Barack Obama, Eric Holder, Federal Government, Politics, White House Counsel

Musical Chairs: More Additions to the White House Legal Dream Team

White House small Washington DC Abovethelaw Above the Law legal tabloid.JPGYes We Can…. Hire lots and lots of Supreme Court clerks?

In prior posts (here and here), we reported on the impressive legal team that President Barack Obama has assembled to staff key positions in his administration. Like many of the Bush Administration lawyers they’re replacing, the Obama lawyers have impressive pedigrees: degrees from top law schools, often with honors and/or law review experience; impressive clerkships, including many SCOTUS clerkships; and stints at leading law firms (but with WilmerHale and Williams & Connolly replacing Gibson Dunn and Kirkland & Ellis as the feeder firms).

Several legal superstars are making big financial sacrifices to go into government service. They can expect low six-figure salaries as government lawyers, a far cry from the seven figures that some of them — not the law professors, but the Biglaw partners — earned in the private sector. As reported by Ken Vogel over at Politico:

Eric Holder, President Obama’s nominee for attorney general, will get a separation payment from his firm, Covington & Burling, of between $1 million and $5 million, plus a share of the firm’s profits from this year “based on work performed through date of separation,” and a repayment of between $500,000 and $1 million from the firm’s capital account…. [Holder] earned $3.3 million last year as partner.

Jeh Johnson, Obama’s nominee to be the Pentagon’s top lawyer, would get a severance of between $1 million and $5 million from Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton and Garrison, an international law firm. He’ll also get his $200,000 capital investment back from the firm, which paid him $2.6 million last year as a partner.

For more details — e.g., how much Eric Holder and Jeh Johnson’s retirement plans and pensions might be worth — see Politico.

In our earlier hiring round-ups, we missed a few names. Many tipsters came forward to fill in the blanks.

Learn about the latest legal eagles to land in the Obama nest, after the jump.

Many of the names below have been confirmed by the Obama White House. But if you see an error or omission, or if you have additional interesting info about Obama Administration lawyer hiring, please email us. Thanks.

Please note that we are not highlighting below any people whose hiring we reported last week. We’re only listing recruits that are new to the pages of ATL:

Office of the White House Counsel

Last week, we reported on the hirings of Cassandra Butts, Norm Eisen, and Dan Meltzer. We listed them all as Deputy White House Counsels, but we now bring you an update and a correction.

The update is that Dan Meltzer will serve as the first among equals, or the principal deputy (or, to be more precise, “Principal Deputy White House Counsel to the President and Deputy Assistant to the President”). The correction is that Norm Eisen’s title will be “Special Counsel to the President for Ethics and Government Reform.”

Deputy White House Counsel

  • Mary DeRosa: “The President has named Mary DeRosa to be Deputy Counsel to the President for National Security Affairs and Legal Adviser to the National Security Council. Ms. DeRosa most recently served as Chief Counsel for National Security to the Senate Judiciary Committee, working for the Chairman, Senator Patrick Leahy.”
  • Neal Wolin: “The President has named Neal Wolin to be Deputy Counsel to the President for Economic Policy and Deputy Assistant to the President. Mr. Wolin most recently served as the President and Chief Operating Officer for Property and Casualty operations of The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc.”

    Like many other Obama lawyers, Wolin is an alumnus of Yale Law School and WilmerHale.

    Associate White House Counsels

    The hires we reported last week — Roberto Gonzalez, Michael Gottlieb, Danielle Gray, Caroline Krass, Trevor Morrison, Alison Nathan, Susan Sher, and Christian Weideman — have all been confirmed by the White House.

    We missed a few names: Kendall Burman, Susan Davies, Karen Dunn, Virginia Canter, Jonathan Kravis, and Kate Shaw. They are all profiled over at TPM (or below, where we’ve reprinted the White House’s official press release).

    Deputy Associate White House Counsels

    Joining the WHC as deputy associate White House counsels are Ian Bassin, Rashad Hussain, Blake Roberts, and Jason Green. Read more about them at TPM (or in the press release posted on the next page).

    Congratulations and good luck to all!

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