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(L-r) John C. O’Quinn, partner at Kirkland & Ellis; David W. Ogden, partner at WilmerHale; Theodore Cooperstein, general counsel to the Office of Personnel Management; Stuart F. Delery, partner at Gibson Dunn; and G. Roger King, senior labor and employment counsel at the HR Policy Association, spoke Tuesday on a Federalist Society panel about the role and responsibility of government employees. Photo: Diego M. Radzinschi/ALM

Any change in a presidential administration puts pressure on career government employees to support new political bosses and policy directives that may not align with personal beliefs and prior practices, teeing up questions about whether to quit or fall in line.

“I think it’s a very difficult time to be a government lawyer—put aside your political beliefs and how you feel about this administration. Lot of challenges,” said G. Roger King, senior labor and employment counsel at the HR Policy Association. On Capitol Hill, he said, where he was a lawyer in the U.S. Senate, “it’s somewhat like ‘Game of Thrones’—you figure out what’s going on and you have a duty of loyalty to whoever you’re working for.”

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