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Patricia O'Connell
Senior Communications Manager

Appellate Partner William Consovoy Named a Law360 “Rising Star”

March 18, 2013

William S. Consovoy, a partner in Wiley Rein’s Appellate and Communications Practices, has been recognized by Law360 as one of the “top five appellate lawyers under 40,” having “established a reputation as an appellate litigation dynamo.”

In a March 15 “Rising Star” profile of Mr. Consovoy, Law360 noted that he has been “an instrumental player in some of the nation’s most closely watched litigation,” including U.S. Supreme Court cases ranging from school desegregation to the rights of Guantanamo Bay detainees.

He was a principal brief drafter in Abigail Fisher v. University of Texas, a constitutional challenge to the university’s race-based undergraduate admission policies, and in Shelby County, Ala. v. Holder, a case that challenges the constitutionality of the 2006 Congressional reauthorization of Sections 4(b) and 5 of the Voting Rights Act. Both cases are pending before the Supreme Court.

“He’s a brilliant lawyer,” Wiley Rein founding partner Bert W. Rein told Law360. “He’s extremely perceptive and analytical and very much versed in the law. He’s one of those people who doesn’t just really like the law—he steeps himself in it.”

Mr. Consovoy, a former clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, told Law360 the most rewarding parts of the Fisher and Shelby cases have been his opportunities to know and serve Abigail Fisher and her family and serve Shelby County’s officials.

“They're real people and have real concerns, and I admire them for their willingness to stand up for what they believe in,” Mr. Consovoy said. Despite his strong command of the law, he added that smarts aren’t the sole ingredient in finding success within his field.

“The best advice I ever got was that in order to get the job you want, you have to do the job you have,” he said. “Just do a great job and care about the needs of your clients and colleagues—think about what’s important for them, and not what's important for you.”

In addition to Mr. Consovoy, Wiley Rein International Trade partner Robert E. DeFrancesco III and Insurance partner Cara Tseng Duffield were also named Law360 “Rising Stars” in 2013.