Barack Obama, Department of Justice, Elena Kagan, Federal Government, Intellectual Property, Kathleen Sullivan, Office of Legal Counsel, Politics, Securities and Exchange Commission, Solicitor General's Office

Legal Stars of the New Administration

New attorneys for the next administration.JPGNew lawyers to lead the nation are sending in their résumés. Already, UC Berkeley School of Law Dean Christopher Edley has received a choice position as part of Obama’s transition advisory board. (I wonder if he’s accepting resumes from his students?)

Here’s an interesting choice for Edley and the rest of the transition team that will be picking the next Solicitor General. According to the Legal Times:

No woman has ever served as solicitor general, but a number have been mentioned as candidates for the job in an Obama administration. Stanford Law School professors Kathleen Sullivan and Pamela Karlan and Harvard Law School Dean Elena Kagan are possibilities, as well as Morrison & Foerster partner Beth Brinkmann and MetLife litigation counsel Teresa Wynn Roseborough.

They could also be considered to lead of the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, which produces legal opinions on complex matters for the attorney general and the president. Lawyers who have held both positions have gone on to become Supreme Court justices. Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes and Justices Stanley Reed and Thurgood Marshall were solicitors general. The late Chief Justice William Rehnquist and current Justice Antonin Scalia once headed the Office of Legal Counsel. That experience could come in handy should one or more Supreme Court justices step down in the next four years.

Speculation has also centered on prominent African-American attorneys who may be ready to step forward:

Valerie Jarrett (Stanford, Michigan Law): Jarrett is a longtime Obama adviser, who’s now one of three people heading his transition team. She told the WSJ that blacks won’t be pigeonholed into “historically conventional” roles, such as secretary of housing and urban development or assistant attorney general for civil rights.

Other high profile positions after the jump.

As we’ve seen throughout this market collapse, intellectual property lawyers are always in demand:

Intellectual property lawyers are keeping a close eye on Obama’s choice to head the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. One name has already surfaced, former Clinton PTO chief and undersecretary of commerce for intellectual property Q. Todd Dickinson, now head of the American Intellectual Property Law Association. Dickinson, a self-described “enthusiastic” Obama supporter, won’t comment on whether he would consider going back into the PTO, and would only say, “I enjoyed my time there, I think it was very successful.”

Another IP slot will be closely watched. The Intellectual Property Rights Act of 2008 created an intellectual property coordinator, which is a politically appointed, White House-level position charged with overseeing and coordinating the law enforcement efforts of the U.S. trade representative, the Department of Homeland Security, the State Department, and the Justice Department when it comes to piracy and IP infringement matters.

And, while many media members are focused on the new Treasury Overlord, the new SEC chief will have a lot of power too:

SEC logo.JPGThe economic tumult and problems on Wall Street are calling for a high-profile name to lead the Securities and Exchange Commission. Names such as John Olson at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine, former acting chairwoman of the SEC Mary Schapiro, and MFS Investment Management chairman Robert Pozen have all been mentioned by D.C. corporate securities lawyers as possible Obama administration SEC chairmen.

But the name that appears near the top of everyone’s list is Columbia Law School professor Harvey Goldschmid. A former SEC official says that selecting Goldschmid, an SEC commissioner from 2002 until 2005, might be a long shot considering he only donated $2,300 to Obama. The official says that big fundraisers with SEC and Wall Street experience are typically the ones to get tapped as SEC chairman. But others, including Arnold & Porter partner and former Commodity Futures Trading Commission general counsel Daniel Waldman, aren’t so sure that campaign money will hold back Goldschmid.

We’ll see which new attorneys get their hands on the levers of power.

An Early Line on Legal Slots in Obama Administration [Law.com]
Don’t you wish you had Edley’s ear? [Legal Pad]
Black Lawyers Ready to Rise Alongside Obama [WSJ Law Blog]

Earlier: Lawyers Poised To Rule The World

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