DOJ Investigative Counsel and Former FEC Assistant General Counsel Julie McConnell Joins Venable

4 min

Handled complex, high-profile matters at Justice, including investigation of Boston Marathon bombing; led numerous enforcement cases at Federal Election Commission, focusing on campaign finance issues.

Washington, DC - March 24, 2015 – Adding to its stellar bench of former federal investigative and enforcement lawyers, Venable LLP announced that Julie K. McConnell, a former assistant general counsel at the Federal Election Commission (FEC) and investigative counsel at the Justice Department (DOJ), has joined as Counsel in Venable's nationally recognized Political Law and Nonprofit Groups.

Ms. McConnell served for seven years at the FEC, rising to Assistant General Counsel in the Enforcement Division, where she worked alongside Venable partner Lawrence H. Norton, then serving as general counsel of the FEC.

At the FEC, Ms. McConnell managed major enforcement matters involving violations of campaign finance laws, including actions against nonprofit organizations and parallel investigations of corporations involved in "straw donor" schemes. She presented and defended legal recommendations before the Commission, led investigations, and negotiated conciliation agreements.

Ms. McConnell arrives at Venable from the Justice Department, where she served in the DOJ's Office of the Inspector General. She played a lead role in many complex internal investigations of government programs, law enforcement operations, and allegations of misconduct by DOJ staff. These probes were often undertaken at the request of the Attorney General, along with members of Congress and senior DOJ officials.

Ms. McConnell managed teams of attorneys, special agents, and analysts. She interviewed witnesses in far-reaching investigations and interacted with senior staffs of other government agencies, including members of the intelligence community. She also regularly briefed members of Congress as well as their legal and administrative staff.

Ms. McConnell twice received the Inspector General's Distinguished Service Award, most recently for her work on the inter-agency team that investigated the handling and sharing of information surrounding the terror bombing during the Boston Marathon in 2013.

Ms. McConnell began her career with the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) Bureau of Competition, handling merger investigations involving pharmaceutical, software and construction markets.

"Julie McConnell brings a unique skill set and level of experience from her combined tenures at Justice, the FEC and FTC, making her one of the most capable government investigation lawyers in the country," Mr. Norton said. "I had the pleasure of working with her at the FEC, where she handled many of the most high-profile and complicated matters – and always found her way to clarity. Our Political Law and Association/Nonprofit Groups will benefit tremendously from her contributions."

"We're excited to have Julie McConnell's experience from the FEC for our clients and have her apply her complex investigations skillset to complex issues," said Ronald M. Jacobs, the co-head of the Political Law Practice.

At Venable, Ms. McConnell joins one of the nation's premier political law and nonprofit law practices. Chaired by Mr. Norton and Mr. Jacobs, Venable's Political Law Practice represents major corporations, national campaigns and Super PACs and numerous advocacy groups and trade associations. The Political Law practice helps clients navigate increasingly complex federal and state campaign finance laws, as well as lobbying registration and disclosure requirements and government ethics rules.

"I've been well aware of Venable's prominence in political law matters. When Larry Norton joined the firm several years ago, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to join the group and work with him again," Ms. McConnell said.

"Venable has built an outstanding reputation in political law and campaign finance matters and is also one of the country's preeminent advisers to nonprofits and trade associations," she added. "In applying my extensive government enforcement and investigations experience, I could not have found a better place to practice than under the Venable banner."

Ms. McConnell received her J.D. from American University, Washington College of Law, and her B.A. from Wake Forest University.


Note: Venable is an American Lawyer Global 100 law firm serving clients globally. Headquartered in Washington, DC, with offices in California, Delaware, Maryland, New York, and Virginia, Venable LLP lawyers and legislative advisors serve the needs of domestic and global clients in all areas of corporate and business law, complex litigation, intellectual property, regulatory, and government affairs around the globe. For more information about Venable LLP, visit