William and Mary Law School

Election Law Career Guide

By Paul Hellyer
Updated August 2014

Harry Truman

Books & Narratives

Richard L. Hasen, The Voting Wars (2012).
Describes the increase in election litigation since the contested 2000 presidential election.
Publisher's Description
KF4886 .H39 2012 (STACKS)

Gary A. Munneke, Careers in Law (3rd ed. 2004).
Includes a brief section on careers in election law.
KF297 .M86 2004 (OCS)

Maurice C. Sheppard, The Federal Election Commission: Policy, Politics & Administration (2007).
Explains the purpose, history and operations of the FEC.  Includes an overview of attorney positions within the FEC.
Publisher's Description
JK1991 .S45 2007 (STACKS)

Jeffrey Toobin, Too Close to Call (2001).
This book about the 2000 presidential election dispute includes a vivid description of the roles played by lawyers and judges.
Publisher's Description
JK526 2000 .T66 2001 (STACKS)

Charley Wells, Inside Bush v. Gore (2013).
"Inside Bush v. Gore presents the unique, candid, and compelling perspective of the Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice who stood at the center of the storm. . . . He . . . offers an insider's view of judicial relationships, the frustrations of ambiguous election laws, the difficulties of separating the legalities from the politics, and the unsung yet critical role played by state court professionals." --From the book jacket.
E889 .W45 2013 (STACKS)


Articles

Barbara Carmen, Election Disputes Offer New Niche For Lawyers, Columbus Dispatch, Nov. 10, 2008, at 4B.
Describes how both major parties have become increasingly dependent on election lawyers.

Carla J. Develder, Election Law: Careers at the Intersection of Law and Politics, Student Lawyer, Oct. 2012, at 14.
Outlines the work that election lawyers do and offers tips on how to enter this field.

Randy Evans, Close Elections: Bring on the Lawyers, Atlanta Business Chronicle, May 23, 2014.
Describes how lawyers are gearing up for the 2014 election.

Bill Glauber, Walker Foes Have Friend in Tough Lawyer, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, July 5, 2013, at A1.
Profiles a Democratic election lawyer in Wisconsin who has been battling Republicans on behalf of his clients.

John Gibeaut, Electing to Litigate: As Primaries Begin, Voters, State Officials and Lawyers Brace for More and More Lawsuits, ABA Journal, Jan. 2008, at 40.
Explains how election litigation has become much more common since the disputed 2000 Presidential election.

Francesca Heintz, Making Headlines: Franchise Players; In Last Year's General Election, Am Law 200 Firms Took Lead Roles in Protecting the Right to Vote, American Lawyer, July 2009, at 68.
Describes how large law firms are becoming more involved in election litigation.

Chris Mondics, Teams of Lawyers for Obama, Romney Get Ready for Election Day, Philadelphia Inquirer, Nov. 6, 2012.
Describes the work that lawyers did for the 2012 Presidential election.

Matthew Murray, An Exclusive Club: Exiting the FEC, Toner Enters Lucrative Field of Election Law, Roll Call, Mar. 13, 2007.
Examines the career paths of several election lawyers and explains how this practice area has expanded due to new legislation.

Stefan Passantino, New Challenges and Trends Facing Election and Political Lawyers and Their Clients, Aspatore, June 2014.
A partner at McKenna Long & Aldridge provides an in-depth view of his firm's work in this practice area.

Jonathan D. Salant, Lawyers Raking in Cash as Campaign Spending Hits Records, Bloomberg.com, Aug. 14, 2012.
Profiles lawyers who specialize in election law.

Lisa Stansky, Election Lawyers Work in a Small But Exciting Field, Student Lawyer, Nov. 2006, at 8.
Profiles several attorneys who specialize in election law and offers advice for new attorneys looking to enter the field.

Gretchen Sterns, Lawyering in Today's Political Process, Young Lawyer, May 2008, at 1.
This article describes how lawyers have become more involved in the election process and offers some networking tips for young lawyers.

Bill Turque, Election Lawyers Ready to Challenge Alleged Illegal Voting Activity, Washington Post, Oct. 30, 2012.
Explains how lawyers for the Obama and Romney campaigns prepared for legal battles in 2012.


Websites & Periodicals

BNA Money & Politics Report
This daily report from BNA covers legal developments in the areas of campaign finance, lobbying regulation, and government ethics.  W&M law students can sign up to receive this by e-mail.

Election Law Blog
A blog from Richard L. Hasen, professor at Loyola Law School and expert in the area of election law.

Election Law@Moritz
This site from Moritz College of Law (Ohio State University) features news, opinion and analysis.

Election Law Program
This Web site, a joint venture of William & Mary Law School and the National Center for State Courts, provides information on election law and election-related litigation.  It includes video lectures from law professors, an election law manual, and a list of suggested reading.


Organizations

Democratic National Committee's National Lawyers Council
430 S. Capitol St. SE
Washington, DC 20003
tel: (202) 863-8000
"The National Lawyers Council works to support President Obama's agenda, promote and protect the right to vote, and engage Democratic attorneys in a variety of ways." --From the website

Republican National Lawyers Association
P.O. Box 18965
Washington DC 20036
tel: (703) 719-6335
fax: (571) 312-0450
e-mail:info@republicanlawyer.net
The RNLA provides seminars on election law, coordinates lawyer volunteer activities during elections, and offers networking opportunities. Their website includes a directory of members who practice election law.  Students may join with a student membership.

William & Mary's Election Law Society
"Founded in 2006, the Election Law Society is a multipartisan student organization dedicated to studying the legal issues raised through the American electoral process. . . . The Election Law Society exists to help law students better understand election law issues through an open and honest dialogue about their origins and impacts."  --From the website

Photo:  Associated Press