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18 Legal Celebrities At The White House State Dinner

Bradley Cooper: a very handsome man, but sadly not a lawyer.

Seemingly random small-firm lawyers from Alabama weren’t the only legal types in attendance at the White House State Dinner on Tuesday evening. Indeed, as we’ve previously noted, numerous legal celebrities attended the festivities as well.

Sure, there were some “celebrity celebrities” at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue that night. The guest list included such boldface names as J.J. Abrams, Stephen Colbert, Bradley Cooper, Mindy Kaling, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus.

But who cares about Hollywood? Above the Law readers are more interested in the government lawyers, federal judges, Biglaw partners and law professors who attended this major social event….

Here’s a list, in alphabetical order, of 18 high-profile lawyers or law school graduates who attended this week’s White House State Dinner in honor of President François Hollande of France. I compiled it through a (cursory) skim of the full guest list. Feel free to note additional names in the comments.

1. The Honorable Stacey Abrams

This up-and-coming politician is the House Minority Leader for the Georgia General Assembly, State Representative for the 89th District of Georgia, and a successful romance novelist, writing under the pen name of Selena Montgomery. (Disclosure: she’s also a lovely person and my law school classmate.)

2. Mr. Peter G. Angelos, Baltimore, MD

The super-rich Angelos is a prominent trial lawyer, majority owner of the Baltimore Orioles, and leading donor to his alma mater, the University of Baltimore School of Law (aka Lego Law School).

3. The Honorable Joseph Biden, Jr., Vice President of the United States

The veep is a graduate of Syracuse Law and used to teach at Widener Law.

4. Mr. Michael Gottlieb

The former White House lawyer and SCOTUS clerk (Stevens) is now a Boies Schiller partner (where he was recently joined by an ex-White House colleague, Karen Dunn).

The White House (in warmer weather). Photo by yours truly.

5. The Honorable Danielle Gray, Assistant to the President and Cabinet Secretary

Voted “most likely to be a Supreme Court justice” by her classmates at Harvard Law, the former SCOTUS clerk (Breyer) has been described as “the most powerful [White House] staffer you’ve never heard of.” Well, now you’ve heard of her!

6. The Honorable Eric Holder, Jr., United States Attorney General

The controversial Columbia Law grad is still the nation’s top law enforcement officer (despite predictions by many Beltway insiders that he would have been gone by now). He may be useful as a lightning rod for the president.

7. The Honorable Jeh Johnson, Secretary of Homeland Security

The DHS Secretary is also a Columbia Law grad, as well as a former Paul Weiss partner. If you haven’t already read my profile of Jeh Johnson, back when he was general counsel of the Defense Department, check it out.

Who else attended? A Supreme Court justice, and two leading litigatrices….

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