Venable LLP, a Washington law firm with a political lobbying component, announced today that former U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor had joined the firm.

Congressional rules prevent him from immediately lobbying, but he will “counsel clients on issues at the intersection of law, policy and business.”


Pryor, who recently remarried, follows a familiar path for ex-congressmen and women. Blanche Lincoln joined a consulting firm after she was defeated and eventually started her own lobbying outfit. Dale Bumpers associated with a Washington law firm after he retired. Asa Hutchinson joined Venable himself after a stint in Congress and at the Department of Homeland Security.

Legal Times, which got wind of Pryor’s Venable hire several days ago, noted that Pryor’s law license in Arkansas currently was in an inactive status. It wrote:


Generally, outgoing senators can expect more than $1 million in compensation when they join large law firms. They cannot lobby on Capitol Hill for two years, but can advise clients until the “cooling off” period expires.

UPDATE: I’d originally posted the Venable release, which referenced only Pryor’s hiring. It was followed up by this release, which says that Pryor will “live and maintain an office in Arkansas, but will join Venable LLP in the
firm’s Washington, DC office.” It also added a quote from Pryor:

“I’m excited to work with this outstanding firm on the issues where I can make a difference,”  said Pryor. “Best of all, this opportunity allows me to live in the state I love, and stay involved in the Arkansas legal and business communities.” 

The release said Pryor will open an office in downtown Little Rock and split his time between Arkansas and Washington, DC. It notes: “Pryor married his sweetheart, Joi, on Valentine’s Day 2015.”


The full original news release follows.

Washington, DC – Monday, March 2, 2015 – Venable LLP announced today that former U.S. Senator Mark L. Pryor (D-AR) joined the firm as a partner in the firm’s Washington, DC office. Senator Pryor will join the Government Affairs Practice at the firm and will counsel clients on issues at the intersection of law, policy and business. Senator Pryor will focus on areas that he worked on in the U.S. Senate, including communications, Internet, privacy, cybersecurity, aviation, automotive, consumer protection and agriculture. In addition, Senator Pryor, who served as the Arkansas Attorney General prior to his election to the U.S. Senate, will bolster Venable’s State Attorney General and Investigation Practices.

“We welcome Senator Mark Pryor to the firm,” said Venable Chairman James L. Shea. “Senator Pryor’s twenty years of public service will provide unique insights and counsel to our clients on critical issues. We could not be more pleased that he has chosen to join Venable.”

Senator Pryor served as a United States Senator from Arkansas from 2003 to 2015. During his tenure in the Senate, he served on several key committees, including Appropriations; Commerce, Science, and Transportation; Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs; Rules and Administration; and the Select Committee on Ethics. Most recently, Senator Pryor served as Chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, and the Internet, and Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies. Previously, he chaired the Commerce Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety and Insurance. Senator Pryor has considerable experience conducting congressional investigations as a member of the Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations.

“I have known Senator Pryor for many years. He is a thoughtful consensus builder, a characteristic that will translate well to working with clients at Venable,” said Stuart P. Ingis, partner-in-charge of Venable’s Washington office.

The work he did in the Senate focused on issues of critical importance to a number of Venable’s core strengths. He worked on legislation involving the FTC, NHTSA, CPSC, FAA and others.

“I look forward to this next phase of my career and being a part of Venable. I chose Venable because of its strengths in providing both legislative and legal solutions for clients. They are a natural fit for me given their client base and my experience,” Senator Pryor said.

“We are proud of our bipartisan team. Senator Pryor’s experience on several influential Senate committees will be an important resource for our clients,” said Robert L. Smith, II, co-chair of the Legislative practices.

Venable recently added former Congressman James W. Gerlach (R-PA) to the firm’s Legislative Practice. Senator Pryor and Congressman Gerlach join former U.S. Congressman Bart Stupak (D-MI), former U.S. Senator Birch Bayh (D-IN), former Secretary of Transportation James H. Burnley, IV, former NHTSA Administrator David L. Strickland, as well as several veteran Capitol Hill legislative staffers and policy advisors from both sides of the aisle.