Robert B. Barnett, “Attorney to the Nation’s Most Influential People,” to Deliver 2014 LSU Law Commencement Address

Robert Barnett, 2014 LSU Law Commencement Speaker

Robert B. Barnett, 2014 LSU Law Commencement Speaker

Robert B. Barnett, the noted Washington, D.C. attorney who has represented Presidents Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush, along with a host of other government officials and media and television celebrities, will deliver the 2014 LSU Law Commencement address scheduled for Friday, May 30 at the LSU Pete Maravich Assembly Center, according to LSU Law Chancellor Jack M. Weiss.

Considered by many as “the attorney to the nation’s most influential people,” Barnett has a diverse practice, representing individuals and national and international corporations on issues ranging from publishing and media relations to litigation, contracts and crisis management. In addition, Barnett has worked to prepare presidential and vice presidential candidates for televised debates in eight national presidential campaigns.

“Bob Barnett occupies a unique niche among the nation’s lawyers,” said Chancellor Weiss. “He is a trusted counselor to dozens of globally-known clients on their most sensitive matters. It’s a great honor to welcome Bob as our 2014 graduation speaker,” Weiss said.

A partner of the highly regarded Washington law firm of Williams & Connolly LLP, Barnett is one of the world’s premier representatives of authors and their written and published works. His clients include three of the nation’s Presidents, Hillary Rodham Clinton, former Prime Minister Tony Blair, The Prince of Wales, and many others, including journalists, novelists, business leaders, sports stars, and politicians. He is also one of the leading representatives of television news correspondents and producers, anchors in many major television markets, and producers of virtually every major broadcast on network and cable television. Barnett is also known for his work with former government officials as they transition to the private sector. In addition to former Presidents and Cabinet members, many former Senators and Congressmen are on his client list.

A 2010 profile in the Washington Post said that Barnett’s “specialty is the birth, life and death of Washington careers — then he works on the afterlife….He ushers the powerful to Washington, tries to make their lives fruitful while they’re here, then helps them launch second acts elsewhere.”

Among the corporations that Barnett represents are McDonald’s, General Electric, Comcast, Newsweek/Daily Beast, JM Family Enterprises, and Sunbeam. During his thirty years of practice, Barnett has represented clients before almost every executive department and administrative agency in Washington, DC. Barnett also specializes in negotiating executive compensation agreements for senior officers at such companies as AT&T, The Carlyle Group, Fannie Mae, McDonald’s Corporation, the Recording Industry Association of America, the Air Transport Association, the Motion Picture Association of America, and Deutsche Bank. He also represents several university presidents, deans, and professors.

Barnett was ranked Number One on Washingtonian magazine’s list of “Washington’s Best Lawyers” and as one of “The 100 Most Influential Lawyers in America” by The National Law Journal. He was also named one of the one hundred most powerful people in the entertainment industry by Entertainment Weekly Magazine.

Barnett joined Williams & Connolly LLP in 1975 and has been a partner since 1978. He is a member of the firm’s Executive Committee. He was a presidentially appointed member of the Board of Trustees of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts from 1994 to 2004 and currently serves as Senior Counsel. Mr. Barnett served as a Law Clerk to Judge John Minor Wisdom of the United State Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit from 1971 to 1972. He was a United States Supreme Court Clerk to Justice Byron R. White from 1972 to 1973 and was a Legislative Assistant to United States Senator Walter F. Mondale from 1973 to 1975.

In 1971, Mr. Barnett received his J.D., cum laude, from the University of Chicago Law School. He graduated with honors from the University of Wisconsin in 1968. He is married to Rita Braver, the longtime correspondent with CBS News.

The LSU Law Center’s commencement ceremonies will take place on Friday, May 30, at 9:30 a.m. in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center on the LSU campus. For more information, contact Karen Soniat at 225-578-8645 or