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Sent on Mormon-News: 19Jul01

By Kent Larsen

LDS Law Professor Named Assistant Attorney General

WASHINGTON, DC -- US President George W. Bush recently named LDS law professor Jay S. Bybee to be Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel in the Department of Justice. If confirmed by the Senate, Bybee will function as the legal advisor to the President and all the executive branch agencies, preparing written opinions and oral advice in response to queries from the Counsel to the President and from the various agencies of the executive branch. Bybee is currently on the faculty of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas' William S. Boyd School of Law.

A specialist in constitutional law and in administrative law, Bybee already has experience advising the US President on legal matters. During the Reagan and George Bush (Sr.) administrations, Bybee worked as an attorney in the Justice Department's Office of Legal Policy, and for the last two years of the Bush administration he was Associate Counsel to the President, working in the White House.

Bybee is a 1980 cum laude graduate of BYU's J. Reuben Clark Law School where he was Business Manager for the Law Review, and also holds a bachelor's degree from BYU. He grew up in Las Vegas where, as he told UNLV Magazine in 1999, he had wanted to be a lawyer since age nine, "I had a teacher named Mr. Gustafson at Bonanza Elementary School who talked about government and interested me in current events. I have never wanted to be anything else."

After finishing law school, Bybee clerked for the Honorable Donald Russell of the US Court of Appeals, 4th circuit and then went to work for the Washington, DC law firm Sidley &Austin. Three years later, in 1984, he joined the Justice Department's Office of Legal Policy and eventually moved to the White House in 1989.

In 1991 Bybee left government service to start teaching constitutional and administrative law, first at LSU's Paul M. Herbert Law Center, where he taught from 1991 through 1998. Then he learned that UNLV was starting a law school, and decided to join its initial faculty, "When I heard that UNLV was opening a law school, my wife and I decided that we should look into it, that a new state school might be a really interesting opportunity," he told the UNLV Magazine in 1999. "The move has brought back a lot of great memories and reintroduced me to more than a few friends."

Now Bybee is looking at a cross-country move, should the US Senate approve his nomination. It will also be a return to Washington DC and to national politics, this time in a more significant role.


Attorney General Ashcroft Welcomes White House Nominee for Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel
US Dept of Justice Press Release 10Jul01 T2

Class Action: Jay Bybee
UNLV Magazine Fall99 T2


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