Lanny Breuer ’85 Promotes Rule of Law Here and Abroad

Winter 2010

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In his work in the United States Department of Justice, Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer ’85 has learned that justice has no boundaries.

In a speech at Columbia Law School on October 7, Breuer detailed how his new job with the Justice Department’s criminal division requires that he manage more than 400 lawyers stationed in the United States and 37 other countries around the world. Their overarching mission, Breuer said, remains the same, regardless of where they work: to promote the rule of law.

“The importance of this work really cannot be overstated,” said Breuer, whose talk
was presented by the Dean’s Office and Social Justice Initiatives. “Promoting the
impartial administration of justice around the world protects our global community from the lawlessness that endangers basic human rights and, in fact, endangers our national security.”

Throughout his career, Breuer worked in both the public and private sectors, with stints in the New York County District Attorney’s Office under Robert Morgenthau and at Covington & Burling in Washington, D.C., in addition to serving former president Bill Clinton as special counsel. Citing his own experiences, he encouraged the roughly 100 students in attendance to work in the public sector at some point in their careers.

“I’ve never had a job that I haven’t loved,” Breuer said. “And although I enjoyed my private practice at Covington immensely . . . it’s really been my time in the public sector that, for me, has absolutely been the most rewarding.”

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