Paul W. Hughes - McDermott Will & Emery


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

An experienced appellate lawyer, Paul has argued ten times at the US Supreme Court, most recently in January 2023. Having presented more than 60 arguments, Paul has appeared before en banc sittings of the Fourth, Fifth, Ninth and Tenth Circuits; panels of the First, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh, DC and Federal Circuits; and several state appellate courts. Paul also frequently argues in state and federal trial courts across the country.

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  • 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)
  • In the Supreme Court, secured a unanimous victory, with divided reasoning, confirming sharp limitations on the scope of agency authority (Kisor v. Wilkie, 2019)

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  • Chambers USA, Nationwide Appellate Law, 2020 – 2022
  • The Legal 500 US, Appellate & Supreme Court, Leading Lawyer, 2021 – 2022
  • Benchmark Litigation, 40 & Under Hot List, 2017-2022

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  • Yale Law School, visiting clinical lecturer in law, 2015 to present
  • National Police Accountability Project, board member, 2014 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

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