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Dunn Joins Lobbying Ranks at DLA Piper

Former Rep. Jennifer Dunn (R-Wash.) has joined the ranks of lobbyists, setting up shop at the law and lobbying firm DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary.

Dunn, who spent six terms in Congress, will focus on trade, tax and homeland security issues for the firm’s clients.

“It’s a perfect fit for me,” she said.

Dunn, 63, said she will work primarily out of the firm’s D.C. office, but will also maintain a presence at DLA Piper’s Seattle office.

Like all Members of Congress who leave office, Dunn is under a one-year ban that prohibits her from directly lobbying Capitol Hill. Her restrictions will end next January.

In the meantime, she can, however, work behind the scenes to advise clients on strategy and has no limits on advocating in the executive branch.

“I want to use my strengths and the knowledge of the process,” said Dunn, whose title is senior policy adviser. She does not have a law degree.

DLA Piper’s roster also includes former House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-Texas) and one-time Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell (D-Maine). Dunn said that Armey, whom she challenged for Majority Leader, helped recruit her to the firm.

“Dick and I have been friends for a long time,” she said. “He really has been so helpful in answering my questions about why I should join the firm.”

Dunn’s former legislative assistant Lisa LaBrache has also signed on at DLA Piper.

LaBrache, who handled homeland security issues and previously served as Dunn’s finance director, will focus on lobbying as well as on DLA Piper’s $1.1 million political action committee — one of the largest among law firms.

The existence of an active PAC at the firm, Dunn said, “was important to me. You need to be supporting Members of Congress, helping them to be re-elected.”

Dunn is married to Keith Thomson, assistant commissioner of Customs for International Programs at the Homeland Security Department.