Attorney General Sessions Welcomes Steven Engel As Assistant Attorney General for the Office Of Legal Counsel
Attorney General Jeff Sessions welcomed the confirmation of Steven Engel as the Assistant Attorney General of the Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel.
“I applaud the Senate for the confirmation of Steven Engel,” said Attorney General Sessions. “I am confident his extensive legal work and his previous experience in the Office of Legal Counsel have prepared him very well to lead the office that provides legal advice to the President, to the Department, and to every other Executive Branch agency.”
The Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Office of Legal Counsel provides legal advice to the President and all Executive Branch agencies. The Office drafts legal opinions of the Attorney General and provides its own written opinions and oral advice in response to requests from the Counsel to the President, the various agencies of the Executive Branch, and other offices within the Department. Such requests typically deal with legal issues of particular complexity and importance, or those about which two or more agencies are in disagreement. The Office is also responsible for reviewing pending legislation for constitutionality.
All executive orders and substantive proclamations proposed to be issued by the President are reviewed by the Office of Legal Counsel for form and legality, as are various other matters that require the President’s or the Attorney General’s formal approval.
Prior to his confirmation, Engel was a partner at the law firm Dechert LLP, where he appeared in courts across the country, handling a wide range of civil litigation matters, including in the areas of administrative law, commercial litigation, and securities law. An experienced appellate litigator, Engel clerked on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit for Judge Alex Kozinski and on the U.S. Supreme Court for Associate Justice Anthony M. Kennedy. In addition, Engel regularly argued in the U.S. Courts of Appeals and the New York appellate courts, and handled appeals before the U.S. Supreme Court, seven U.S. Courts of Appeal, and numerous state appellate courts. Engel was also a member of the pro bono panel for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
Before joining Dechert, Engel served as Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, where he provided legal advice to senior policymakers on issues facing the Executive Branch.
Engel graduated summa cum laude from Harvard College and received a master’s degree in history from Cambridge University, where he was a Knox Fellow. He received his law degree from the Yale Law School, where he was the Essays Editor for the Yale Law Journal.