Law Professors From Across The Land Serving In Obama Administration

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President Obama was accused of elitism during the campaign, and his Columbia undergrad, Harvard Law-ness is unmistakably Ivy.  And, inevitably, a change of administrations means a lot of new hires, with law school faculties serving as an enviable hiring pool. 

Georgetown Law professor Nan Hunter compiled a list of the 37 law professors that “are working or will soon be working” in the Obama administration.  The professors come from a perhaps surpisingly long and diverse list of schools:

  • Georgetown Law:  Apparently proximity to government buildings pays off.  Eight Georgetown professors joined the administration, including lofty positions such as member of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors (Dan Tarullo) and Principal Deputy Solicitor General.
  • Harvard:  Obama’s law school, where he served as President of the Law Review (just for fun, the 1990 NYT announcement), has five professors serving in the new government, including as the Solicitor General (Elena Kagan), Deputy White House Counsel (Dan Meltzer) and the head of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (Cass Sunstein).  Harvard gets a plus-one for the Director of Policy Planning at the State Department (Anne-Marie Slaughter, currently at Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public Affairs, but formerly of HLS).
  • Michigan:  The law school in Ann Arbor is can brag about three professors, including a Deputy Assistant AG for civil rights (Sam Bagenstos) and someone who we feel like is busy these days, an Assistant Secretary of Treasury for Financial Institutions (Michael Bar).
  • Colorado:  Two professors left Boulder for D.C., one to become the Principal Deputy General Counsel at HUD (Nestor Davidson).
  • Columbia:  The president (or his people) tapped two people from his undergraduate alma mater’s law school.  One, Hunter says, has reportedly moved from the White House Counsel’s office to the Office of Legal Counsel (Trevor Morrison) and another advises State Department on international law issues (one of our former law profs, Sarah Cleveland).
  • New York Law School:  NYLS is the last on the list can claim two professors.  They contriubted a Deputy Secretary of labour (Seth Harris) and a U.S. Deputy Chief Technology Office for Open Government (Beth Noveck).

Sixteen other schools are each contriubting one of their brilliant minds to Obama’s cause. (We highlighted the more prominent positions, but Prof. Golden has the full list of titles.)

  • BYU
  • Colorado
  • Duke
  • Fordham
  • George Washington
  • Georgia State
  • Indiana – Assistant AG and head of Office of Lgal Counsel (confirmation pending)
  • Maryland
  • Ohio State
  • Penn
  • Pepperdine
  • Rutgers-Camden
  • Stanford
  • Texas – Director of new SEC unit, the Division of Risk, Strategy, and Financial Innovation
  • Virginia
  • Yale – Counsel to Secretary of State

If we missed anyone from your school, let us know!  A hat tip to Brian Leiter’s Law School Reports, which also links to the list. 

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