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Draft Report: Rod Rosenstein, Law Firm Recruit?

Ryan Lovelace LAW.COM

While the timing of U.S. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s exit from the Justice Department remains unclear, one thing is certain: he’ll have plenty of job prospects when he leaves.

Rosenstein hasn’t worked in private practice for more than 30 years. In 1987 he was a summer associate at President Richard Nixon’s now-defunct former law firm, Mudge Rose Guthrie Alexander & Ferdon, and he spent the following summer at Philadelphia’s Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis. He hasn’t given any indication that he plans to give Big Law another go, but history suggests he wouldn’t have trouble finding a home at any number of firms—not to mention companies or universities.

With Senate Judiciary Committee hearings on U.S. Attorney General nominee William Barr planned for next week, Rosenstein is now expected to exit his post whenever Barr takes up his, assuming he is confirmed.

The cascading political dramas of the Trump administration have given Rosenstein a unique resume. But as a high-profile, high-level DOJ vet with lots of experience and connections but no book of business, he’s got plenty in common with past law firm hires.

Jeffrey Lowe, Major, Lindsey & Africa’s managing partner in D.C., said Rosenstein could also be a good match for an in-house role, noting that not having pressure to find clients and bill hours could prove attractive to a career public servant. Rachel Brand, the former third-in-command at Main Justice, left the department last February to become head of corporate governance at Walmart.

“We typically see people pursuing multiple paths when they’re looking to leave,” Lowe said. He added that Rosenstein could be a good fit to enter academia.

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