The Star Tribune reports that the Senate confirmed our friend Rachel Paulose as the United States Attorney for the District of Minnesota this morning. John and I worked with Rachel when she spent the summer at Faegre & Benson after her second year of law school at Yale. At age 33, Rachel is the first woman and youngest attorney to serve in the position in Minnesota. She has already been on the job for nine months by appointment of the Attorney General and has served capably in the position. This morning’s confirmation ratifies her appointment.
What could possibly account for Rachel’s elevation to the position of United States Attorney? Rachel has been a star since her student days, both academically and personally. She attended the University of Minnestoa, won recognition as a Truman Scholar and graduated summa cum laude. When John and I met her during her participation in the Faegre & Benson summer associate program, Rachel was in the course of compiling a stellar record at Yale Law School. We knew she was on the threshold of a great career.
After law school she served as a law clerk to our former partner Judge James Loken of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. Like everyone else with whom she has worked, Judge Loken thinks highly of Rachel. When contacted by the Star Tribune for a comment on her recently, he said: “I have enthusiastically recommended her to every employer to hire her…including to Senator Coleman, before he urged that she be nominated.”
After working for Judge Loken, Rachel entered the Justice Department’s honors program for its most promising trial attorneys and worked for the department’s civil rights division. She returned to Minnesota to work as a prosecutor in the United States Attorney’s office and in private practice at Dorsey & Whitney. She also worked for Williams & Connolly in Washington. Before her appointment as United States Attorney Rachel had returned to the Justice Department, where she served as senior counsel to deputy attorney general Paul McNulty.
Rachel met Minnesota’s outgoing United States Senator Mark Dayton on Wednesday to ask for his support for her confirmation before the Senate adjourned today. I spoke with Rachel as she was leaving Sentaor Dayton’s office. She reported that Senator Dayton had met with her for 25 minutes and could not have been more gracious. He told her he would do everything he could to help get her confirmed before the Senate adjourned. Her confirmation this morning would not have occurred without Senator Daytons’s wholehearted support, and he is to be commended for extending it.
When I spoke with her before she met with Senator Dayton on Wednesday, I told Rachel that if things didn’t work out for her in the legal profession, she could always go into modelling. Rachel laughed and recalled her grandparents, who had fled persecution by the Communists in East Asia to come as immigrants to the United States with seven dollars in their pockets. She said she thought it would take a miracle for her confirmation to occur this session, but that her family (devout Christians) believes in miracles.
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