As the "tenth justice" of the U.S. Supreme Court, Solicitor General Donald Verrilli, Jr., is one of the most knowledgeable and influential experts on Court practice.

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Meet 'Tenth Justice': Solicitor General Verrilli

As the "tenth justice" of the U.S. Supreme Court, Solicitor General Donald Verrilli, Jr., is one of the most knowledgeable and influential experts on Court practice.

Solicitor General Donald Verrilli, Jr.Roger Williams University School of Law is pleased to welcome Donald B. Verrilli, Jr., 46th Solicitor General of the United States, for a “Fireside Chat” with Professor Jared Goldstein.

The event will take place at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, February 4, 2015, in Room 283, the school’s Appellate Courtroom. Seating is limited.  RSVP required to the Office of Programs & Events at lawevents@rwu.edu or (401) 254-4659.

The Solicitor General is the lawyer appointed to represent the U.S. government before the Supreme Court of the United States. He or she determines the legal position that the United States will take in the Supreme Court, and also files amicus curiae briefs in cases where the federal government has a significant interest. The office of the Solicitor General argues on behalf of the government in virtually every case in which the United States is a party.

Sometimes referred to as the "tenth justice" of the U.S. Supreme Court, the Solicitor General is among the most influential and knowledgeable members of the legal community with regard to Supreme Court litigation other than the justices themselves.

Before being sworn in as Solicitor General  in 2011, Donald Verrilli served as Deputy Counsel to President Obama and as an Associate Deputy Attorney General in the U.S. Department of Justice.  Prior to his government service, he was a partner for many years in the law firm of Jenner & Block, co-chairing its Supreme Court practice.   He handled numerous cases in the Supreme Court and the courts of appeals, and maintained an active pro bono practice throughout his career in private practice, receiving several awards for his efforts.  He also taught First Amendment law as an adjunct professor at Georgetown University Law School from 1992 through 2008.

Verrilli received his undergraduate degree from Yale University and his J.D. from Columbia Law School, where he served as editor-in-chief of the Columbia Law Review.  He served as a law clerk to the Honorable J. Skelly Wright of the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and to the Honorable William J. Brennan, Jr. of the United States Supreme Court.

On January 26, 2011, President Obama nominated Verrilli to succeed Elena Kagan as Solicitor General after she was sworn into the position of Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. On June 6, he was confirmed by the Senate in a 72–16 vote.  Verrilli was sworn in as Solicitor General of the United States on June 9, 2011.