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Law Firm to the Cabinet Stars

Newspapers have been categorizing President Obama’s Cabinet and staff selections as Clintonites or Chicagoans. But there is one other connection that unites many.

• Hillary Rodham Clinton, Obama’s pick for secretary of State, is a longtime client of DC power law firm Williams & Connolly. It represented both Clinton and her husband during the Whitewater investigation and his impeachment and masterminded the record advances both Clintons have received for their books.

Williams & Connolly handled Larry Summers’s acrimonious departure as dean of Harvard Law School President of Harvard. Summers is now Obama’s chief on the National Economic Council.

Paul Volcker, Obama’s other top economic adviser, is also a W&C client.

• Gregory Craig, Obama’s White House counsel, handled the sensitive report on Obama’s contacts with Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich. Craig is a longtime partner at Williams & Connolly.

• Tom Daschle, Obama’s new Health and Human Services secretary, is a former W&C client; former wife Laurie Fulton is a partner at Williams & Connolly.

Williams & Connolly represented Eric Holder, Obama’s choice for attorney general, in connection with a controversial business deal.

• Elena Kagan, solicitor-general designee and a likely choice for the next vacancy on the Supreme Court, is a former lawyer at Williams & Connolly.

• Cynthia Hogan, chosen as legal adviser to Vice President Joseph Biden, is a former lawyer at Williams & Connolly.

• Sanjay Gupta, probably the next Surgeon General of the United States, has been represented in contract negotiations with CNN by lawyers from Williams & Connolly.

Obama himself is a Williams & Connolly client, as is the First Lady, Michelle Obama.

Williams & Connolly does not yet represent daughters Malia and Sasha, though when they decide to write their first book about growing up with a cute dog, want to guess who will broker the deal?

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This article first appeared in the February 2009 issue of The Washingtonian. For more articles from that issue, click here

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