Virginia Seitz

Virginia Seitz

Partner, Sidley Austin LLP

Virginia Seitz is a partner in Sidley Austin’s Supreme Court and Appellate practice. On behalf of a wide range of clients, she has handled cases in the United States Supreme Court, in virtually all federal courts of appeals, and in state appellate courts. Virginia was counsel of record on the amicus brief on behalf of retired military officers in Grutter v. Bollinger, 539 U.S. 306 (2003), and Gratz v. Bollinger, 539 U.S. 244 (2003), which the Supreme Court cited at oral argument and in its opinion and which the New York Times piece noted “may have been the most influential amicus brief in the history of the Supreme Court.” She has handled an array of district court litigation involving important constitutional and federal law issues, including the Appropriations and Supremacy Clauses of the Constitution, the First Amendment, Title IX, Title VII, the Anti-Deficiency Act, ERISA, and federal labor laws.

Virginia returned to Sidley in 2014 after serving in the Senate-confirmed position of Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel in the Department of Justice. She was the first woman to be confirmed to that position. As the leader of that Office, Virginia was responsible for providing legal advice to the President and Executive Branch departments and agencies on issues of particular difficulty and importance. Virginia previously served as an appointee of the Chief Justice on the Advisory Committee on Civil Rules. In January 2017, she was elected to the American Law Institute. Earlier in her career, Virginia was confirmed by the Senate to the first Board of Directors of the Congressional Office of Compliance and served from May 1995 to 2000. Virginia has been recognized for her Appellate Law practice by Chambers USA, in The Legal 500 US in Litigation: Supreme Court and Appellate, and in The Best Lawyers in America.

Virginia clerked at the Supreme Court for Justice William J. Brennan, Jr., and before that for Judge Harry T. Edwards of the D.C. Circuit. She is a graduate of University at Buffalo Law School, received her M.A. from Oxford University where she was a Rhodes Scholar, and received her B.A. from Duke University, summa cum laude with distinction.

A Preview of the Supreme Court October 2008 Term
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Click to play: The Jerusalem Passport Case

The Jerusalem Passport Case

Short video with Virginia Seitz discussing Zivotofsky v. Kerry

Virginia Seitz discusses the upcoming Supreme Court Case Zivotofsky v. Kerry, which concerns Congress's vs....

Click to play: Supreme Court Preview: What Is in Store for October Term 2014?

Supreme Court Preview: What Is in Store for October Term 2014?

Co-Sponsored by the Faculty Division and the Practice Groups

October 6th will mark the first day of the 2014 Supreme Court term. Thus far, the...

Supreme Court Preview: What Is in Store for October Term 2014?

Co-Sponsored by the Faculty Division and the Practice Groups

October 6th will mark the first day of the 2014 Supreme Court term. Thus far, the...