Carol advises corporations, trade associations, political groups and committees, candidates, PACs, media corporations, and individuals on federal and state campaign finance and election laws, government ethics, and lobbying laws. She is also an experienced litigator who regularly handles complex issues of political, constitutional, and administrative law.
Named in Chambers USA as one of the nation’s leading practitioners in her field, Carol is praised by clients as “responsive and on point” (2016). Chambers USA calls her “highly experienced” (2015) and “well-respected” (2011), and recognizes her “knowledge of the area” (2015). Carol has been a guest commentator on CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, CBC, and National Public Radio. She was regularly consulted for her expertise during the 2000 Bush-Gore recount.
- Litigates before the Supreme Court of the United States, numerous federal circuit and district courts, and state courts with respect to issues of election law, constitutional law, and administrative law. Supreme Court cases include FEC v. Colorado Republican Federal Campaign Committee (II); Colorado Republican Federal Campaign Committee v. FEC (I); and FEC v. Massachusetts Citizens for Life.
- Represents clients in enforcement actions, audits, and in obtaining Advisory Opinions from the Federal Election Commission (FEC), as well as numerous state election law, ethics, and lobbying commissions.
- Successfully obtained an FEC Advisory Opinion that created Super PACs.
- Represented a major trade association in state campaign finance litigation.
- Represents clients before the House and Senate Ethics Committees, the Office of Congressional Ethics, the U.S. Department of Justice, and state agencies.
- Counsels clients on compliance with specific laws such as the Ethics in Government Act, House and Senate Ethics, state ethics laws, the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995 and its state counterparts, and the Foreign Agents Registration Act.
- Counsels corporations with respect to federal and state pay-to-play statutes, regulations, and ordinances and with respect to procurement lobbying laws.
- Engages in extensive corporate and trade association training on campaign finance, ethics, and lobbying laws.
- Staff Attorney, Federal Election Commission, Appellate Litigation Team, Office of General Counsel (1984-1987)
- American Bar Association (ABA)
- Standing Committee on Election Law (1998-2001), Advisory Commission (2001-2013)
- Co-Chair and Vice Chair, Section of Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice, Committee on Election Law (1997-2000), Committee on International and Comparative Administrative Law (1994-1997)
- Secretary (2005-2006) and Steering Committee Member (2003-2006), The Council on Government Ethics Laws (COGEL)
- Public Affairs Council (PAC)
- State Government Affairs Council (SGAC)
- Women in Government Relations (WGR)
- Named one of "Washington's Best Lawyers" (2011, 2013) and one of "Washington's Top Lawyers" (2007, 2009, 2015, 2017, 2018) by Washingtonian magazine
- Listed by Chambers USA as one of "America's Leading Lawyers for Business" in Political Law (2011, 2015-2020)
- Named by Lawdragon as one of "3000 Leading Lawyers in America" (2010-2011)
- Named one of DC's "Super Lawyers" for Political Law (2013) and Legislative & Governmental Affairs (2014-2020) by Super Lawyers magazine
J.D., New York University School of Law
B.A., Wellesley College; Durant Scholar; Phi Beta Kappa
Bar and Court Memberships
- District of Columbia Bar
- Massachusetts Bar
- Supreme Court of the United States
- U.S. Courts of Appeals for the First, Second, Fourth, Ninth, Tenth, and District of Columbia Circuits
- U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
Related News & Insights
- ArticlePodcast: Facts About PACs PodcastNABPACCarol A. LahamFebruary 11, 2021
- NewsletterNewly Created New Mexico Ethics Commission Goes After Groups for Independent Expenditure and Donor ReportingElection Law NewsJanuary 2021
- NewsletterKnow Your Local Lobbying Laws – Failure Can Be CostlyElection Law NewsJanuary 2021
- NewsletterThe Biden Transition and Presidency: What to Expect in Ethics, Lobbying, and Campaign Finance Regulation and ReformElection Law NewsNovember 2020