Paul W. Hughes - McDermott Will & Emery


Paul Hughes is the co-head of the Firm’s practices focusing on Supreme Court & Appellate Litigation as well as Government & Regulatory Litigation. He briefs and argues complex appeals, and he develops legal strategy before trial courts, including strategic affirmative litigation. Paul serves as an elected member of the Firm’s Management Committee.

An experienced appellate lawyer, Paul has argued 10 times at the US Supreme Court, most recently in January 2023. Having presented more than 80 arguments, Paul has appeared before en banc sittings of the Fourth, Fifth, Ninth and Tenth Circuits; panels of the First, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh, DC and Federal Circuits; several state appellate courts; and state and federal trial courts across the country.

Show More


  • In the Supreme Court, unanimously won decision holding that administrative exhaustion requirement in immigration statute is not jurisdictional and, further, does not require agency motions to reconsider (Santos-Zacaria v. Garland)
  • In the Supreme Court, won a decision extending judicial review to all aspects of administrative agency decision-making over Convention Against Torture Claims (Nasrallah v. Barr, 2020)
  • In the Supreme Court, won a sweeping victory providing broad judicial review over administrative agency action in the immigration context (Guerrero-Lasprilla v. Barr & Ovalles v. Barr, 2020)

Show More


  • Chambers USA, Nationwide Appellate Law, 2020 to 2023
  • Legal 500 US, Appellate & Supreme Court, Leading Lawyer, 2021 to 2023
  • Benchmark Litigation, 40 & Under Hot List, 2017 to 2023

Show More


  • Yale Law School, visiting clinical lecturer in law, 2015 to present


Yale Law School, JD, 2008
Georgetown University, MA, 2005
Georgetown University, AB, summa cum laude, 2004

District of Columbia
New York

Courts / Agencies
US Supreme Court
US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

Show More