|Born||November 15, 1972|
Lawrence, Kansas, U.S.
|Education||Harvard University (A.B., J.D.)|
Keble College, Oxford (M. Litt.)
Kannon Kumar Shanmugam (born November 15, 1972) is an American lawyer known for his work before the U.S. Supreme Court and the U.S. courts of appeals. He has been a partner at the law firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison since 2019, and is the managing partner of the firm's Washington office and chair of its Supreme Court and appellate practice group. Shanmugam is widely recognized as one of the nation's top appellate litigators, having argued 27 cases before the Supreme Court and dozens of cases before all 13 courts of appeals. He has been mentioned as a potential judicial nominee and was mentioned as a candidate for Solicitor General in the administration of President Donald Trump.
Shanmugam joined Paul, Weiss in a highly publicized move from Williams & Connolly, where he was head of the firm's Supreme Court and appellate practice. He previously served as an Assistant to the Solicitor General of the United States. Before joining the Solicitor General's office, he was an associate at the law firm of Kirkland & Ellis.
Early life and education
Shanmugam was born on November 15, 1972, in Lawrence, Kansas, to parents who had immigrated to the United States from India in the late 1960s. His father, Kumarasamy "Sam" Shanmugam, was a professor of electrical engineering at the University of Kansas for over 30 years.
Shanmugam attended Lawrence High School and graduated as co-valedictorian in 1989 at age 16. He then went to Harvard University, where he majored in classics and was editor-in-chief of the Harvard Independent. He graduated from Harvard in 1993 with a Bachelor of Arts summa cum laude. He was awarded a Marshall Scholarship and spent the next two years in England pursuing graduate study in classics at Oxford University. He received a Master of Letters degree in 1995. Shanmugam then returned to Harvard to attend Harvard Law School. While at Harvard Law, he was the executive editor of the Harvard Law Review and argued the case for the winning side in the Ames Moot Court Competition. He graduated in 1998 with a Juris Doctor magna cum laude.
After graduating from law school, Shanmugam served for a year as a law clerk to Judge J. Michael Luttig of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, then clerked for Justice Antonin Scalia on the U.S. Supreme Court. After completing his clerkships, he joined the law firm of Kirkland & Ellis, where he worked for noted lawyer and judge Kenneth Starr. In 2004, Shanmugam became an assistant to the U.S. Solicitor General, where he worked for four years and argued eight cases before the Supreme Court. In 2008, he joined the law firm of Williams & Connolly, where he built the firm's Supreme Court and appellate practice. He was the only lawyer to have joined the firm as a lateral partner in 32 years. In 2019, Shanmugam moved to the law firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison to become the managing partner of the firm's Washington office and chair of its newly established Supreme Court and appellate practice.
Shanmugam has served as chair of the American Bar Association's Appellate Practice Committee. He taught a course on Supreme Court advocacy as an adjunct professor of law at the Georgetown University Law Center, and served on the board of trustees of Thurgood Marshall Academy. He is a longtime member of the Federalist Society.
- "Paul, Weiss Adds Kannon Shanmugam, Renowned Supreme Court and Appellate Lawyer". BusinessWire. 27 January 2019. Retrieved 1 February 2019.
- "Shanmugam, Kannon K." Paul, Weiss. Retrieved 1 February 2019.
- Lat, David (July 21, 2017). "Circuit Court Nominees in the Trump Administration: The Latest News and Rumor (Part 1)". Above The Law.
- Mauro, Tony (December 7, 2016). "Who's in the Mix to Serve as U.S. Solicitor General". The National Law Journal.
- Mauro, Tony (March 19, 2014). "Milestones Ahead for Members of Supreme Court Bar". The National Law Journal.
- "Sam Shanmugam, PhD – Neurosurgery Patient Stories". Kansas Health System. Retrieved 1 February 2019.
- Shepherd, Sara (15 February 2016). "Lawrence native is second man with local ties named as possible U.S. Supreme Court nominee". Lawrence Journal World. Retrieved 1 February 2019.
- "Obituary – Kumarasamy "Sam" Shanmugan". Warren-McElwain Mortuary and Cremation Services. August 2017. Retrieved 1 February 2019.
- Dewey, Katrina (21 July 2014). "Lawyer Limelight: Kannon Shanmugam". Lawdragon. Retrieved 1 February 2019.
- Fry, Steve (December 31, 2006). "2006 Distinguished Kansans: Judicial". The Topeka Capital-Journal.
- Chen, Vivia (September 29, 2008). "Williams & Connolly Ends 22-Year Lateral Partner Ban". Am Law Daily.
- "Contributors – Kannon K. Shanmugam". Federalist Society. Retrieved 1 February 2019.