Cleta Mitchell is a partner and political law attorney in the Washington, D.C. office of Foley & Lardner LLP, and a member of the firm’s Political Law Practice. With more than 40 years of experience in law, politics and public policy, Ms. Mitchell advises nonprofit and issue organizations, corporations, candidates, campaigns, and individuals on state and federal campaign finance law, election law, and compliance issues related to lobbying, ethics and financial disclosure. Ms. Mitchell practices before the Federal Election Commission, the ethics committees of the US House and Senate and similar state and local enforcement bodies and agencies.
Ms. Mitchell represents numerous candidates, campaigns and members of Congress, as well as state and national political party committees. She has served as legal counsel to the National Republican Senatorial Committee and the National Republican Congressional Committee. Ms. Mitchell served as co-counsel for the National Rifle Association in the Supreme Court case involving the 2002 federal campaign finance law. Ms. Mitchell has extensive experience on the federal lobbying and ethics law enacted by Congress in 2007, having taught dozens of seminars on the subject since its passage. In 2008, Ms. Mitchell authored The Lobbying Compliance Handbook, published by Columbia Books, Inc. Ms. Mitchell has testified before Congress on numerous occasions related to election law, campaign finance and lobbying and ethics laws, and is a frequent speaker and guest commentator on political law. In 1999, she authored “The Rise of America’s Two National Pastimes: Baseball and the Law,” published by the University of Michigan Law Review, and in 2012, Ms. Mitchell authored “Donor Disclosure: Undermining The First Amendment,” published by the Minnesota Law Review. In 2013, she was interviewed by The Wall Street Journal, “How to Investigate the IRS.”
Ms. Mitchell has been Peer Review Rated as AV® Preeminent™, the highest performance rating in Martindale-Hubbell's peer review rating system and has been selected by her peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© since 2010 for her work in administrative/regulatory law. She has also been selected for inclusion in the Washington, D.C. Super Lawyers® list (2014 and 2015) and was named a “Top Lawyer” in Washington D.C. by the Washingtonian for her work in political and campaign law. For her work in government and political law, she is recognized nationally in Chambers USA: America's Leading Business Lawyers (2010-2015). In 2012, National Journal named her one of Washington’s 25 Most Influential Women. Ms. Mitchell was a teaching fellow at the Institute of Politics, Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in 1981 and was the Shapiro Fellow at the School of Media and Public Affairs at The George Washington University in 2001.