Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.

When it’s not being dominated by gossips, Washington is dominated by lawyers. The Congress, the lobbyists, the permanent governments in alternating exile that line K street are all filled with overacheivers who have bar admission certificates gathering dust in their attics. But strangely, that outsize influence stops at the gates to the White House. Yes, presidents in the modern era seem surrounded by phalanxes of counsel who guard their boss with a vigilance matched only by the Secret Service. But the chief executives themselves are lawyers less and less. America sent 18 attorneys to the White House in the nineteenth century. In the twentieth, by contrast, only seven served: the Roosevelts, Calvin Coolidge, William Howard Taft, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, and, Bill Clinton.

Curious, then, that voters elected such an obvious pettifogger eight years ago. True, Clinton was always more politico than lawyer — his only significant legal practice having occurred when he spent his late twenties, fresh from Yale Law School, as Arkansas’s attorney general. And he wouldn’t have prevailed without the corroborating testimony of his wife, the First Character Witness. Maybe it’s no accident (despite the spelling difference) that the patron saint of lawyers is Hilary.

This content has been archived. It is available through our partners, LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law.

To view this content, please continue to their sites.

Not a Lexis Advance® Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Not a Bloomberg Law Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Why am I seeing this?

LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law are third party online distributors of the broad collection of current and archived versions of ALM's legal news publications. LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law customers are able to access and use ALM's content, including content from the National Law Journal, The American Lawyer, Legaltech News, The New York Law Journal, and Corporate Counsel, as well as other sources of legal information.

For questions call 1-877-256-2472 or contact us at [email protected]

Reprints & Licensing
Mentioned in a Law.com story?

License our industry-leading legal content to extend your thought leadership and build your brand.


ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2021 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.