Mythili Raman, acting chief of the criminal division of the Department of Justice from March 2013 until last month, has joined District-based law firm Covington & Burling, the firm announced today.
Raman is a partner in the firm’s white collar defense and litigation practice groups. She is the latest in a string of several high-ranking officials from the agency’s criminal division over the last five years to join Covington, D.C.’s largest law firm with about 500 attorneys in Washington. Raman’s predecessor Lanny Breuer became partner and vice chairman in March 2013; Steven Fagell, former deputy chief of staff at the criminal division, and Jim Garland, former deputy chief of staff to Attorney General Eric Holder, both re-joined Covington in 2010; Dan Suleiman, former deputy chief of staff to Breuer, re-joined the firm in 2013.
The revolving door between government and private law firms is constant, particularly in Washington where former federal prosecutors are coveted hires for law firms with regulatory practices whose corporate clients value insight into how to navigate federal agencies to their advantage.
As acting assistant attorney general, Raman oversaw investigations into financial institutions for fraud, money laundering and rate-rigging. Ethics rules bar her from contacting the criminal division on any matter for two years.
“I worked with the DOJ for about 18 years and it’s been a fulfilling career, and I knew that when I was making a decision about where to go next, it was going to be important to me that the people at the place where I landed were excellent lawyers, collegial and had an interesting and diverse practice,” Raman said. “I found all of that at Covington. I happen to have former colleagues from the department here who I’m very close to. It was an easy and wonderful choice.”