Pratik A. Shah, until recently an assistant to the solicitor general at the U.S. Department of Justice, has joined the law firm of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP to co-lead its Supreme Court practice.
He will also be a partner in the national appellate practice in the firm’s office in Washington, D.C.
Shah had served since 2008 in the Solicitor General’s office, where he argued 13 cases before the U.S. Supreme Court and authored merits briefs in 10 other cases. His work covered issues ranging from same-sex marriage to securities law and from tax law to Indian and environmental law.
He told India-West Aug. 13 that the Solicitor’s Office has been “a special place” for the “last five and a half years.”
“I’m ready for the next challenge…to broaden my skills set,” he said.
At Akin Gump, the Indian American lawyer pointed out, he will not only lead the prestigious Supreme Court practice, but will be helping build a broad litigation practice encompassing international law, matters before courts of appeals and a wide range of legal issues.
Born in Akron, Ohio, where his parents, both immigrants from India, still live, Shah and his wife, Nirali, have two sons.
He previously worked at another large international law firm in its appellate and Supreme Court practice.
Akin Gump chair Kim Koopersmith said in a statement, “Akin Gump has one of the finest Supreme Court and appellate practices in the country and Pratik’s intellectual skills, courtroom experience and sterling credentials as a Supreme Court advocate will add tremendously to the quality and depth of the service we offer clients."
Shah said in a statement, “Joining Akin Gump is a tremendous opportunity for me. The firm’s reputation and achievements are known to everyone in the industry.”
Shah was a Hugo Black Faculty Fellow at the University of Alabama School of Law, where he taught and wrote about constitutional law. Before that, he clerked for Supreme Court Justice Stephen G. Breyer and Judge William A. Fletcher of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit.
For his advocacy before the Supreme Court, Shah received the IRS National Chief Counsel Award for Hall v. United States (2012) and the Justice Department, Environment & Natural Resources Division, Special Commendation for United States v. Jicarilla Apache Nation (2011).
Shah has a B.S.E. in chemical engineering from Princeton, where he was awarded the Othmer Prize in chemical engineering and the Glickman Prize for community service. He received his J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law in 2001.