By Katie VloetNovember 13, 2015
Michigan Solicitor General Aaron Lindstrom, the Veterans Day speaker at Michigan Law, spoke about his work as the state’s top appellate lawyer and said many high-ranking attorneys and judges served in the military.
He also asked the students in the audience who are veterans—17 of them—to stand and say the branch in which they served at the November 11 event, which was presented by the Michigan Law Veterans Society (MILVETS).
Lindstrom pointed out that many founding fathers were veterans, as well as numerous Supreme Court justices—36 percent of justices historically, in fact. Many other senior judges around the country also served in the military, he pointed out.
“I think the perception of a lot of people is that there aren’t a lot of veterans who have gone into the law, and I was happy to see that wasn’t the case,” said Lindstrom, a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point who served for five years in the U.S. Army. He went on to clerk for the Hon. Jeffrey S. Sutton of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. He then worked in the appellate and constitutional law practice group of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher's Washington, D.C., office, and in the appellate practice group of Warner Norcross & Judd LLP in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
He recalled working at Gibson Dunn and interviewing a veteran for a first-year associate position. The candidate was seeking work at the entry level in the firm, even though he already had been a captain in charge of a nuclear submarine. “That, in our country, is probably as close as you come to absolute power,” Lindstrom quipped.
In his current job, Lindstrom, his deputy, and two assistants deal with a wide range of cases in areas such as environmental law, labor, transportation, corrections, state operations, First Amendment, children and youth services, and more. The office supervises all of the Office of the Attorney General’s major appellate cases and amici briefs.
His team also moots with prosecutors around the state to prepare them for their court arguments. Such practice is important because, he said—borrowing from phrase common in the military—“the more you sweat in peace, the less you bleed in war.”
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