The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Top Schumer aide lands lobbying job at law firm K&L Gates

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) is interviewed at his office on June 3, 2015 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Matt McClain/ The Washington Post)
Placeholder while article actions load

Stacy Ettinger, a top aide to Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), has been hired by the law and lobby firm K&L Gates, becoming the latest ex-Schumer staffer to land a K Street job at a time when their former boss is poised to become the most powerful Democrat in the Senate.

If Democrats retake the Senate in November, Schumer would become the next Senate majority leader. If Republicans retain the majority, Schumer would still likely rise to minority leader, replacing Harry Reid (D-Nev.), who is retiring.

Either way, it is a good time to be a Schumer aide downtown, as companies and lobby firms are hungry for any insight into the senator’s thinking and legislative agenda come January.

Schumer is focusing on the big prize: Senate majority leader

“The elections next week will bring a new administration and Congress,” said Bruce Heiman, co-chair of the K&L Gates’ lobbying practice. “Stacy knows the personalities and positions of many key members and staff, which brings significant value to our clients.”

Ettinger has worked for Schumer since 2007, first as trade counsel in the senator’s personal office, advising on international trade, investment and intellectual property issues, and most recently as chief legal and policy adviser on the Senate Rules Committee. She previously worked in the Commerce Department as an attorney leading the development and enforcement of U.S. trade laws and represented the United States in trade negotiations. She also served as chief legal adviser for the 2013 presidential inauguration.

“It’s always a great time to work for Sen. Schumer,” Ettinger said. “I was definitely sad to go. However, I’ve been in government for over two decades and I felt like it was time to take on a new adventure.”

Ettinger started Tuesday as a partner in K&L Gates’ lobbying group. As former senior Senate staffer, she is subject to a one-year “cooling off period” before she can directly lobby former Senate colleagues.

It’s about to become a very busy time for K Street headhunters

Other high-profile former Schumer aides-turned-lobbyists include Stephanie Martz, who later went on to work in the White House counsel’s office and joined the lobby firm Monument Policy Group last year; Jason Abel, now at the law firm Steptoe; Izzy Klein at the boutique lobby shop Roberti Global, Erick Mullen at the lobby and public affairs firm Mercury; and Nicole DiResta at the lobby firm Cassidy & Associates.

K&L Gates is Washington’s seventh-largest lobby firm by revenue, bringing in about $18 million in lobbying fees last year.