Michael Y. Scudder, Jr. concentrates in commercial litigation and white collar crime, focusing on accounting and tax-related matters. Mr. Scudder leads Skadden’s accounting practice, which provides integrated litigation, regulatory and transactional legal services to major accounting firms.


Before joining the firm in 2009, Mr. Scudder served in the White House as general counsel of the National Security Council under President George W. Bush from 2007-2009. Prior to that senior role, he provided legal advice on national security matters at the U.S. Department of Justice.

From 2002 to 2006, Mr. Scudder was an assistant U.S. attorney in the Southern District of New York, where he tried numerous cases and argued appeals in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. He served as a clerk for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony M. Kennedy and for Judge Paul V. Niemeyer of the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. Prior to law school, Mr. Scudder worked in public accounting at Ernst & Young. He is a registered CPA in Illinois.

Representative matters in which Mr. Scudder has been involved in at Skadden include:

  • numerous corporations, or their board of directors or executive officers, in internal investigations and government investigations before the SEC, Department of Justice and state attorneys general;
  • numerous accounting firms and individual accountants in connection with accountant’s liability, independence and tax matters, and related litigation and regulatory investigations by the SEC, PCAOB, Department of Justice, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and Internal Revenue Service;
  • the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in a range of matters arising out of past academic irregularities and in litigation relating to the constitutionality of the university’s undergraduate admissions practices; and
  • the former chief executive officer of Chicago Public Schools in a federal criminal prosecution for fraud in connection with consulting contracts.

The BTI Consulting Group included Mr. Scudder in its 2013 BTI Client Service All-Stars report for providing outstanding client service. In January 2010, Chicago Lawyer magazine featured Mr. Scudder in a profile titled “A Midwestern Man with National Experience.” In 2016, Mr. Scudder co-authored an article with Gregory Craig on presidential transitions, which was published by Law360, and, subsequently, Mr. Scudder was featured on the news show “Chicago Tonight,” discussing presidential transitions. He also serves as a lecturer of law with Patrick Fitzgerald at the University of Chicago Law School on the subject of national security and criminal law, and as an adjunct professor in trial advocacy at the Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law.

Mr. Scudder actively participates in various pro bono activities, including participating in two jury trials and mentoring associates on their pro bono matters. In 2014, Mr. Scudder was recognized at the U.S. District Court’s 15th Annual Awards for Excellence in Pro Bono and Public Interest Service for his contributions in helping people in need of assistance before the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

Additionally, Mr. Scudder serves on multiple community boards and is involved in various community activities. In 2015, he was selected by Leadership Greater Chicago to its Fellows Program. He also was named to the Chicago Council on Global Affairs Emerging Leaders Class of 2010.



  • J.D., Northwestern University School of Law, 1998 (editor-in-chief, Law Review)
  • B.B.A., St. Joseph's College, 1993


  • Illinois
  • U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Second, Sixth and Seventh Circuits
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • Ohio


  • Registered Certified Public Accountant (Illinois)


  • Law Clerk, Anthony M. Kennedy, U.S. Supreme Court
  • Law Clerk, Hon. Paul V. Niemeyer, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • Lecturer in Law, University of Chicago Law School, 2013-present
  • Adjunct Professor of Law, Northwestern University School of Law – Trial Advocacy, 2009-present
  • Auditor, Ernst & Young LLP

Michael Y. Scudder

Partner, Litigation; Accounting; Government Enforcement and White Collar Crime