Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax has picked up a second job: partner at Morrison & Foerster.
Fairfax, who took office in January, has joined MoFo’s Northern Virginia office to focus on commercial litigation, investigations and white collar work. He’ll continue to serve in his part-time government position in Richmond, which pays $36,321 a year.
“I thought it was a great time to restart private practice,” he told Bloomberg Law. “Most of our responsibilities in Richmond for this session have ended for this year.”
It’s common in Virginia for lieutenant governors and legislators, who all work part-time, to have full-time professions while serving in public office.
Current Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam served in a medical practice and continued to see patients during his previous stint as No. 2 to Terry McAuliffe, according to Fairfax.
Fairfax. 39, previously worked at Venable, but left the firm shortly before taking office in order to focus on his government duties.
“It was the first time I’d ever held public office, and we were going into our general assembly session,” Fairfax said. “I wanted to make sure I was focused on that.”
Fairfax cut his teeth in Big Law as an associate at WilmerHale before working as a federal prosecutor in Virginia.
Hiring Fairfax is the latest in a string of high-profile laterals for MoFo in the Northern Virginia and D.C. region.
In July, the firm announced the hire of John E. Smith, former director of the U.S. Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, and Lisa Phelan, former chief of the National Criminal Enforcement section of the Antitrust Division at the Department of Justice.
“We’re in growth mode,” said Joe Palmore, managing partner of MoFo’s D.C. office. “This market continues to be a focus for the firm for strategic and thoughtful growth.”
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