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Rachel Brand, the former head of the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Policy who shepherded Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. and Justice Samuel Alito Jr. through the confirmation process, has joined the public policy and strategy practice at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr. The firm also announced the arrival this week of Mark Nelson, a former deputy chief counsel to the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. A graduate of Harvard Law School, Brand resigned from the Justice Department last July, less than a month before giving birth to her first child. “I was looking to move on,” she says. She joined the department in 2003 and was appointed head of the OLP in 2005. Brand’s name surfaced last spring in e-mails released to Congress in connection with its investigation into the U.S. attorney firings. They showed that D. Kyle Sampson, then chief of staff to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, had recommended Brand to replace fired U.S. Attorney Margaret Chiara in the Western District of Michigan. Brand declined the offer. Nelson was an associate at McKee Nelson and Swidler Berlin (now Bingham McCutchen) for five years before taking a job in the Senate. As deputy chief counsel, he led investigations into tax shelters, money laundering, stock options backdating, and derivatives and future trading.
Joe Palazzolo can be contacted at [email protected].

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