Bench Memos

Law & the Courts

Who is Steven Menashi?

Steven Menashi is President Trump’s nominee to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit from New York.

Age:  40

Current Position:  Associate White House Counsel and Special Assistant to the President 


  • B.A., Dartmouth College, magna cum laude(2001)
  • J.D., Stanford Law School, Order of the Coif (2008); Senior Articles Editor, Stanford Law Review

Judicial Clerkships:

  • Douglas H. Ginsburg, U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit (2008-2009)
  • Samuel A. Alito, U.S. Supreme Court (2010-2011)

Professional Experience:

  • 2018-Present: Associate White House Counsel and Special Assistant to the President
  • 2018: Principal Deputy General Counsel, U.S. Department of Education (Washington, DC)
  • 2017-2018: Acting General Counsel, U.S. Department of Education (Washington, DC)
  • 2016-2019: Assistant Professor of Law, Antonin Scalia Law School, George Mason University (Arlington, VA) (on leave 2017-2019)
  • 2011-2017: Associate (2011-2013), Of Counsel (2013-2015; 2016-2017), and Partner (2015-2016), Kirkland & Ellis LLP (New York, NY)

Career Notes:

  • Menashi’s work at Kirkland & Ellis focused on civil and regulatory litigation. In academia, he similarly taught courses on administrative law and civil procedure.
  • While in private practice, Menashi also was a research fellow at the New York University School of Law and the Opperman Institute for Judicial Administration (2013-2016).
  • Between 2001 and 2004, Menashi was on the staff of Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, where he worked as an editor of the Policy Review and (between 2002 and 2004) was a Public Affairs Fellow.
  • In 2018, Menashi served on the board of the Food Allergy Fund, a charitable organization that supports research focused on the underlying causes and treatments of food allergies.

Honors and Awards:

  • At Stanford, Menashi received the Steven M. Block Civil Liberties Award and the Carl Mason Franklin Award in International Law, and he won the Kirkwood Moot Court Competition (2008). His scholarship has been recognized through fellowships with the Institute for Humane Studies (2007), the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (2004), and the Claremont Institute (2002). In 2000 and 2001, the Center for Print and Broadcast Media gave him the Lowry Outstanding Editor Award.

Carrie Severino is chief counsel and policy director to the Judicial Crisis Network.

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