What Attorney General Do?

what attorney general do

The Attorney General’s Office serves as the state’s largest law firm, providing advice to most agencies and providing formal opinions requested by State officers or legislators regarding legal issues. It also prosecutes felony cases across the state while appealing convictions in courts throughout the state.

Attorneys general are the chief legal advisors in their states and territories, serving to defend citizens, work with legislatures, protect consumers, champion vulnerable populations and more.

Legal Advice

Attorney generals serve as legal protectors and advocates for state agencies, their employees and citizens. When requested they provide formal legal opinions; serve on various state committees and commissions ex officio as members; defend against private lawsuits brought by third parties against the State; provide formal legal opinions upon request and offer ex officio membership of various state committees and commissions ex officio; give formal legal opinions when needed on request and represent against lawsuits brought by private parties against it.

The Attorney General serves as a legal resource to state agencies and departments, offering legal assistance on an array of legal matters from daily human service provision to overseeing licensed professional activity. His staff ensure that state government is conducting its business correctly from providing human services to licensing licensed professionals.

Attorneys from the Attorney General’s Office offer informal advice and assistance to individual State officers such as legislators or county attorneys. Furthermore, they review legal opinions requested from authorized officers before publishing position papers known as Opinions of the Attorney General on issues of State Law.

Attorneys general work hard in their communities, protecting residents from predatory landlords and unjust debt collection companies, keeping kids safe online, protecting schools and religious institutions, advocating on behalf of domestic violence survivors and sexual assault survivors as well as supporting programs designed to meet their needs. Furthermore, they ensure government agencies follow the law while also safeguarding environmentalism, workers rights and civil rights.


Attorneys general have broad prosecutorial powers; however, in certain states their jurisdiction may be limited. Attorneys general decide if someone violates state laws and assign cases to assistant attorneys general who work under them.

They also represent their states when named as defendants in lawsuits, such as when landlords harass tenants or polluters violate environmental protection laws; similar actions include consumer protection violations. New York attorney general Eric Schneiderman is currently going after landlords who harass tenants as well as polluters that breach those laws, in addition to filing cases all the way up to the U.S. Supreme Court to defend DACA.

When local district attorneys decide not to pursue cases, the New York attorney general has on many occasions taken over responsibility and taken over prosecutorial responsibility himself.

The AG’s office is also charged with drafting legislation and reviewing contracts or agreements that the state signs. In the past, attorneys general were reluctant to delve into any potential scandals involving their predecessors; however, that’s no longer always the case – currently Donald Trump appointed William Barr appears more interested in fulfilling his wishes without regard for rule of law or ethics than doing his job effectively.


State Attorneys General can have far-reaching impacts on industries and individuals alike. Patterson Belknap draws upon its extensive experience to represent clients investigated or prosecuted by state AGs across the nation to protect and advance their interests. Our lawyers have represented companies from energy, technology and financial services sectors; as well as matters such as potential financial fraud allegations, consumer protection statute violations, antitrust/tax violation violations, cybersecurity risks and unclaimed property laws; in addition to representing clients against proceedings brought by state AGs related to employment/immigration proceedings brought by state AGs against clients defending proceedings brought by state AGs regarding employment/immigration proceedings brought by state AGs against employment/immigration proceedings brought by state AGs against clients as well. Patterson Belknap’s extensive experience in representing clients facing state attorneys general investigations/prosecution is invaluable when representing clients from them as we protect/advance infringement allegations or prosecution regarding employment/immigration proceedings brought by these powerful state AG prosecution proceedings as defended proceedings brought by these same AGs across America to advance and protect/advance their interests by them defending proceedings brought by them against employment/immigration proceedings brought by these state AGs throughout America. Our attorneys have represented companies across sectors like energy technology financial services sectors among many more, our lawyers have represented clients throughout America against state AG investigations/prosecution has represented companies such as energy companies investigated or prosecuted by state AG prosecution by prosecution from state AG prosecution through litigation cases brought by state AGs throughout country by prosecutes prosecution of their clients represented clients to protect/prosec cases across countries to represent their interests by state AG prosecution throughout. Our lawyers have represented them against these or prosecute them by these jurisdiction. Our lawyers have represented clients on matters like alleged financial fraud allegations or prosecute against antitrust violations violations related to various others with matters concerning antitrust/tax violations violations/ defending claims for employment immigration proceedings brought by AGs such cases to protect and so many more sectors represented clients being prosecuted or prosecution by such as energy tech/fin. defended clients before, among them represented against state AG proceedings by them while representing them while others are brought by state AGs against these legal matters brought by them within.

Attorneys general have wide statutory powers to represent the United States or its departments or agencies in litigation proceedings, which is further established through 1870 legislation that established the Department of Justice. That law established, among other things, that only an Attorney General or person appointed by them may represent the United States before any court including proceedings at the Supreme Court.

Attorneys general play an active role in institutional reform suits that seek to challenge certain federal programs, such as welfare, food stamps, Medicaid, Medicare and education funding formulas. They may also file challenges alleging unconstitutionality of state statutes or appropriation riders and bring civil enforcement actions against violators of civil rights, environmental, health care or labor law in New Jersey.

Public Education

Attorney generals provide many additional benefits to the public beyond enforcing laws and prosecuting criminal cases. Their work promotes economic justice by investigating predatory landlords and businesses that violate consumer protection and labor laws, protecting natural resources and the environment by taking on polluters, and creating safer communities through harm-reduction strategies, advocating on behalf of crime victims or helping individuals navigate their rights system when needed.

Each AG office has its own specific structure, but generally speaking a staff of lawyers works together with communications specialists, administrative assistants, and other non-lawyer positions to efficiently address challenging or urgent matters. This enables the office to respond more swiftly when needed.

NAAG presents The People’s Lawyer as a biweekly podcast that examines the role of attorney generals as chief legal officers of states, commonwealths, territories, and the District of Columbia. Each episode highlights activities conducted by AGs such as working with legislatures, defending agencies against legal challenges from governments or protecting vulnerable populations from harm.

Though not in their mandate to provide individual legal advice, the Attorney General’s office can still assist individuals by offering consumer and civil law hotlines as a resource. Furthermore, attorneys on staff can serve as liaisons between New Yorkers and local and national groups that offer free legal aid regarding employment discrimination, family violence, housing issues and bankruptcy matters.