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If there’s been a run on swallow-tailed morning coats at local tailors lately, it’s because a lot of new lawyers have signed up for a tour of duty at the U.S. Solicitor General’s Office. The turnover there�the largest in recent memory�is transforming the elite 15-lawyer shop. Six assistants, including several senior lawyers, have left in recent months or are about to leave, and six new faces are about to make debuts before the Supreme Court, with one or two more hires coming soon. Insiders say it’s more than the normal cycle of change at the SG’s office, supersized in part by the growing gap between government salaries and what these skilled veterans can make in private practice. The two long-timers leaving the biggest void in the office are Patricia Millett, who was snagged by Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, and Irv Gornstein, heading soon to O’Melveny & Myers. Millett has argued 25 cases before the high court over the past 11 years, more than any other woman alive, and Gornstein has a prized institutional memory on a broad range of issues. Also leaving or already gone: Jonathan Marcus to Covington & Burling, Sri Srinivasan to O’Melveny, Dan Himmelfarb to Mayer Brown, and David Salmons. Solicitor General Paul Clement�who is staying behind�says, “We’re sorry to see them go, but we’ve had a great talent pool of people applying.” The newcomers so far: Leondra Kruger, from the University of Chicago Law School; Curtis Gannon, from Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher; Nicole Saharsky, from O’Melveny; Anthony Yang, from the Justice Department’s Civil Division; Toby Heytens, from the University of Virginia Law School; and Eric Miller, from the Federal Communications Commission. Heytens makes his high court debut Nov. 6.
Tony Mauro can be contacted at [email protected].

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