Elizabeth Barchas Prelogar is the 48th Solicitor General of the United States and serves as the fourth-ranking individual at the Department of Justice. As Solicitor General, she is responsible for conducting and supervising all Supreme Court litigation on behalf of the United States. The Solicitor General also determines whether appeals will be taken by the federal government to all appellate courts and whether the federal government will file an amicus curiae brief or intervene in any appellate court. The Solicitor General additionally assists the Attorney General, the Deputy Attorney General, and the Associate Attorney General in the development of broad Department program policy.
Solicitor General Prelogar previously served in multiple roles at the Department of Justice. Before her confirmation as Solicitor General, she served as Acting Solicitor General and Principal Deputy Solicitor General for nearly seven months. She also served as an Assistant to the Solicitor General from 2014 to 2019. In that capacity, she briefed and argued multiple cases in the Supreme Court and helped formulate the government’s appellate strategy in lower courts. During her prior tenure as a career attorney at the Department, she also was detailed to Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and obstruction-of-justice issues, where she served as an Assistant Special Counsel.
Solicitor General Prelogar was born and raised in Boise, Idaho, and graduated from the area’s public schools. She received her bachelor’s degree summa cum laude from Emory University and a master’s degree in creative writing with distinction from the University of St. Andrews. She subsequently spent a year living and studying in St. Petersburg, Russia, as a Fulbright Fellow. She graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School where she was an Articles Editor of the Harvard Law Review.
After graduating from law school, Solicitor General Prelogar clerked for Judge Merrick B. Garland of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. She then completed consecutive Supreme Court clerkships for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Justice Elena Kagan. After her clerkships, she worked as an associate in the appellate group at Hogan Lovells LLP. She later became a partner at Cooley LLP, where she focused on Supreme Court and appellate litigation. Solicitor General Prelogar devoted substantial time to pro bono litigation while in private practice and also served as a Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School, where she co-taught a course on Supreme Court and appellate advocacy.
Solicitor General Prelogar was nominated by President Joe Biden on August 11, 2021, was confirmed by the United States Senate and received her commission on October 28, 2021, and was sworn in by Attorney General Garland the next day. She lives in Washington, D.C. with her husband and two young sons.