Rex W. Manning


If you asked Rex Manning for words to lawyer by, he’d tell you the last thing the world needs is another boring, bloated legal brief. Vigorous writing is concise. Word limits are ceilings of last resort, not targets. So every word must tell—both efficiently and memorably.

Rex learned the power of good writing from experience. He spent two years clerking for the Honorable Richard Allen Griffin on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. Before that, he spent a year clerking for the Honorable Terrence G. Berg on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. As a law clerk, he encountered all levels of writing. And sure enough, it was the best writing that most often accompanied the best arguments.

When Rex writes, then, his goal is to pen something anyone could understand. He learned that objective from the Honorable Raymond Kethledge, under whose tutelage in law school he rebuilt his writing from the ground up.

Writing might be Rex’s strongest suit, but it isn’t his only one. He’s a seasoned oral advocate, too. In law school, for example, Rex presented over 40 judged oral arguments—including one in the Sixth Circuit. In college, Rex and his teammates took Michigan State University’s mock-trial team to its first and only National Championship Tournament. And in high school, Rex was an undefeated league champion in both policy debate and mock trial, as well as a state finalist in impromptu speaking.

Before Rex was a law clerk, he was a litigation associate in Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati’s Palo Alto office, where he created a pro bono partnership with the University of Michigan Law School’s Federal Appellate Litigation Clinic. As part of that partnership, Rex co-authored a petition for rehearing en banc in the Sixth Circuit and a petition for certiorari in the U.S. Supreme Court.

And before beginning his legal career, Rex earned his J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School and his B.A. from Michigan State University, where he graduated in three years. (He roots for Sparty, by the way.)  

Bar Admissions

  • Admitted only in California
  • Not yet admitted in Texas; practice supervised by a member of the Bar of Texas

Court Admissions

Eastern District of Texas
Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals
Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
Northern District of California

Michigan State University
B.A., with Honors, Political Theory Constitutional Democracy, 2012
Phi Beta Kappa

University of Michigan Law School
J.D., cum laude, 2015
Articles Editor, Michigan Telecommunications and Technology Law Review
Student Attorney, Federal Appellate Litigation Clinic

Law Clerk to the Hon. Terrence G. Berg
United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, 2016-2017

Law Clerk to the Hon. Richard A. Griffin
United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, 2017-2019

Associate Attorney
Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, 2015-2016

Associate Attorney
Smyser Kaplan & Veselka, L.L.P., 2019 - Present