Walter Dellinger


Thank you for your interest. Before you communicate with one of our attorneys, please note: Any comments our attorneys share with you are general information and not legal advice. No attorney-client relationship will exist between you or your business and O’Melveny or any of its attorneys unless conflicts have been cleared, our management has given its approval, and an engagement letter has been signed. Meanwhile, you agree: we have no duty to advise you or provide you with legal assistance; you will not divulge any confidences or send any confidential or sensitive information to our attorneys (we are not in a position to keep it confidential and might be required to convey it to our clients); and, you may not use this contact to attempt to disqualify O’Melveny from representing other clients adverse to you or your business. By clicking "accept" you acknowledge receipt and agree to all of the terms of this paragraph and our Disclaimer.


Walter Dellinger is an influential authority on appellate and Supreme Court decisions, lending his experience as a former Solicitor General and decades of legal knowledge to amicus briefs, a multitude of pro bono clients, and public and private companies involved in bet-the-company litigation. A frequent commentator for the Wall Street Journal, Slate, and major television networks, Walter holds the designation of the Douglas B. Maggs Emeritus Professor of Law at Duke University. He was named one of the 100 Most Influential Lawyers in America by the National Law Journal and recognized with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Lawyer.

Walter, who serves as O’Melveny’s Diversity and Inclusion Partner, helped convince the US Supreme Court that proponents of Proposition 8, California's ban on same-sex marriage, did not have standing to appeal a court order invalidating it. That ruling, Hollingsworth v. Perry, cleared the way for marriage equality in California and eventually nationwide.


Corporate & Government Experience

  • Acting Solicitor General of the US Supreme Court (1996-1997)
  • Assistant Attorney General and head of the Office of Legal Counsel, OLC (1993-1996)

Honors & Awards

  • Named one of the 100 Most Influential Lawyers in America by the National Law Journal
  • Recognized with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Lawyer
  • Recognized by The Legal 500 as a Leading Lawyer in the category of "Dispute resolution: Appellate"


Bar Admissions

  • District of Columbia

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Courts of Appeal for the First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Ninth and Tenth Circuits
  • District of Columbia Circuit
  • Federal Circuit
  • Various District Courts


  • Yale University, J.D., 1966: Editor, Yale Law Journal
  • University of North Carolina, B.A., 1963: with honors; John J. Parker Medal for Leadership; Frank Porter Graham Award as Outstanding Senior

Professional Activities


  • Honorable Hugo L. Black, U.S. Supreme Court (1968-1969)


  • National Humanities Center (1988-89)


  • Duke University, School of Law, Douglas B. Maggs Professor