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Michael Dreeben

Lecturer on Law

Fall 2023

Michael Dreeben
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Michael Dreeben served in the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of the Solicitor General for more than 30 years, including 24 years as the Deputy Solicitor General in charge of the government’s criminal docket in the Supreme Court.

Michael has argued 108 cases in the Supreme Court. He has briefed hundreds more. These cases span the full range of constitutional and criminal law issues, including landmark cases on public corruption, private fraud, Fourth Amendment privacy, criminal sentencing, the Confrontation Clause, the right to counsel, and the First Amendment. The civil matters include the separation of powers, municipal regulation, federal securities law, RICO, and labor law. In addition, Michael has argued cases in every regional federal court of appeals, including ten cases before en banc courts, and has argued appeals in the Montana Supreme Court, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, and the District of Columbia Court of Appeals. He has received the Department of Justice’s John Marshall Award for handling appeals and twice the Department’s Distinguished Service Award. He has also received the Rex Lee Advocacy Award and the Tom Clark Award for Outstanding Government Lawyer.

In 2017, Michael served as Counselor to Special Counsel Robert Mueller, III, in the investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and obstruction of justice. He led the team responsible for giving legal and strategic advice to the Special Counsel and all prosecution teams. He also had a leading role in defending the statutory and constitutional authority of the Special Counsel in district court and on appeal.

Michael’s current practice involves representing private and governmental clients in Supreme Court and appellate matters, embracing topics such as internet and privacy regulation, the First Amendment, white-collar defense, and constitutional and statutory challenges to state and local government actions.

After graduating from the University of Wisconsin and earning a Master’s degree in history at the University of Chicago, he received his J.D. degree from the Duke University School of Law, where he served as Article Editor for the Duke Law Journal. He clerked on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit for Judge Jerre S. Williams. Currently, Michael serves as a Distinguished Visitor from Government at Georgetown University Law Center. He has previously served as an adjunct professor at Georgetown Law and a visiting professor at Duke Law School, where he taught appellate advocacy and a seminar on constitutional litigation in the Supreme Court. Recently, he taught a seminar at the Faculty of Law at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel. He is a member of the American Law Institute.