Gavel Consulting Group
Group of former Federal judges  providing strategic advice


Kenneth W. Starr

Judge Kenneth W. Starr is a partner with the law firm of Kirkland & Ellis, P.C., specializing in appellate work.  He also teaches Issues in Constitutional Law as an adjunct professor at New York University School of Law and as a distinguished visiting professor at George Mason University School of Law.  He recently published his first book: First Among Equals: The Supreme Court in American Life, which is described by United States Circuit Judge David B. Sentelle as “eminently readable and informative.… not just the best treatment to date of the Court after Warren, it is likely to have that distinction for a long, long time.”

Judge Starr served as Solicitor General of the United States from 1989 to January 1993.  He 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.  Judge Starr served 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, Judge Starr 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.

Judge Starr 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 he serves or 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 numerous 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.

Judge Starr 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.  He volunteers his time as a Sunday School teacher and as a volunteer teacher at Anacostia High School.  He also assists disadvantaged students in Washington, D.C. find summer internships, safe after school programs, and financial help for attending college. 

(For more information, contact 202-879-5130)


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For additional information:

Contact Judge Eugene Sullivan (ret) at
or (202) 390-5959