Former Solicitor General Drew Days III is retiring as of counsel to Morrison & Foerster after 14 years with the firm.
“I have two very good reasons. They are five and one—granddaughters in El Paso, Texas,” said Days, who is also the Alfred M. Rankin Professor Emeritus of Law and Professorial Lecturer in Law at Yale Law School.
Days was approached by Morrison & Foerster shortly after he left the Office of Solicitor General, where he served from 1993 to 1996.
“I said I hadn’t even unpacked yet and told them to wait for a year,” he recalled. “At the end of the year, I communicated with Morrison & Foerster and was invited to a partners’ meeting. At the end of the meeting, the entertainment was the Mo-Fonics—a rock band of partners and associates. I said if I’m going to affiliate with any law firm, it’s going to be this one.”
Days argued 24 cases in the U.S. Supreme Court, 17 of those as solicitor general, in areas as diverse as international tax, civil rights and military and criminal law. He is the author of two volumes on U.S. Supreme Court jurisprudence, practice, and rules: Moore's Federal Practice, Third Edition, and most recently, of “Feedback Loop”: The Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Its Progeny.
Days began his career at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund in New York, where he spent eight years litigating cases in the areas of school desegregation, police misconduct and employment discrimination. In 1977, President Jimmy Carter nominated him to serve as the Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights in the U.S. Department of Justice.
Days left the Justice Department in 1981 to join Yale Law School, where his teachings and writings have focused on civil procedure, federal jurisdiction, antidiscrimination law, comparative constitutional law and international human rights. He was also the founding director of the Orville H. Schell Jr. Center for Human Rights at the law school and served as its director until 1993.
“Morrison & Foerster didn’t have very much of a profile in Washington in terms of Supreme Court litigation when I joined,” he recalled. “With the help of wonderful people like Beth Brinkmann and now Deanne Maynard, I’m pretty proud of what has been accomplished. It has just been great.”
Maynard, who chairs the appellate and Supreme Court practice group, said, “Drew came to MoFo about a decade ago with the goal of establishing a first-rate appellate and Supreme Court practice. He succeeded in spades. He passed the leadership on to Beth Brinkmann who then passed the baton on to me. I’m fortunate to be the beneficiary of his great work here.”