Solicitor general

legal position in common law countries
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A solicitor general is a specific job in common law places. Solicitors general in different countries may have different jobs or powers. Usually, the solicitor general is the government's lawyer.[1]

In the United States, the solicitor general is the government's lawyer in Supreme Court cases. Congress created the job in the 1870s. About two thirds of the cases in the Supreme Court involve the government. The solicitor general does not always argue them personally. He or she can send an assistant or other government lawyer to do it.[2] When the government loses a case in the lower court, the solicitor general decides whether or not to appeal it and make it a Supreme Court case.[3]

In Australia, the solicitor general also acts as the government's lawyer and represents the country in international cases.[4]


  1. "Solicitor General". Cornell University Legal Information Institute. Retrieved July 9, 2020.
  2. Stephen Wermiel (May 2, 2012). "SCOTUS for law students: What does the Solicitor General do? (sponsored by Bloomberg Law)". Bloomberg Law: SCOTUS for Law Students. Retrieved July 8, 2020.
  3. "Office of the Solicitor General: About the Office". United States Department of Justice. Archived from the original on June 16, 2020. Retrieved July 8, 2020.
  4. "Solicitor-General". Australian Government Directory. Archived from the original on July 12, 2020. Retrieved July 10, 2020.