U.S. Supreme Court Advocates

Lone Dissents aren’t the only kind of Supreme Court trivia we take an interest in. We’re also working on a comprehensive list of the top U.S. Supreme Court advocates (ie, lawyers who have argued a large number of cases at the Court).

This is a multi-stage effort, which begins with our work to match all SCOTUS Transcripts with their corresponding SCDB records. A list of those transcripts is being stored in a spreadsheet, which includes a notes field documenting any corrections. Next, we’ll cross-reference the list with Case Data (from the 1955 term onward) extracted from the Oyez website.

Until that work is complete, here’s a short list of some of the top performers of the modern era, which we also refer to as the “Taped Era” (i.e., from October Term 1955 onward), because October 1955 was when Court began recording all oral arguments on reel-to-reel tape.

NOTE: Any advocate listed below whose total is reported as “at least” still requires further verification.

Top Advocates

  1. Lawrence G. Wallace (157 arguments)
  2. Unknown Advocate (at least 145 arguments)
  3. Edwin S. Kneedler (143 arguments)
  4. Michael R. Dreeben (106 arguments)
  5. Paul D. Clement (at least 92 arguments)
  6. Carter G. Phillips (at least 86 arguments)
  7. Erwin N. Griswold (at least 83 arguments)
  8. Malcolm L. Stewart (at least 83 arguments)
  9. Seth P. Waxman (at least 79 arguments)
  10. Archibald Cox (at least 78 arguments)
  11. Daniel M. Friedman (at least 73 arguments)
  12. Louis F. Claiborne (at least 67 arguments)
  13. Theodore B. Olson (at least 62 arguments)
  14. Andrew L. Frey (at least 62 arguments)
  15. Rex E. Lee (at least 58 arguments)
  16. Jeffrey P. Minear (at least 56 arguments)
  17. Norton J. Come (at least 54 arguments)
  18. David C. Frederick (at least 53 arguments)
  19. James A. Feldman (at least 51 arguments)
  20. Donald B. Verrilli, Jr. (at least 48 arguments)
  21. Robert H. Bork (at least 45 arguments)
  22. Ralph S. Spritzer (at least 43 arguments)
  23. Gregory G. Garre (at least 43 arguments)
  24. Kent L. Jones (at least 43 arguments)
  25. Thomas C. Goldstein (at least 43 arguments)
  26. J. Lee Rankin (at least 41 arguments)
  27. Kenneth Steven Geller (at least 41 arguments)
  28. Jeffrey L. Fisher (at least 39 arguments)
  29. Irving L. Gornstein (at least 38 arguments)
  30. Neal Kumar Katyal (at least 37 arguments)
  31. Lisa S. Blatt (at least 37 arguments)

Top Women Advocates

The data shown below is generated from documents created by Marlene Trestman, who painstakingly extracted appearances of women advocates from the Journals of the Supreme Court of the United States for October Term 1880 through October Term 1999. This was later supplemented with data from 2000 through 2016 by Julie Silverbrook and Emma Shainwald. We have extended the data through the end of the 2018 term, consulting a combination of Journals and Transcripts.

  1. Lisa S. Blatt (37 arguments)
  2. Patricia A. Millett (32 arguments)
  3. Nicole A. Saharsky (30 arguments)
  4. Mabel Walker Willebrandt (29 arguments)
  5. Beatrice Rosenberg (28 arguments)
  6. Beth S. Brinkmann (25 arguments)
  7. Bessie Margolin (24 arguments)
  8. Helen R. Carloss (21 arguments)
  9. Barbara D. Underwood (20 arguments)
  10. Sarah E. Harrington (20 arguments)
  11. Maureen E. Mahoney (20 arguments)
  12. Ann O’Connell (20 arguments)
  13. Barbara B. McDowell (17 arguments)
  14. Harriet S. Shapiro (17 arguments)
  15. Ginger D. Anders (17 arguments)
  16. Amy L. Wax (15 arguments)
  17. Kathryn A. Oberly (14 arguments)
  18. Deanne E. Maynard (14 arguments)
  19. Rachel P. Kovner (13 arguments)
  20. Elinor H. Stillman (12 arguments)
  21. Leondra R. Kruger (12 arguments)
  22. Elaine J. Goldenberg (12 arguments)
  23. Kathleen M. Sullivan (11 arguments)
  24. Melissa A. Sherry (10 arguments)
  25. Cornelia T. L. Pillard (10 arguments)