Tom Perrelli is the 18th associate attorney general at the Department of Justice, a post he has held since the Senate confirmed him March 12, 2009.
Previously, Perrelli served as counsel to then-Attorney General Janet Reno for almost two years before becoming the deputy assistant attorney general for the civil division. The civil division defends agencies in the federal government in litigation, and Perrelli worked as a supervisor with the tobacco litigation team.
Prior to ending up at DOJ, Perrelli was partner in the Washington offices of Jenner & Block. He started at the firm’s entertainment law division and later became managing partner of the firm. He was involved in litigation that involved First Amendment rights, intellectual property, technology, and copyright-infringement issues. In addition to litigating prominent copyright-law cases to the Supreme Court, Perrelli represented Michael Schiavo, the husband of Terri Schiavo. Perelli fought for, and eventually won, Schiavo the right to terminate his wife’s life support.
Before joining Jenner & Block in 1991, Perrelli clerked for Royce C. Lamberth at the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Perrelli graduated from Harvard Law School in 1991, where he was managing editor of the Harvard Law Review (working under Barack Obama). He earned his bachelor’s degree in history from Brown University in 1988, where he served as editor-in-chief of The Critical Review, Brown’s student publication of course evaluations.