Ayesha N. Khan is a seasoned trial and appellate litigator. She has served as counsel in thirty-five U.S. Supreme Court cases, more than one hundred federal appellate proceedings, scores of federal district court cases, and dozens of state trial and appellate matters.

Prior to coming to Potomac Law, she was a Deputy Chief with the Appellate Section of the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice, where she represented the United States in appellate litigation before the federal courts of appeals and the Supreme Court of the United States. Before that, she was the Legal Director of a national advocacy organization, overseeing a team of attorneys in a nationwide trial and appellate litigation practice.

Ms. Khan represents both business clients and individuals before trial and appellate courts in a range of commercial and non-commercial disputes. Many of her federal-court cases have raised complex substantive and procedural questions involving the First Amendment, class-action practice, civil rights, and 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Her state-law practice has spanned constitutional, statutory, common-law, and tort-law questions, involving malicious prosecution, products liability, contracts, defamation, family law, and a wide array of other issues. In addition, she has litigated criminal cases involving, among other things, human trafficking, civil rights conspiracies, habeas corpus protections, and the federal sentencing guidelines.

Ms. Khan’s wide-ranging litigation background enables her to represent a broad spectrum of clients in cases of all kinds. She prides herself on approaching each engagement with a fresh and creative eye, providing clients with a frank assessment of the merits of disputes, and scaling each representation to fit a client’s needs.


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  • U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Appellate Section, Deputy Chief
  • Americans United for Separation of Church and State, Legal Director
  • American Civil Liberties Union, National Prison Project, Staff Counsel
  • Covington & Burling, Associate
  • D.C. Attorney General’s Office, Domestic Violence Unit (through Georgetown Women’s Law and Public Policy Fellowship Program), Legal Fellow


  • Mentor, Mentor/Mentee Program, Bar Association of Montgomery County, Maryland (2016-Present)
  • Sunday School Teacher & Member, Washington Ethical Society, Washington, DC (2015-18)
  • Volunteer, National Center for Children & Families (2015-16)
  • Volunteer, Bradley Hills Elementary School (2009-15)
  • Founder & Co-Leader, Insight Family Community of Greater Washington (2009-12)
  • Volunteer, Oyster Bilingual Elementary School (2006-09)


  • Maryland State Bar Association
  • Bar Association of Montgomery County, Maryland
  • Women’s Bar Association & Women’s Bar Association of Maryland
  • South Asian Bar Association-DC
  • National Asian Pacific American Bar Association & Asian Pacific Bar Association of Maryland


Speaking Engagements

  • Panelist, Civil Rights Symposium 2018, Pennsylvania Bar Institute, Philadelphia, PA, (Apr. 12, 2018)
  • Panelist, Constitutional and Appellate Law in the Solo/Small Firm Setting, Maryland State Bar Association Solo & Small Firm Conference, Linthicum Heights, MD (Nov. 10, 2017)
  • Speaker, Withrow Chair in Government, Deep Springs College, Deep Springs Valley, CA (Sept. 20-23, 2017)
  • Panelist, “U.S. Supreme Court Roundup,” State and Local Legal Center, Washington, DC (July 13, 2017)
  • Panelist, “Prayer, Prisons, and Public Fora: Flashpoints at the Intersection of Religion and Municipal Practice,” International Municipal Lawyers’ Association Annual Seminar, Washington, DC (Apr. 23, 2017)
  • Speaker, Civil Rights Division, Continuing Legal Education Brown Bag Series (Oct. 15, 2015)
  • At a Crossroads: The Intersection Between Religious Liberties and Nondiscrimination Principles, Presented to U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, Washington, DC (Mar. 22, 2013)
  • Panelist, Briefing on Christian Legal Society v. Martinez, American Constitution Society, Washington, DC (Apr. 7, 2010)
  • Panelist, Blazing a Career Path in Social Justice, Women’s Law & Public Policy Fellowship Program Seminar, Georgetown University Law Center, Washington, DC (Dec. 7, 2009)
  • Panelist, Briefing on Pleasant Grove City v. Summum, American Constitution Society, Washington, DC (Nov. 6, 2008)
  • Panelist, The Constitutionality of Vouchers, Boston College Law School, Boston, MA (Jan. 23, 2002)
  • Panelist, The First Amendment and the Public Schools, First Amendment Center, Washington, DC (Nov. 3, 2001)
  • Lecturer, Advanced Constitutional Law, Washington College of Law, American University, Washington, DC (Oct. 25, 2001)
  • Lecturer, Washington Semester Program, American University, Washington, DC (Mar. 23, 2000)


  • Does the Americans with Disabilities Act Apply to Company Websites, MdAppBlog (May 14, 2018)
  • The #MeToo Movement and Arbitration Clauses,” MdAppBlog (April 16, 2018)
  • The Butcher, the Baker, the Candlestick Maker: When Nondiscrimination Principles Collide with Religious Freedom, Maryland Bar Journal (July/Aug. 2017)
  • Damned if You Do, Damned if You Don’t: The Pitfalls and Pratfalls of Complying with the Establishment Clause, Municipal Lawyer (May/June 2017)
  • Hobby Lobby Symposium:  Your God Is Bigger Than My God, http://www.scotusblog.com/2014/06/hobby-lobby-symposium-your-god-is-bigger-than-my-god/ (June 2014)
  • Not Taking Yes for an Answer: Hobby Lobby, Conestoga Wood and the University of Notre Dame, http://www.jurist.org/hotline/2014/05/ayesha-khan-aca-contraception.php (May 2014)
  • At a Crossroads: The Intersection Between Religious Liberties and Nondiscrimination Principles, in Peaceful Coexistence? Reconciling Non-Discrimination Principles with Civil Liberties (U.S. Commission on Civil Rights ed., 2013)
  • Holy Headache: Is Bufferin’ an Adequate Prescription for the Rev. Phelps?, 2010 Cardozo L. Rev. De Novo 388 (2010) (with Michael Blank)

Media Appearances

Ms. Khan is often called upon by media outlets to provide commentary on legal issues relevant to her litigation practice and many of her cases have garnered extensive media coverage. She has appeared on numerous national and local news programs, including ABC World News Tonight, NBC Nightly News, MSNBC’s Hardball with Chris Mathews, Fox TV’s O’Reilly Factor, and CNN’s Prime News and The World Today. She has also been interviewed on dozens of national and local radio programs, including NPR’s Morning Edition and All Things Considered. In addition, she has been quoted in The Washington Post, The New York Times, Int’l Herald Tribune, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Chicago Tribune, and dozens of regional newspapers.


  • Berkeley Law, J.D.,
    Order of the Coif, 1989
    California Law Review, Berkeley Women’s Law Journal, Articles Editor
  • University of Michigan at Ann Arbor A.B., Highest Distinction, James B. Angell Scholar, 1984


United States District Court for the Northern District of California, The Honorable Charles A. Legge, 1989-1990


District of Columbia


U.S. Supreme Court

U.S. Court of Appeals for the 1st Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit

U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia

U.S. District Court for District of Maryland

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan

District of Columbia Court of Special Appeals

Maryland Supreme Court

Maryland Court of Special Appeals