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 formerly served 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 a Local Litigation Star and National Practice Area Star for Appellate Law by Benchmark Litigation (2020)
  • Recognized by Best Lawyers® 2020 for Appellate Practice, Bet-the-Company Litigation, and Commercial Litigation in Washington, DC; Walter has been listed in Best Lawyers® since 2006.
  • 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
  • Included in The Legal 500 Hall of Fame since its inception in 2017, and continually recognized as a Leading Lawyer in the category of “Dispute Resolution: Appellate”
  • Recognized as a Senior Statesman by Chambers USA in Appellate Law


Bar Admissions

  • District of Columbia

Court Admissions

  • US Supreme Court
  • US Court of Appeals for the First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh, Federal, and District of Columbia Circuits


  • 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


  • “Initial Reactions to OLC‘s Opinion on the Whitaker Designation as ‘Acting’ Attorney General,” Just Security (2018)

Press Releases

In the News

POLITICO: Birthday of the Day: Walter Dellinger, Partner at O’Melveny & Myers

5月 15, 2020

Associated Press: AP Explains- What a Trump Impeachment Trial Might Look Like

10月 27, 2019

American Constitution Society: Doing Theory/Doing Law

6月 19, 2019

Mealey’s Daily News: Judge: Tribe Has Rights to Groundwater Pores, But Not Quantity, Quality of Water

4月 29, 2019

Supreme Court Brief: What’s On Walter Dellinger’s Mind

1月 3, 2019 Trump Watch: More on the DOJ’s Greenlight for Whitaker

11月 15, 2018

The Wall Street Journal: What Is Birthright Citizenship, and Can It Be Ended in the US?

10月 30, 2018

Los Angeles Times: Legal Scholars Dismiss Trump’s Plan to Challenge Constitution’s Protection for Citizenship at Birth

10月 30, 2018

The New York Times: Trump’s Birthright Citizenship Proposal Is at Odds With Legal Consensus

10月 30, 2018

The National Law Journal: Appellate Hot List 2018: O’Melveny & Myers

10月 26, 2018

Alerts and Publications