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Paul McNulty spent his last week as deputy attorney general saying goodbye to a 22-year career in public service and dreading the prospect of cleaning out his desk. The former deputy is stepping into the private sector, having signed on as a partner in Baker & McKenzie’s Washington office. The move is a bit out of step with recent history. His recent predecessors — Larry Thompson and James Comey — opted for plush in-house gigs at PepsiCo and Lockheed Martin, respectively. But that was before the U.S. attorney scandal, which left few higher-ups at Main Justice untainted. McNulty included. No sooner did McNulty announce his exit earlier this year than his boss, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, seemed to single him out as responsible for misleading Congress. Baker & McKenzie says it’s not a problem. “We believe he has honestly and forthrightly dealt with the issues put to him,” says Nicholas Coward, a member of Baker’s executive committee. “For us this is a very exciting prospect, and we greatly look forward to his joining our practice.” McNulty, the former U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia and a longtime House committee counsel, will be working with domestic and international corporations, helping them with compliance, investigations, and policy strategies. “When we think about how business and government intersect, it seems to me a two-way street,” says McNulty, mentioning ever-changing government regulations and diverse business goals. And he will have a hand in shaping the firm, building the business and litigation practice in the D.C. office. “The position that the firm laid out for me had a leadership feel to it, which was very important to me,” he says, “because the thing I’ve enjoyed the most in my public service days has been the leadership aspects.”
Attila Berry can be contacted at [email protected].

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