Bill Baer ’72 nominated for Department of Justice position

Abby Schubach

Vice Chair of the Lawrence University Board of Trustees, Bill Baer ’72, has been nominated by President Barack Obama for the position of Assistant Attorney General for the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice.

Baer heads the Antitrust Practice Group at Arnold & Porter LLP in Washington, D.C., representing a broad range of companies in U.S. and international cartel investigations, mergers and acquisition reviews by antitrust enforcers and antitrust litigation.

After graduating Phi Beta Kappa with a bachelor’s degree from Lawrence where he served as student body president, Baer earned a law degree from Stanford Law School in 1975. Subsequently, Baer joined the Bureau for Consumer Protection at the Federal Trade Commission and later spent four years as the commission’s director for the Bureau for Competition.

Since then, Baer has represented high-powered companies such as General Electric Company, Intel and Visa in antitrust litigation issues. In 2010, the National Law Journal named him the leading competition lawyer in the world by Who’s Who Legal.

Baer is to replace Acting Assistant Attorney General for antitrust Sharis A. Pozen, who is expected to step down at the end of April. It is unclear whether Baer’s nomination will get pushed through this year; it is difficult for presidential nominees to obtain confirmation in election years. Furthermore, the senate has already stalled several judicial and justice department nominations.

Google’s planned acquisition of Motorola mobility is currently under the Antitrust Division’s review.

Vice President for Alumni, Development and Communications Calvin Husmann remarked on how Baer embodies Lawrentian culture: “He is smart, witty, funny, hard working, a high achiever and doesn’t take himself too seriously.”

Husmann added, “[Baer] is always thinking about what is best for Lawrence.” Baer has held Lawrence fundraising events at his home and office in D.C. since he became a trustee in 2001 and chaired the Academic Affairs Committee with much success.