Hillary Byrnes | counsel

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Hillary Byrnes has extensive experience in advocating for the rights of religious institutions and their adherents to practice their faith in the public square.

Ms. Byrnes previously served as Director of Religious Liberty and Associate General Counsel for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in Washington, D.C. for almost eight years. As Director of the USCCB’s Committee for Religious Liberty, Ms. Byrnes focused on the growing concerns over the erosion of freedom of religion and legal issues affecting Catholic education in the United States. Ms. Byrnes’ work included drafting federal regulatory comments and amicus briefs, including before the United States Supreme Court. Ms. Byrnes has discussed religious liberty topics in speeches, on radio and television, and in print media.

Prior to her work at the USCCB, Ms. Byrnes practiced in the area of Antitrust and Competition law at the global law firm of Hunton & Williams LLP (now Hunton Andrews Kurth) from 2008 to 2012. Before that, she served as a Trial Attorney at the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division’s Voting Section from 2006 to 2008, entering the DOJ via its prestigious Honors Program for recent law school graduates.

Ms. Byrnes currently serves on the board of directors of the Catholic Bar Association, an organization that seeks to build community, nationally and internationally, among Catholic members of the legal profession. Ms. Byrnes is also a Blackstone Fellow with the Alliance Defending Freedom.

Ms. Byrnes graduated cum laude from Notre Dame Law School, where she was an Article Editor of the Notre Dame Journal of Law, Ethics & Public Policy. Ms. Byrnes also served on Notre Dame Law School’s Jessup International Law Moot Court Team, which competed in Aberdeen, Scotland. Before law school, Ms. Byrnes graduated magna cum laude from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service.


  • Georgetown University, B.S. 2002
  • Notre Dame Law School, J.D. 2006

Bar Admissions

  • United States Supreme Court
  • New York State
  • District of Columbia



  • English, proficient in Spanish