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Whatever gap there has been between academia and the private bar, it is shrinking. The latest sign: Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld last week signed Harvard Law School professor and veteran appellate advocate Laurence Tribe as a consultant for the firm and its clients on constitutional and Supreme Court matters. Tribe, 65, says he’d gotten “serious feelers” from several firms, but decided on Akin in part because it’s the home of Supreme Court wunderkind Thomas Goldstein, whose career got an early boost from Tribe. Goldstein helped Tribe on the Bush v. Gore litigation in 2000. Tribe, who won’t say how much Akin Gump is paying him, used to fly solo in his private practice with the aid of former students, but the staff support a big firm can provide was a draw, he says. Two of Tribe’s former disciples have made similar moves: Stanford’s Kathleen Sullivan became of counsel at the Silicon Valley firm Quinn Emanuel last year, and last week, Georgetown’s Peter Rubin signed on as of counsel with O’Melveny & Myers. Completing the loop, O’Melveny is expected to announce soon it will help Harvard Law launch an appellate clinic.
Tony Mauro can be contacted at [email protected].

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