawyers in the US (Lawdragon Magazine, for every single year since 2006), one of 41 lawyers nationwide to have won every year. Recognized on "Legends" list.

Lawdragon Magazine


Appellate MVP



One of the 10 most innovative lawyers

Financial Times


Appellate Law

Chambers USA


Edmund Randolph Award (highest award DOJ can give a civilian)


Lawyer of the Year, Lawyers USA


Runner up to Lawyer of the Year

National Law Journal

Latest thinking and events

Published Works

"Active Avoidance." Harvard Law Review

Harvard Law Review
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