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Judge Ken Starr, J.D. (Ret.)
United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia CircuitSenior Lecturing Fellow

Judge Ken Starr, J.D. (Ret.)


Ken Starr has had a distinguished career in academia, the law and public service. Currently Of Counsel to The Lanier Law Firm, Starr served as president and chancellor of Baylor University and dean of the Pepperdine School of Law. He continues to write articles and books of interest and serves as a guest commentator for various news programs.

Starr has argued 36 cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, including during his service as U.S. Solicitor General. He served as United States Circuit Judge for the District of Columbia Circuit, as Counselor and Chief of Staff to U.S. Attorney General William French Smith, and law clerk to both Chief Justice Warren E. Burger and to Fifth Circuit Judge David W. Dyer. He was appointed to serve as Independent Counsel for five investigations, including Whitewater, from 1994 to 1999.

For 25 years, he taught current constitutional issues as an adjunct or visiting professor at five law schools. Starr also was a partner at two national law firms, Kirkland & Ellis LLP and Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, specializing in appellate law. He serves on the boards of Advocates International and the Christian Legal Society as well as the Advisory Board of Alliance Defending Freedom. Throughout his professional career, he has championed the cause of religious liberty and freedom of conscience for all persons.

After graduating from San Antonio’s Sam Houston High School, he earned his B.A. from George Washington University, an M.A. from Brown University, and a J.D. degree from Duke University Law School. He is admitted to practice in Texas, California, the District of Columbia, Virginia, and the United States Supreme Court.

Starr is author of First Among Equals: The Supreme Court in American Life; Bear Country: The Baylor Story; and his most recent book, Contempt: A Memoir of the Clinton Investigation (a NY Times bestseller in 2018). National Review’s Rich Lowry calls it “a firecracker of a book … candid, illuminating and authoritative.” Starr has received numerous honors and awards, including the Edmund Randolph Award for Outstanding Service in the Department of Justice and three honorary doctorates. He and his wife Alice have been married since 1970 and live in Waco, Texas. They are blessed with three children and seven grandchildren.