Prior to his appointment as Independent Counsel, Starr had been a federal judge on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals and United States Solicitor General, under President George H.W. Bush. According to many, he was a very likely nomination for the United States Supreme Court. As a judge, Starr was known for his pro-First Amendment rulings, particularly with regard to freedom of the press.
Starr is now a partner at Kirkland and Ellis, specializing in complex litigation. He is one of the lead attorneys in a class-action lawsuit against the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform act. In the case, Starr has argued that the law is an unconstitutional abridgement of free speech.