Kenneth W. Starr
Kenneth W. Starr is a constitutional scholar who is a partner with the law firm of Kirkland & Ellis, P.C., specializing in appellate work. He has been appointed Dean of the Law School at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California effective August 1, 2004 and is continuing the practice of law on a part-time basis.
Ken taught Constitutional Law for 12 years as an adjunct professor at New York University School of Law. He was also a distinguished visiting professor at George Mason University School of Law and Chapman Law School in Orange, California. He published his first book: First Among Equals: The Supreme Court in American Life in 2002. The book, which was written to explain key decisions by the Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court to the American people, is now in paperback.
As Solicitor General of the United States from 1989 to January 1993, Ken argued twenty-five cases before the Supreme Court and represented the U.S. government on legal issues involving regulatory and constitutional statutes. He also served as United States Circuit Judge for the District of Columbia Circuit from 1983 to 1989, as counselor to U.S. Attorney General William French Smith from 1981 to 1983 and as law clerk to Chief Justice Warren E. Burger from 1975 to 1977 and 5th Circuit Judge David W. Dyer from 1973-1974. Ken was appointed to serve as Independent Counsel for five investigations, including Whitewater, from August 1994 to October 1999.
Having received his B.A. from George Washington University in 1968 and his M.A. from Brown University in 1969, Ken graduated from The Duke Law School with a J.D. degree in 1973. He was Note and Comment Editor of the Duke Law Review and graduated Order of the Coif. He has been admitted to the California, District of Columbia and Virginia Bars.
Ken has numerous professional affiliations, including having served as president of the Institute of Judicial Administration as well as the Council on Court Excellence. Other Boards on which has served include the American Law Institute, American Judicature Society, Supreme Court Historical Society, American Inns of Court Foundation, Institute for United States Studies, American University, Shenandoah University, and American Bar Association Journal Board of Editors.
He has received a multitude of honors and awards, including the Jefferson Cup award from the FBI, the Edmund Randolph Award for Outstanding Service in the Department of Justice, and the Attorney General's Award for Distinguished Service.
Ken was born on July 21, 1946, in Vernon, Texas, and was raised in San Antonio. He and his wife Alice have three children, Randy, Carolyn and Cynthia. They have made their home in McLean, Virginia since 1978, and now also have a home in Malibu, California. He and Alice volunteer their time with disadvantaged students and many community projects.