While some in Big Law line up for political posts in the incoming Trump administration, Ann O’Leary, a former senior policy adviser to Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, is going in the opposite direction.
O’Leary is leaving politics for Boies Schiller Flexner, which announced Wednesday her hire as a partner in Palo Alto, California, following her recent role as a senior policy adviser for Clinton’s unsuccessful 2016 presidential campaign and co-executive director of the Clinton-Kaine transition team.
For Boies Schiller clients, O’Leary will act as a bridge between Silicon Valley and Washington, D.C., her new firm said in a statement.
“Ann is an outstanding addition to our Palo Alto office, providing our clients in Silicon Valley and beyond the benefit of her extensive experience in regulatory, legal, and policy matters,” said Boies Schiller managing partner and co-founder Jonathan Schiller in prepared remarks.
Specifically, O’Leary said she plans to counsel companies, nonprofits and philanthropy clients by helping them navigate the “intersection of policy, law and politics.” She’ll also advise on high-profile disputes, investigations and regulatory and compliance issues, according to Boies Schiller.
“I am very excited to join the go-to team of incredibly innovative and talented litigators who are called on to solve the toughest problems at the most critical times, and who also dedicate their legal talents to fighting for social justice in our country,” said a statement by O’Leary.
At Boies Schiller, O’Leary will join other lawyers with past ties to the Clinton camp, including firm chairman David Boies, who famously represented President Bill Clinton’s former vice president, Al Gore, at the U.S. Supreme Court in 2000’s Bush v. Gore, a courtroom drama that eventually also played out on cable television.
Also among the firm’s partnership ranks are Washington, D.C.-based litigator Karen Dunn, who helped prepare Hillary Clinton for the past election season’s debates and once served as communications director and senior adviser for Clinton during her time in the U.S. Senate. Dunn was also identified, alongside O’Leary, as part of a short list of would-be White House staffers if Clinton had won the 2016 election. Dunn was reportedly under consideration for White House counsel, while O’Leary could have served on Clinton’s domestic policy council.
Another Boies Schiller partner in Palo Alto, Heather King—who recently re-joined the firm after a stint as general counsel of the beleaguered blood testing startup Theranos Inc.—also worked for Clinton when she was a U.S. senator, serving as a policy adviser and helping lead Clinton’s Senate campaigns.
Outside of O’Leary’s work for Clinton, the new Boies Schiller partner previously held positions as a senior economic policy fellow at the Center for American Progress, a progressive think-tank, and as a lecturer in social policy and health law at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law.
“Ann has served as trusted counsel to many influential leaders, who value her successful record of delivering practical and meaningful results,” said David Boies, the firm’s chairman, in a statement. “For clients confronting complex issues and problems, she brings needed perspective and seasoned judgment.”
O’Leary also serves on the board of multiple nonprofit and academic groups, including UC-Berkeley’s East Bay Community Law Center and The Opportunity Institute, a think-tank that she co-founded in 2016 alongside law professor and former Berkeley Law dean Christopher Edley Jr.
In November, Boies Schiller hired partner David Pressman, a former senior U.S. envoy to the United Nations, as a partner for its white-collar and complex international litigation and disputes group in New York.