Former prosecutor Jeannie Rhee said she believes her move to become a litigation partner at Paul Weiss after two years on Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team will open up a whole new chapter in what’s already been a high-powered career.
Rhee told Bloomberg Law that “it was a privilege and a honor” to be part of the Mueller team investigating Russian cyber, social media and intelligence efforts to influence the 2016 presidential elections. Rhee, a former partner at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr, said she hopes at Paul Weiss she can focus on sophisticated legal work and helping grow diversity in the profession.
“In looking to the next chapter, which is my return to private practice, I certainly will carry with me all that I have learned and I’ve experienced over the past few years,” she said.
Rhee was one of several lawyers to join Mueller’s office from WilmerHale, a jump she made in 2017.
Her team was responsible for two Russian-related indictments, the prosecution of political consultant Roger Stone and securing the plea agreements of former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen and Trump campaign advisor George Papadopoulos. She also helped secure the guilty plea of former campaign manager Paul Manafort.
Veteran Litigator and Prosecutor
For nearly two decades Rhee has worked on high-stakes criminal and civil matters in private and public practice.
Rhee is “a dynamic personality,” Paul Weiss chairman Brad Karp told Bloomberg Law. “She really is a rock star.”
From 2000 until 2006, Rhee served as assistant U.S. attorney in the District of Columbia where she handled trials involving public corruption, healthcare fraud, and national security violations.
In 2006 she joined WilmerHale as counsel, making partner there after two years. In 2009 she became deputy assistant attorney general in the U.S. Department of Justice’s office of legal counsel before rejoining WilmerHale two years later.
While at the Washington-based firm, she represented a wide array of companies and individuals subject to government related litigation and investigations, including white collar and securities enforcement actions. Rhee also specializes in cybersecurity and data breach investigations.
In her new role at Paul Weiss, Rhee said she hopes to continue to work on sophisticated matters as well as help sustain the momentum of Paul Weiss’ expanding operations in Washington.
“To me, Paul Weiss is a perfect fit and I am just so excited to get going,” Rhee said.
The firm has been on a roll this year hiring prestigious lawyers in the nation’s capital.
In January, Williams & Connolly appellate lawyer Kannon Shanmugam joined Paul Weiss to launch its U.S. Supreme Court and appellate litigation practice. Shanmugam also serves as managing partner of the firm’s Washington office. Last month former attorney general Loretta Lynch joined Paul Weiss as a partner in its litigation department in New York and Washington.
In addition to her budding practice, Rhee is looking to help continue to advance the role of women and diversity in the profession.
“It’s just a part of who I am,” Rhee said, who was born in Korea and immigrated to the United States at a young age.
“It’s something that has mattered a great deal to me in the past and it will continue to matter to me and I know that’s something that matters a great deal to Paul Weiss as well,” she said.
Since the Mueller investigation ended in March, and the special counsel’s report was released, the team’s attorneys have been gradually finding new jobs, some in Big Law.
Davis, Polk & Wardwell announced last month Greg Andres would return to the firm after working on Mueller’s team and Cooley has said it has picked up former Paul Weiss attorney Andrew Goldstein, who also worked with Mueller.