Michael Passaportis is Counsel in the Appellate and Critical Motions practice. Mr. Passaportis graduated at the top of his class from the University of Virginia School of Law. After graduation, he clerked for Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson III of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, then for Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist and Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Following his clerkships, Mr. Passaportis worked in the Supreme Court and Appellate Practice at Mayer Brown LLP in Washington DC. After private practice, he returned to the University of Virginia School of Law to serve as an assistant professor.

Prior to joining Potomac Law, Mr. Passaportis also conceived, opened, and operated a vegan bike-powered food cart. An avid hiker, Mr. Passaportis has completed the “Triple Crown” of hiking – the Appalachian Trail, the Pacific Crest Trail, and the Continental Divide Trail.

Mr. Passaportis grew up in Zimbabwe and has lived in Canada, England, Australia, and Costa Rica.

Representative Experience

  • United States v. Kaiser, Second Circuit, new trial in an appeal from a securities fraud conviction
  • In Re: Xe Services Alien Tort Litigation, Eastern District of Virginia, dismissal of counts in a case involving the Alien Tort Statute and related claims

Honors & Awards

  • Hardy Cross Dillard Scholar
  • Roger and Madeline Traynor Prize
  • John M. Olin Prize in Law and Economics
  • Jackson Walker Prize

Publications and Speeches

Pro Bono and Community Involvement

  • Hiked over 8,000 miles to raise money for a Zimbabwean charity catering to the elderly destitute

News, Events & Insights


University of Virginia School of Law, J.D., Order of the Coif

Harvard University, B.A.

  • Magna cum laude
  • Phi Beta Kappa

Previous Experience

  • University of Virginia School of Law, Assistant Professor
  • Mayer Brown LLP, Washington DC 
  • Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., Supreme Court of the United States, Clerk
  • Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, Supreme Court of the United States, Clerk
  • Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson III, Fourth Circuit of Appeals, Clerk


  • District of Columbia

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