ICAP Names Kelsi Brown Corkran as Supreme Court Director

June 16, 2021

WASHINGTON — Georgetown Law’s Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection (ICAP) announced today that Kelsi Brown Corkran has been named the organization’s first Supreme Court director. Corkran will oversee ICAP’s Supreme Court litigation, focusing on civil rights and criminal justice matters at both the certiorari and merits stages.

“I have long admired ICAP’s critical litigation defending constitutional rights and separation of powers, and I’m thrilled to join the team to expand that work before our nation’s highest court,” Corkran said.

Kelsi Corkran headshot

Kelsi Brown Corkran

Corkran served as lead counsel in two of the most significant civil rights cases before the Court in the 2020 term. She successfully argued Torres v. Madrid, in which the Court reversed a lower court decision and held that police use of force with the intent to restrain a person is a seizure, even if the force does not succeed in subduing the person. In Taylor v. Riojas, Corkran led a challenge to inhumane prison conditions that marked the first time in 16 years that the Court denied qualified immunity to a government officer.

In 2018, Corkran successfully argued before the Court on behalf of the plaintiff in City of Hays v. Vogt, a civil rights suit asserting violations of the Fifth Amendment’s Self-Incrimination Clause. She has argued more than 30 cases in courts of appeals, including in 11 of the 13 U.S. Courts of Appeals and the en banc Ninth Circuit.

Corkran joins a leadership team at ICAP that includes its founder and faculty chair, Neal Katyal; its executive director, Mary McCord; and its managing director, Amy Marshak.

“Kelsi is a one of the greatest Supreme Court lawyers of our generation and a key part of ICAP’s legal SWAT team to stand up for the Constitution,” said Katyal, who has argued 44 cases in the Supreme Court.

In February 2021, Corkran joined ICAP as a pro bono senior fellow. Prior to joining ICAP, Corkran was the Head of the Supreme Court Practice at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe. She previously served as a law clerk to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg of the United States Supreme Court and Judge David S. Tatel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. She also served as an attorney with the Civil Appellate Staff at the U.S. Department of Justice and in the Communications Office of the White House’s Executive Office of the President, where she assisted with judicial nominations, including the confirmation hearings of Justice Sonia Sotomayor. Prior to law school, she was a social worker in Philadelphia’s foster care system.

Corkran serves on the Board of Directors for the Washington Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs. She received her B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and her J.D. and M.P.P. from the University of Chicago.