The DOJ OLC College of Law [updated 10/9]

by Christopher J. Walker — Friday, Oct. 9, 2015@chris_j_walker

On the administrative law professor email listserv, my colleague Peter Shane sparked an intriguing discussion about the impact of the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) on administrative law scholarship and the legal academy more generally. With permission, I’m reprinting a (slightly edited) version of his initial email to the listserv:

I recently received a note from a friend on the bench remarking what a great time we live in for separation of powers scholars. I have wondered about the impact of OLC in this regard. Starting in the mid-1970s, when OLC was led by John Harmon and Larry Hammond, the office shifted its recruitment from excellent government careerists to young lawyers, many right off clerkships, who hoped to start their careers in government and then move to the academy. Since then, a number of AAG’s in charge of OLC and their deputies have been recruited in recent decades from academia. Of course, OLC had law professor alums prior to the Carter Administration—Justice Scalia comes to mind. But reflecting on my friend’s note, I realized that, pretty much off the top of my head, I could name over two dozen fellow academics (a couple now on the bench) who had spent time at OLC.

Professor Shane then went on to provide an initial list, to which others added names. I’ve reproduced below that working list of 69 70 [updated 10/13] OLC alums who have since spent time as law professors. (Please drop me a line if we’re still missing anyone, and I’ll update the list.)  

Is there another institution that has produced anywhere near as many law professors? Obviously, it’s not uncommon for Supreme Court clerks to end up as law professors, but that doesn’t strike me as an apples-to-apples comparison as clerkships are temporary gigs. OIRA also comes to mind, though to a much lesser degree.

It would be fascinating to see where the faculty of DOJ OLC College of Law ranks citations-wise among U.S. law schools.  It appears that at least ten of these OLC alums have also served as law school deans: Alex Aleinikoff (Georgetown); Hal Bruff (Colorado); Mike Fitts (Penn); Evan Caminker (Michigan); Harold Koh (Yale); Marc Miller (Arizona); Trevor Morrison (NYU); Peter Shane (Pitt); Bill Treanor (Fordham, Georgetown); and Judith Wegner (UNC). So the DOJ OLC College of Law would have plenty of leadership (perhaps too much). 

Alex Aleinikoff (Columbia)
Barbara Armacost (Virginia)
David Barron (Harvard; now First Circuit Judge)
Sara Sun Beale (Duke)
Randy Beck (Georgia)  
Patricia Bellia (Notre Dame)
Stuart Benjamin (Duke)
Rick Bierschbach (Cardozo) 
Michelle Boardman (George Mason)
Lisa Bressman (Vanderbilt)
Rebecca Brown (USC)
Hal Bruff (Colorado)
Jessica Bulman-Pozen (Columbia)
Jay Bybee (LSU/UNLV; now Ninth Circuit Judge)
Evan Caminker (Michigan)
Brad Clark (George Washington)
Jennifer Collins (SMU)
Robert Delahunty (St. Thomas)
Jacques deLisle (Penn)        
Walter Dellinger (Duke)
John Duffy (Virginia)
Michael Fitts (Tulane)
Miles Foy (Wake Forest)      
Bill Funk (Lewis and Clark)
Jack Goldsmith (Harvard)
Daniel Halberstam (Michigan)
Pam Harris (Penn; now Fourth Circuit Judge)
John Harrison (Virginia) 
Clare Huntington (Fordham)
Vicki Jackson (Harvard)
Dawn Johnsen (Indiana—Maurer)
Neil Kinkopf (George State)
Harold Koh (Yale)
Joan Larsen (Michigan; now Michigan Supreme Court)
Gary Lawson (Boston University
Marty Lederman (Georgetown)
Gia Lee (UCLA)
Robin Lenhardt (Fordham)
Renee Lettow Lerner (George Washington)
Nelson Lund (George Mason)
John Manning (Harvard)
John McGinnis (Northwestern)
Geoffrey Parsons Miller (NYU)
Marc Miller (Arizona)        
Jonathan Mitchell (George Mason, visiting UT-Austin; former Texas SG) 
Trevor Morrison (NYU)
Mark Movsesian (St. John’s)
Richard Nagareda (Vanderbilt, now deceased) 
John Nagle (Notre Dame)
Beth Nolan (George Washington General Counsel)
Mike Paulsen (St. Thomas)
Todd Peterson (George Washington)
Nina Pillard (Georgetown, now D.C. Circuit Judge)
Eric Posner (Chicago)
Jeff Powell (Duke)
Zach Price (Hastings)
Mike Rappaport (San Diego)
Russell Robinson (UC Berkeley)
Cristina Rodriguez (Yale)
Nick Rosenkranz (Georgetown)
Tom Sargentich (American, now deceased)
Chris Schroeder (Duke)
Peter Shane (Ohio State)
David Strauss (Chicago)
Cass Sunstein (Harvard)
William Michael Treanor (Georgetown)
Emily Uhrig (McGeorge)
Judith Wegner (North Carolina)    
Jay Wexler (Boston University)
John Yoo (UC Berkeley)

Thanks to my research assistant Brooks Boron for helping to put together this post. The first version of this post was published on September 24, 2015. 

@chris_j_walker 

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About Christopher J. Walker

Christopher Walker is a law professor at The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law. Prior to joining the law faculty, Professor Walker clerked for Justice Anthony Kennedy of the U.S. Supreme Court and worked on the Civil Appellate Staff at the U.S. Department of Justice. His publications have appeared in the California Law Review, Michigan Law Review, Stanford Law Review, and University of Pennsylvania Law Review, among others. Outside the law school, he serves as one of forty Public Members of the Administrative Conference of the United States and as Chair-Elect of the American Bar Association’s Section on Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice. He blogs regularly at the Yale Journal on Regulation.

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