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Patricia A. Millett


Circuit Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, Adjunct Professor of Law

B.A., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; J.D., Harvard

Judge Millett was appointed to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on December 10, 2013. She graduated from the...

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Judge Millett was appointed to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on December 10, 2013. She graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (summa cum laude) in 1985 and from Harvard Law School (magna cum laude) in 1988.

Prior to her investiture as a Circuit Judge, Patricia Millett practiced as an appellate and Supreme Court lawyer, arguing 32 cases in the U.S. Supreme Court and dozens of cases in the federal and state appellate courts.

From September 2007 through December 2013, she was a partner heading the Supreme Court practice and co-leading the appellate practice at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP. From August 1996 to September 2007, Judge Millett served as an assistant to the solicitor general in the Office of the Solicitor General at the U.S. Department of Justice, in Washington, D.C. Prior to her employment with the Office of the Solicitor General, Judge Millett worked for four years in the Department of Justice’s Civil Division, Appellate Staff, where she briefed and argued more than 20 cases before the federal courts of appeals and, occasionally, state appellate courts. Before that, she clerked for two years for the late Judge Thomas Tang, on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit. She also worked for two years in the litigation department of Miller & Chevalier.

Judge Millett’s written works include “‘We’re Your Government and We’re Here To Help’: Obtaining Amicus Support From the Federal Government in Supreme Court Cases” (The Journal of Appellate Practice and Process, Vol. 10, No. 1, Spring 2009); “Mixed Signals: The Roberts Court and Free Speech in the 2009 Term,” Charleston L. Rev., Vol. 5, Fall 2010); and “Crumbling Cornerstones: The Evolution of Preemption Law in the Supreme Court’s 2010 Term,” Legal Backgrounder (Washington Legal Foundation, vol. 26, no. 22 Sept. 23, 2011).

Judge Millett has received numerous honors and awards: Military Spouse JD Network Professional Excellence Award (2014); named one of the 100 Most Influential Lawyers in America, The National Law Journal (2013); named as one of the 100 Most Powerful Women in Washington, DC, Washingtonian Magazine (2011, 2013); Litigation Star, Benchmark Appellate (2013); Best Lawyers in America, Appellate Practice List (2012 – 2014); Washington DC Super Lawyers (2009 – 2014); Leading Lawyer, Appellate Practice, Chambers USA (2009 – 2013); The Appellate Hot List, The National Law Journal (2008 – 2013); 500 Leading Lawyers in America, LawDragon (2012); Appellate MVP, Law 360 (2012, 2013); Top Lawyer & DC Litigation Star, BenchMark Appellate (2011 – 2012); Top Lawyer, Supreme Court Advocacy, Washingtonian Magazine (2010 – 2013); National Association of Attorneys General Award for Assistance to the States in Preparation for Their Appearances before the Supreme Court of the United States (2011); 100 Best Lawyers in Washington, DC, Super Lawyers (2011); Washington’s 100 Most Influential Women Lawyers, National Law Journal/Legal Times (2010); Litigator of the Week, American Lawyer (October 15, 2010); Inducted into the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers (2007); Department of Justice, Environment & Natural Resources Division Special Commendation, for outstanding performance and invaluable assistance in support of the activities of the Division (2005); Department of Justice, Attorney General’s Distinguished Service Award, for representing the interests of the United States before the Supreme Court (2004); Life Fellow of the American Bar Foundation (2014).

Judge Millett is a Fellow of the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers; a Board Member of the Dwight D. Opperman Institute of Judicial Administration at New York University Law School; a Master in the Edward Coke Appellate Inn of Court; and an Advisor on the Restatement Third, The Law of American Indians, American Law Institute.

She holds a second degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do. She is married and has two children.

In the News

"The CNN Supreme Court shortlist," coverage by  Fox 2 News, March 7, 2016, mentioning Adjunct Professor Patricia Millett.

"UI grad's colleagues say she's supremely qualified to succeed Scalia," coverage by The News-Gazette (Champaign, IL), March 7, 2016, featuring Adjunct Professor Patricia Millett and quoting Professor Steven Goldblatt (L'70) and Adjunct Professor Dori Bernstein (LL.M.'89).

All News

"The CNN Supreme Court shortlist," coverage by  Fox 2 News, March 7, 2016, mentioning Adjunct Professor Patricia Millett.

"UI grad's colleagues say she's supremely qualified to succeed Scalia," coverage by The News-Gazette (Champaign, IL), March 7, 2016, featuring Adjunct Professor Patricia Millett and quoting Professor Steven Goldblatt (L'70) and Adjunct Professor Dori Bernstein (LL.M.'89).

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