: The Blawgraphy
Life of a Law Student, University of Houston Law Center

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Tom Goldstein’s iPhone

By: Luke Gilman | Other Posts by
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I don’t know if this clever name-drop-a-thon really qualifies as the Absolute BEST Lawyer Ad of the Year (Carolyn Elefant‘s words, not mine) but it’s quite entertaining and has managed to somehow make me even more acutely aware of my iPhone-lessness. Sigh.

When not writing for SCOTUSblog, Goldstein co-heads Akin Gump’s Supreme Court Practice and teaches courses in Supreme Court litigation at both Stanford and Harvard. Goldstein’s path to leading Supreme Court advocate is an unusual one. As the WSJ noted:

Goldstein’s move to a large, established firm represents an end to one of the more improbable stories in the recent history of Supreme Court advocacy. Lawyers who focus on arguing before the Supreme Court have historically cut their teeth in government practicemost typically at the U.S. Solicitor General’s office before moving into private practice.

Mr. Goldstein forged a different route. In the mid-1990s, while a young associate at the law firm now known as Jones Day, Mr. Goldstein figured out a method for predicting which cases might be ripe for Supreme Court review. He’d then contact the litigants and offer himself as counsel. In 1999, while a 29-year-old associate at David Boies’s firm, then known as Boies & Schiller, Mr. Goldstein handled his first argument in a Supreme Court case, Cunningham v. Hamilton County.

He lost, but the experience convinced him to pursue Supreme Court advocacy further. He set up his own firm, Goldstein & Howe, and grew a practice. Mr. Goldstein says he has argued 16 cases in front of the court. In the current term, he says he is counsel to parties in nine cases, more than 10% of the docket.

Counsel to parties in more than 10% of the Supreme Court of the United States Docket? That iPhone is well deserved.

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