Kathryn Ruemmler, White House Counsel to President Barack Obama from 2011 to 2014, shares some tips for new lawyers from her time advising the President on legal matters, managing the White House legal team, and overseeing the appointment and confirmation of federal judges and executive branch officials.
Before joining the White House, Ruemmler was a partner at Latham & Watkins, specializing in white-collar criminal defense and securities litigation. She also worked as a federal prosecutor in the US Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia, where she tried cases ranging from fraud and public corruption to homicide.
Ruemmler has a reputation for being a highly skilled trial lawyer with a sharp legal mind, and a tireless advocate for her clients. She represented individuals and corporations in high-profile cases involving complex legal and regulatory issues, including the Enron scandal, the government's investigation of the CIA's use of enhanced interrogation techniques, and the prosecution of the Boston Marathon bomber.
Since leaving the White House in 2014, Ruemmler has continued to be a leader in the legal profession. She rejoined Latham & Watkins, whereas partner she advises clients on government investigations, regulatory compliance, and crisis management. She is also a member of the board of directors of the Innocence Project, a non-profit organization working to exonerate wrongfully convicted prisoners.
Ruemmler consistently emphasizes the importance of developing strong writing and analytical skills when one is beginning a law practice. She adds that cultivating the ability to communicate effectively with clients and colleagues is necessary. Additionally, Ruemmler stresses the need for young lawyers to maintain their integrity and to be willing to stand up for what they believe is right, even in the face of adversity. This is especially true for young women who want to succeed in law, as Ruemmler is a strong and passionate advocate for increasing gender and racial diversity in law firms.