February 2, 2009

Cornell Law School Alumnus and Professor Join New Administrations

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After the American citizenry ushered in a new reign of the Democratic Party in the recent elections, Cornell Law School graduates are taking on leadership roles in our nation’s policies.
President Barack Obama announced more members to the Office of the White House Counsel last Thursday. Among the newly appointed counsels, Alison J. Nathan ’94 will be an Associate Counsel to the President. Nathan received her bachelor’s degree and J.D. from Cornell. During her time at the Law School, Nathan served as editor-in-chief of the Cornell Law Review.
After working on voter protection and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender issues for both the Obama-Biden and Kerry-Edwards campaigns, Nathan now has the ability to continue her work in a different capacity. Upon her appointment, Nathan expressed great admiration for the new administration and an enthusiasm to begin her job.
“I’m incredibly honored and excited to serve in President Obama’s historic administration,” Nathan told the University. “I’m greatly looking forward to working for him and his White House Counsel, Greg Craig, who has assembled an exceptional team of bright, dedicated, and thoughtful lawyers.”
Along with Nathan, former Prof. Trevor Morrison, law, will serve on Obama’s White House Counsel as Associate Counsel to the President for National Security Affairs.
At the state level, Jeff Harris J.D. ’91 was just appointed Missouri’s state policy director by Governor-elect Jay Nixon. After serving three terms in the Missouri House of Representatives, Harris discussed how important his law school education has been in his career as a policy maker.
“In addition to training me to approach issues logically and rationally,” Harris told the University, “Cornell broadened my horizons and my perspective.”
While the Law School graduates have made great strides in the field of public policy, recent statistics show that the majority of Law School graduates have decided to use their legal expertise in the private sector. According to a poll of the Class of 2007 on the Law School’s website, out of 99 percent of graduates, 78 percent were following careers in private practice, 15 percent in judicial clerkship, 3 percent in government, 2 percent in public interest, and 2 percent in business.
— Sam Cross