Christopher Schroeder, Charles S. Murphy Professor of Law and Professor of Public Policy Studies, has been named assistant attorney general for the Office of Legal Policy by President Barack Obama, according to a White House press release.

"I’m grateful that such experienced and dedicated individuals have joined my administration at a time when our nation faces great challenges," Obama said in the press release, which also announced several other administrative appointments. "Their deep commitment to their individual areas of work gives me confidence that they will help us put America back on a path to prosperity and security."

David Levi, dean of the School of Law, said Wednesday night at a Duke alumni event in Chicago that Schroeder would be picked to lead the OLP.

"Chris Schroeder is a brilliant legal scholar and a gifted teacher," Michael Schoenfeld, Duke's vice president for public affairs and government relations, wrote in an e-mail. "His selection for this critical position means that President Obama will have the best possible person working on legal policy issues."

The Legal Times, a legal newspaper in Washington, D.C., reported in mid-April that Schroeder was under consideration.

The White House had initially planned to tap Mayer Brown partner and Duke alumnus Mark Gitenstein to the post, the Blog of the Legal Times reported, but thereafter reconsidered the nomination following opposition to his potential nomination, according to Roll Call.

Schroeder previously served as acting assistant Attorney General in the DOJ's Office of Legal Counsel during the Clinton administration. He was also a member of Obama's transition team. Schroeder has taught courses on constitutional law, environmental law and civil liberties.

Kevin Jones is currently the acting assistant attorney general for the OLP.

Schroeder will continue to have a relationship with the University if he is confirmed by the Senate, Schoenfeld said.

If confirmed, Schroeder will be the second Duke law professor to head to Washington this year. Sen. Ted Kaufman, who was appointed to Vice President Joe Biden's vacated Senate seat in January,  is also a senior lecturing fellow in the School of Law.

Be sure to check out the Thursday, May 28 issue of The Chronicle for more coverage.