A few days before the end of her tenure, Sally Yates, the acting U.S. attorney general, was fired by President Donald Trump for refusing to defend the Republican’s executive order blocking refugees, deeming it unlawful.
In some industries, such a high profile swan song would turn anyone into a toxic commodity. But in the legal world, the actions of the seasoned federal prosecutor haven’t changed her job prospects very much. They remain very good, and in some quarters, maybe a bit better.
Given her role at the top of the Justice Department, Yates, 56, would have had her pick of law firms, in house counsel, teaching, or non-profit jobs regardless. While some law firms may shy away from hiring her for fear of offending Trump, more are likely to be ambivalent about the dramatic finale, or view it as a badge of honor.
“She has an excellent reputation and I continue to believe that people will be very interested in her,” said Jeffrey A. Lowe, a partner in the Washington office of legal recruiting firm Major, Lindsey & Africa. “People recognize that these are somewhat unusual times. She has such a tremendous track record people will focus on that.” Lowe works with high profile clients (Yates would certainly qualify) who leave government jobs. Often those people tend to see their compensation skyrocket in the private sector, both because of their experience as litigators and their relationships.