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Quick! Send Your Resume to the White House!

Vivia Chen

March 13, 2017

720px-US-WhiteHouse-Logo.svgI am truly sorry that so much of the news revolves around Donald Trump. Sadly, that's what keeps popping up. I'll try to make it brief and amusing. So here's some dishy news and gossip.

Lawyers are flooding the White House. During the election, I could barely find one Big Law supporter for Trump. Now they're coming out of the woodwork . On March 7, the White House announced 26 new hires for its legal team. Above the Law's David Lat counted 19 Big Law alums, including 8 partners. How exciting is that?

And get this, four lawyers are dedicated to working on ethics issues, including Stefan Passantino, a former Dentons partner, who's been designed "special ethics counselor." As the AP aptly notes, "Trump, a billionaire who continues to profit from his global business empire, and his Cabinet, which includes an unprecedented number of wealthy business leaders, pose a bounty of ethics questions."

That "bounty" might mean the White House will be hiring more lawyers. Think of all the juicy legal matters you can work on: ethics probes, investigation into the administration's ties to Russia, Trump's allegation that Obama wiretapped him and more. Every time Trump's tweets, there's potential work for more work for lawyers!

Maybe being White House counsel is kinda sucky. As you know, I've been pretty hard on White House counsel Don MGahn for what he seems to be not doing—like telling Donald Trump and his troops that ethical breaches are not cool.

But maybe McGahn and Trump aren't always two peas in a pod. There are hints that Trump isn't always happy with McGahn. New York Times reports that Trump was furious that attorney general Jeff Sessions recused himself from investigating his campaign's communication with the Russians, "singling out the White House counsel's office and the communications staff in a tirade visible through the window to a nearby television camera."

Meet the lawyer running Ivanka's company. Daddy isn't the only one dependent on legal minds. After disassociating herself from her business to dedicate herself to making America great (again), Ivanka Trump  anointed  Abigail Klem to be president of her fashion company. A graduate of UC-Hastings Law School and Indiana University, Klem is also a former Skadden Arps associate (she worked there from 1995 to 1996).

So what else do we know about Klem? According to fashion news site Refinery29, she "looks like Ivanka Trump (with a splash of Melania, too)." A perfect match except for little glitch: Klem's a Democrat who supports Planned Parenthood.

Susman Godfrey partner writes about Trump, the anti-role model. Even in redder than red Texas, Susman Godfrey partner Shawn Raymond isn't keeping his Trump frustrations under wraps. He wrote an op-ed for the Houston Chronicle about the challenges of explaining Trump's behavior to his young sons. Bottom line: "It's embarrassing that I have to use the president of the United States as the example of how not to behave." Worth a read for any parent in the Trump era.

My kind of man. I like a man who's not afraid to say no. During the beauty contest for solicitor general, Miguel Estrada stood out for not mincing his words. He told National Law Journals's Tony Mauro: “I would never accept a job that requires Senate confirmation or, for that matter, willingly place myself in any situation (e.g., a hearing room) in which convention requires that I be civil to Chuck Schumer."

Sure enough, he wasn't offered the job. Trump ended up nominating acting Solicitor General Noel Francisco—another former Jones Day partner.




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About The Careerist

The Careerist takes an inside look at how lawyers shape their careers and manage their lives. The blog aims to dissect developments in the profession, provide useful information and advice, and give lawyers a platform to voice their views. The goal is to provide a fresh, provocative take on the state of lawyering.

About Vivia Chen

Vivia Chen

Vivia Chen, The Careerist's chief blogger, has been covering the business and culture of law firms for a decade. A former corporate lawyer, Chen is fascinated by those who thrive (as well as those who don't) in the legal profession. Her take: Success in the law (and life) doesn't always travel a linear path. If you have topics you'd like to discuss or information to share, contact her: VChen@alm.com

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