A D.C. partner at Sidley Austin LLP is the top candidate to lead the Justice Department Office of Legal Counsel, NPR reported Wednesday.
Virginia A. Seitz, who has spent two decades practicing law in the federal appellate courts, would be the second OLC nominee sent to the Senate by President Barack Obama. The first nominee, Dawn Johnsen, withdrew in April after more than a year of criticism from Republicans. The office is currently led by acting Assistant Attorney General Jonathan Cedarbaum.
Seitz, like Johnsen, is a member of the American Constitution Society, a left-leaning legal society. But, unlike the former OLC nominee, the Sidley Austin partner has secured Republican support in the past for an appointment.
She was appointed by Republican and Democratic congressional leaders to serve five years on the Board of Directors of the Congressional Office of Compliance, which handles disputes between members of Congress and their staffers.
The Sidley Austin partner received her undergraduate degree from Duke University in 1978. She then got her master’s degree as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University in 1980 before receiving her law degree from the University of Buffalo in 1985.
Seitz clerked for Judge Harry T. Edwards of the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in D.C. from 1985 to 1986. The next year, she clerked for Supreme Court Justice William J. Brennan Jr.
Read more about her here.