Georgetown University Law Center announced this morning that Solicitor General Paul Clement will join its faculty as a visiting professor for the fall. But in an interview this morning, Clement told Legal Times the position is not a sign that he is heading for academia for good. "It's full-time, but temporary a full-time job until I get the next full-time job," he said. "I'm pulling a Seth." That's a reference to Seth Waxman who went from the SG's office to Georgetown as a visiting professor before joining the firm Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr in July 2001.
"It's just not practical to talk to law firms while you are here," Clement explained from the Justice Department office he will be vacating June 2. And since he wanted to take time off to be with his family including three sons the summer was the time to do it. He's looking forward to conducting the same seminar on separation of powers that he taught at Georgetown as an adjunct until he joined the SG's office in 2004. "I'll be updating it a bit," he said, referring to some changes in doctrine since 2004. He'll also work with the law school's Supreme Court Institute. Clement got his undergraduate degree at Georgetown before going to Harvard Law School.
After arguing 49 cases before the high court for the government, Clement makes no secret that he hopes eventually to argue there again for a private firm as predecessors Theodore Olson, Waxman and Walter Dellinger have done. "I've loved the opportunity and in this position, it's possible to move to the private sector and do something not radically different," he says. "When you're secretary of defense, I guess you can't go into the private sector and order the movement of troops."
In a statement welcoming Clement, Georgetown law dean T. Alexander Aleinikoff said, "Paul Clement is a supremely talented advocate and one of the nation’s brightest legal minds. We look forward to welcoming him back to the Law Center."