Media contact: Erin Kelly 212-854-1787 [email protected]
Public Affairs Office 212-854-2650 [email protected]
New York, January 27, 2009 — President Barack Obama today appointed Columbia Law School Professor and alumnus Trevor W. Morrison ’98 to the position of Associate Counsel to the President. Morrison is a leading expert on separation of powers, federalism, and executive branch legal interpretation.
“Professor Morrison’s powerful intellect and deep reservoirs of judgment will help guide the new administration,” said David M. Schizer, dean and the Lucy G. Moses Professor of Law. “We are especially proud that Trevor has accepted the call to service at the highest level of government. His work will continue to inspire our students and the entire Columbia Law School community.”
Morrison will serve in The Office of Counsel to the President under newly appointed White House Counsel Gregory B. Craig. The Counsel’s office advises the president on a wide range of legal issues related to policy, legislation, financial disclosures, and conflicts of interest.
Morrison joined the Law School in July 2008, and will take a one-year public service leave, effective February 1, 2009. He has taught and written extensively on constitutional law and federal courts, specializing in executive branch legal interpretation, as well as habeas corpus and executive detention. Prior to entering academia, Morrison served as a law clerk to Judge Betty B. Fletcher of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg ’59 of the U.S. Supreme Court. Between those clerkships, he was a Bristow Fellow in the U.S. Justice Department’s Office of the Solicitor General, an attorney-advisor in the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel, and an associate at Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering (now WilmerHale).
In 2008, the Association of the Bar of the City of New York awarded Morrison the Thurgood Marshall Award for Capital Representation. He is Chair of the Federal Courts Section of the Association of American Law Schools.