October 04, 2021

When Public Meets Private—Prosecuting Complex Civil Cases as Outside Counsel to States and Cities: A discussion with Betsy Miller, Wasserstein Fellow and Chair of Cohen Milstein’s Public Client Practice

The world of public interest law is broad, and it includes “public-private” lawyers who serve as outside counsel to government enforcement agencies. When the largest corporations break the law, many state and local governments don’t have the in-house resources and specialized expertise to level the playing field. The high-stakes, high-profile, and high-impact field of representing states and cities in some of the hardest-fought and most complicated civil cases is a rapidly growing area of law.

Betsy A. Miller, chair of Cohen Milstein’s Public Client practice and Harvard Law School Wasserstein Fellow and is invited to speak at Harvard Law School Office of Public Interest Advising career event on October 4, 2021 at 12:45 pm - 1:30 pm.

Ms. Miller will discuss her work as one of the pioneers of this practice area, the rewards and perils of serving as outside counsel to the government, and some of the groundbreaking cases that have benefitted from this public-private partnership.

Ms. Miller is a seasoned litigator and industry thought leader on leadership development and organizational change management. With over 20 years in private and government practice in Washington, D.C., Betsy has built a reputation for deftly leading some of the country’s highest profile government litigation and investigations. As Chair of Cohen Milstein’s Public Client Practice, Ms. Miller currently represents state Attorneys General in the ongoing national opioid litigation. She previously negotiated a $2.2 billion resolution as a lead counsel for states prosecuting consumer fraud cases against the nation’s largest credit rating agencies. Her approach to these complex cases is grounded in the principles she has used as a professional mediator and in her fifteen years as an adjunct professor at Georgetown Law, where she has taught courses on negotiation strategy and conflict resolution. A certified leadership coach, Ms. Miller regularly speaks and writes on the changing legal landscape and talent development for the 21st century lawyer, with a focus on advancing women and diversity in the legal profession.

The Wasserstein Public Interest Fellows Program brings outstanding public interest attorneys to Harvard Law School to counsel students about public service. The program recognizes exemplary lawyers who have distinguished themselves in public interest work and who can advise students who are considering similar career paths. All students are welcome and encouraged to learn more and meet one on one with our Wasserstein Fellows.