is a legal research and education website that examines and communicates the role and impact of state attorneys general in law and national policy. Elected statewide in forty-three states, state attorneys general are independent state constitutional officers vested with extraordinary prosecutorial discretion. The decisions of a single state attorney general often reverberate nationally and impact citizens across state lines.

Led by Director James E. Tierney, Lecturer-in-Law at Harvard Law School and former Maine Attorney General, the website provides timely information and analysis of the decisions and work of state attorneys general on issues that often escape public attention. Resources include information on particular policy areas, an active blog, Director Tierney's law school syllabus, an AG 101 portal, news articles, audiovisual materials, and links to archived materials at the National State Attorneys General Program website.

Through, Director Tierney works closely with state AG staff throughout the country to build capacity and foster strategic alliances with other government agencies and advocacy organizations in addressing the myriad legal and policy issues facing government actors. Current major initiatives include assisting offices of attorney general in working with diverse communities, the publication of a consumer protection newsletter and creation of a case database, State AG Environmental Action Database in partnership with Columbia Law School's Sabin Center for Climate Change Law, the AG Tech Forum in partnership with Harvard Berkman Klein Center and a 20th anniversary retrospective of the events leading up to the historic 46-state master settlement with the tobacco industry

Each initiative produces original research, develops publicly accessible web-resources, and convenes meetings and conferences with the goal of creating a space for open, non-partisan dialogue that will translate into durable coalitions and partnerships. 

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National State Attorneys General Program at Columbia Law School

From 2003-2016, the National State Attorneys General Program at Columbia Law School developed into a leading institution for examining the office of state attorney general, both as a sui generis government agency and as an impactful actor in American law and policy. Led by James E. Tierney, the Program worked closely with attorneys general, their staff, students, academics and other members of the legal community in the development and dissemination of legal information relied upon by state law enforcement officials.

Over this period, the National State Attorneys General Program focused its efforts on traditional and emerging policy areas for state attorneys general. These efforts led to many long term, innovative initiatives on various subject matters including, Antitrust, Charities/Nonprofit Oversight and Regulation, Consumer Protection, Environment, Health Care, and Labor. Through these projects, the Program produced original research, developed web-resources, and hosted conferences and summits that led to important breakthroughs in state attorneys general offices across the country. 

As part of its educational mission, the National State Attorneys General Program had the distinct honor of hosting hundreds of former and current state attorneys general at Columbia Law School to discuss a diverse range of issues, including climate change, ethics, the future of state charities regulation, human rights, human trafficking, immigration, and predatory lending. During these visits, attorneys general routinely met with students, faculty, judges and the general public, attended classes, and shared their personal histories in video and podcast interviews with Director James Tierney. 

Thanks to Columbia Law School and the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG), these invaluable resources will eventually be archived and openly accessible through NAAG’s website. For more information on the history of the National State Attorneys General Program and to access the Program’s resources, please click on the link below.