Kannon Shanmugam

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Kannon Shanmugam
Born Lawrence, Kansas
Alma mater Harvard University (A.B.)
Harvard Law School (J.D.)
Occupation Lawyer
Employer Williams & Connolly LLP

Kannon Shanmugam (born 1972) is a partner at the law firm of Williams & Connolly, focusing on Supreme Court and appellate litigation. He has argued 16 cases before the Supreme Court, recently breaking the record set by Edward Bennett Williams for the most Supreme Court arguments by a lawyer in the firm's history.[1] Most recently, Shanmugam argued on behalf of the debtors in Clark v. Rameker, a case on the treatment of inherited IRAs in bankruptcy.[2] Shanmugam also represented the defendant in Maryland v. King, a case on the constitutionality of DNA testing of arrestees.[3]

Shanmugam joined Williams & Connolly on October 6, 2008, and was the first partner from outside the firm in 22 years.[4] He previously served as an Assistant to the Solicitor General of the United States. Before joining the Office of the Solicitor General, he was an associate at the law firm of Kirkland & Ellis. He served as a law clerk to Justice Antonin Scalia on the United States Supreme Court and Judge J. Michael Luttig on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.


Shanmugam grew up in Lawrence, Kansas, and was co-valedictorian of his class at Lawrence High School. He went to Harvard at age 16, where he majored in classics and graduated summa cum laude. After being selected as a Marshall Scholar, he obtained a master’s degree in classics from the University of Oxford. He then returned to Harvard Law School and graduated magna cum laude in 1998; there, he served as executive editor of the Harvard Law Review and argued the case for the winning side in the Ames Moot Court Competition.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ National Law Journal: Milestones Ahead for Members of Supreme Court Bar
  2. ^ National Law Journal: Creditors, Debtors Clash in Supreme Court Over Inherited IRAs
  3. ^ New York Times: Justices Wrestle Over Allowing DNA Sampling at Time of Arrest
  4. ^ AmLaw Daily: Williams & Connolly Ends 22-Year Lateral Partner Ban
  5. ^ Topeka Capital-Journal: 2006 Distinguished Kansans

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