In the Program in Washington, classroom discussions can be connected immediately to the real world of politics and policy. On April 11, for example, students in the morning seminar on campaigns and elections discussed pre-election and post-election disputes. The reading for the class, Jay Weiner’s This Is Not Florida: How Al Franken Won the Minnesota Senate Recount, featured Marc Elias ’90 as the protagonist in the long legal battle. That afternoon, students met with Elias to discuss the 2008 recount and the 2012 election.
The lively discussion ranged from the Minnesota recount to the 2012 elections to the profound changes occurring in the business of law.
Elias is partner and chair of the political law group at Perkins Coie LLC, where he focuses his practice on representing public officials, candidates, parties, corporations, tax-exempt organizations and PACs in connection with campaign finance, governmental ethics and lobbying disclosure. He served as general counsel to the Kerry-Edwards campaign and is currently the general counsel to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. Elias is also general counsel to the National Democratic Redistricting Trust and has been involved in redistricting litigation in a number of states, including Texas, Florida, New York, Ohio, Virginia, Nevada and Minnesota. Elias was recently named by Politico as one of “fifty politicos to watch.”