Jones Day is well-known for recently sending more lawyers into the White House and the U.S. Department of Justice than any other law firm. On Thursday, the revolving door swung in the other direction for the firm, which announced that two leading lawyers in the Obama-era Justice Department are joining its Washington, D.C., office.
Benjamin Mizer, who ran the U.S. Justice Department’s Civil Division in President Barack Obama’s administration before leaving the office in January, will be a partner in Jones Day’s appeals practice.
Shirlethia Franklin, who served as deputy chief of staff and counselor in the Office of the U.S. Attorney General and was a principal adviser to then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch, will join Jones Day as a partner in its business and tort litigation practice. Franklin also left the Justice Department in January.
Neither lawyer had previously worked at Jones Day, according to their bios on LinkedIn.
Mizer, a 2002 University of Michigan Law School graduate, served as Ohio’s solicitor general from late 2008 to early 2011, when he argued three cases before the U.S. Supreme Court and three before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. Prior to that, he worked as an associate at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr.
Franklin, a 2007 Howard University School of Law graduate, worked for five years as an associate at Alston & Bird in Washington, D.C., before heading into the Justice Department.
“We are extremely pleased that Shirlethia has joined us at Jones Day,” Kevyn Orr, Jones Day’s Washington, D.C., partner-in-charge, said in a statement. “She brings a combination of litigation experience and a substantial background in policymaking that will be a great resource for our clients here in Washington and throughout the world.
In one of the civil division’s last actions while Mizer was still overseeing the unit’s more than 1,000 lawyers, Volkswagen AG agreed to a $1.5 billion civil fine to settle charges related to a cheat device on its diesel vehicles that allowed the cars to beat emissions tests.
In an interview with the LGBT-focused newspaper the Washington Blade, Mizer said he was proud to be an openly gay man serving in the Obama administration, which included more than 300 LGBT appointees.
The Blade reported Mizer worked on briefs in defense of the Obama administration’s guidance barring discrimination against transgender students in schools and ensuring transgender people have access to health care including gender reassignment surgery.
“Ben is an outstanding lawyer who has succeeded in every position and role he has chosen,” Orr said. “His track record as a litigator, his demonstrated dedication to his clients’ interests, and his public sector experience make him a significant addition to Jones Day’s issues and appeals practice.”
Mizer and Franklin join a firm that now has deep connections with the Trump administration after advising Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.
The firm announced in January that 12 lawyers would be appointed to the White House and other administration spots. Those lawyers include Donald McGahn II, chief White House counsel; Noel Francisco, whose nomination is pending as U.S. solicitor general; and William McGinley, deputy assistant to the president and cabinet secretary.